Thursday, January 1, 2009

¡feliz año nuevo!

"Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of." ~Charles Richards
This New Year's Eve almost turned out to be the worst evening of 2008, and could have been the worst day ever (see the post below for details), but we got VERY lucky and ended up having a great NYE celebration.

Here are the boys during the day helping us set up for the party:
In true Spanish fashion, our guests began arriving about 30 minutes after the 9:00 p.m. "start" time of our party. But, a party doesn't really begin until the guests arrive, now does it? This particular evening though, I was more appreciative of this "custom" than ever before.

We had eight adults,
Nieves, Nuria, Luis, Arturo, Reyes, Ana, Jaime, & Me, and five kids, Nicolas, Sofia, Samuel, Connor and Alex. Although, the original plan was to let Alex and Connor take a second nap and then enjoy some of the festivities, it ended up that they went to bed early instead and (mostly) slept through the party.

Our guests were greeted by the
cotillón (party favor) table and a festive and cozy decorated patio. There was a big food and drink table with everyone contributing a dish (or more) and a couple of people supplying the drinks. We had great wines and lots of yummy food! It was a relaxed and casual night with everyone nibbling and sipping and chatting.

Jaime and I set up a kids area with the Little Tykes "playground" and a coloring table, and we also provided balloons, sparklers and paper firecracker poppers. They seemed to have a good time playing and coloring, and we even added their artwork to our patio decorations. All this kept them quite entertained while they waited for the firework displays put on by the older "kids."

As midnight approached, we all gathered around the television each of us with our doce uvas de la suerte, "twelve grapes of luck," and waited for the campanas (bells) to countdown the new year. It's tradition to eat a grape with each bell strike at midnight as it is suppose to lead to a year of prosperity. Finding the largest grapes available, which we did, makes this a fun and nearly impossible feat to accomplish in 12 seconds.

¡feliz año nuevo! Kisses, hugs, and Happy New Year wishes ensued followed by a champagne toast...followed by more fireworks, hanging out, fun, and the grand finale:

Alas, the children, and the adults, started to get tired and our party ended around 2:30 in the morning...very early for a Spanish New Year's Eve. Jaime and I left the mess and headed of to dreamland.

New Year's Day the boys woke us up around 8:30 and we all spent a lazy morning enjoying breakfast, playing and listening to the concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra which traditionally takes place each year in Vienna on New Year's Day. It is broadcast around the world to an estimated audience of one billion viewers in 44 countries.

Then, while the boys napped, Jaime and I cleaned both patios and the kitchen and, luckily, Nuria, Luis, Sofia, and Nicolas came to help as well. After a late lunch we met everyone in the city and took all the kids out for a bike ride along the Avenida and to the park. We were all very tired by the end of the day... what a great start to a new year.

"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right." ~Oprah Winfrey

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