Happy New Year!
Hey guys! So now we’re all caught up and together here in 2014, but for a few hours I was waaaaay ahead of you and living happily cozily (well, sleeping mostly) in the future here in Sydney. Samoa aside, (and New Zealand, sorry New Zealand) Sydney is really where the big “first new year’s celebration” game is at. See the above beautiful photo of fireworks at the Sydney harbor bridge, for example. And what do the big festivities here have over, say, the New York ball drop? Lovely warm summer weather AND semi-acceptable public restrooms (as opposed to the NONE of them in Times Square). So Grant and I went to a close park (not the main area in the CBD near the Opera House and Harbour Bridge – we aren’t *crazy* and we aren’t *young*).
No, not *that* great – that isn’t the Sydney Harbor Bridge (can you guys tell that I am currently at a loss with my “o” “ou” spellings? (harbor/harbour) – it is driving me, my spellcheck, and I’m sure the various American, UK, and Australian search committee members who have to read my mess of a cover letter that bounces between spellings CRAZY. Anyway – back to the bridge. This lovely bridge is the Anzac Bridge in Glebe. We chose not to pay a fortune to fight crowds and walked to a park about 30 minutes away from us. See that bridge behind the Anzac Bridge off in the distance? That’s the Sydney Harbour Bridge!
We arrived five hours before midnight, but sadly the park was packed. Luckily, I thought outside the spatial box and found a sneaky spot between the sidewalk and a bush and the waterway – it was so great that Grant and I flagged down a security guard to make sure they were actually allowing people to sit there. He assured us we could, congratulated us on our good spot-finding skills, but then asked us to please not fall into the water as he would have to be the one to pull us out. He was a super nice guy – and later helped a lovely French woman open a can of pate as big as a big birthday cake with a swiss army knife!
There he is! (and those are just the people crammed in in front of the sidewalk, the actual full park is on the other side). And here is our view of everyone from our spot:
and their view of us:
We brought a picnic and took some photos:
We also started (well finished? carried out?) a new New Year’s tradition. This whole year we kept a jar in our house that, whenever something nice happened, or an event we wanted to remember occurred, or just something stupid/silly even, we wrote it down and put it in said jar. Here it is:
And then, while waiting for the fireworks at midnight, we slowly took turns drawing out papers from the jar and reading through the year’s memories – sappy maybe, but it was really, really fun. We’ve already started the jar up again for this year. (here is the jar by the water last night)
At 9 there was a smaller fireworks show families:
and then the big ones at midnight!
Then this morning we had a big brunch with coffee cake (not the most aesthetically pleasing as I tried to cram it in a much smaller bundt pan than the recipe called for, but it tasted wonderful), avocado toast with eggs, mushrooms, tomato, and steak, and fruit salad and (of course, duh because we are not savages) mimosas. (Can you spot the official tourist mug from Finland? Thanks cousin Robert!)
And now, speaking of food, I am off to make what I would probably deem my “recipe of 2013” – which is Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen’s eggplant and three cheese calzone. Fitting as I got her cookbook for Christmas last year (thanks mom!) and it is without a doubt the one recipe I have made the most this year – and Grant goes crazy for it, just crazy. His eyes get a bit….. scary when there is mention of it being made. So try it!