01 January, 2011

Bringing in the New Year

It's hard to believe that we've just begun a new year.  And yet, this past year has been long, sometimes hard, enjoyable, rainy, cold & dark, peppered with friends and family, interspersed with sun here and there, and extremely full.  We've had accomplishments and setbacks, triumphs and pitfalls.  In short, it's exactly the same as every other year - only different.  =)
To usher in the New Year, we went downtown with friends to the Anchorage Fire and Ice event.  It reminded me (on a very small scale) of New Year's Eve a couple years ago in Salt Lake City (my post is here).  Weather-wise, we were very fortunate.  It has warmed up over the past couple days to actually getting highs in the 20s.  The forecast for Friday was rain, but by evening it had cleared up and was a downright balmy evening (for December in Alaska).
We wandered around Town Square, taking in the ice skating and dancing, as well as the ice sculptures and fire dancers.  (Most of the pictures on this post were taken by Greg and his fancy-pants camera.  My poor little beast has such a long delay, especially when it's dark, that it was practically useless.  One of these days, it'll be time for a new one...)  It was an enjoyable, fun evening.  Everything had such a festive air, it's been a long time since I've been to an event with that kind of enthusiasm.  The kind that turns pressing, pushy crowds into comrades who are just as exhilarated as I am to see the sights and hear the sounds of gaiety produced by such an event.
For some reason that eludes me, the fireworks were scheduled for 8pm instead of midnight.  Maybe so that the kiddies could enjoy it and still be home and tucked in bed before they turn into pumpkins?  Regardless of the reason, we were able to spend a few hours enjoying the sights, watch the fireworks, get dinner at a sit-down restaurant, and be home before midnight.  We were tempted to go to bed before midnight too, but instead spent some time watching out the kitchen window for the fireworks going off in our neighborhood.  (This is the first year in a very long time that Anchorage allowed personal fireworks within the city limits - there were LOTS of people taking advantage of the change...)
The new year (any new year, THIS new year) brings with it a fresh start and open possibilities.  May this be a year of productivity and enjoyment, full of laughter and love, for all of us.

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