Hey you 2013!

Welcome 2013! May this year be filled with love, comfort, warmth and prosperity!

Dan and I were brainstorming for ideas on what to do for countdown. A rule that I stick with – It has to be different from the last. We thought of organizing an activity with a theme in the day and end off with the countdown at our place. As we tossed through the various ideas, went through various themes like sports, board games etc, nothing seemed to resonate with me until Dan said, “We could also head up to Quebec City.”

That was how we ended up spending two days one night with his brother and his family in Quebec City. We were warmly hosted by the family with two energetic children filling the apartment with their enthusiastic babbles and contagious laughter. My sister-in-law prepared a meal that was thankfully apt for the evening. Spare ribs with rice. Fats + Carbohydrates = Warm. Food is definitely one of the main factors needed to embrace an evening of -10 degrees Celsius. The other essential would be one’s dressing. Last winter, being a noob, I was always raising a white flag and retreating indoors after an hour or two.  I didn’t want to get my ass frozen. Once bitten twice shy. This time round, I layered myself like an onion. For the top, I had a long john as my first warm layer, followed by two long sleeved blouses, one inner jacket and finally a sports winter coat. For the bottom, I had a long john and a snow pants. I have to thank my husband for insisting that I get a snow pants for his wisdom has made its point once again.

At about 10pm, Dan, his brother and I headed out with our homemade ‘Final Countdown’ drink which was specially fabricated by Dan. It was a mix of Canadian whiskey, maple liquor and chamomile tea. Drink in a shot, the alcohol warms you up slowly while leaving a taste of maple sweetness lingering in your mouth. The main event happened at a place called ‘Grand Allée’. Despite the cold and mild snowing, there were already many people gathered at the selected ground. What surprised me more was the sight of people of different ages present to soak in the atmosphere. There were young children all bundled up, chugging along with their parents. There were elderly couples who strolled with ease on a ground so familiar to them. I turned to Dan and exclaimed, “We need to party till we are old like that!”

If you like modern trendy songs, you could camp at the site where the DJ sits high on a raised platform, mixing songs of beats that hype up the scene right away. The guest DJ for that night was DJ Boy George, one of the top 100 DJs in the world in 2012 according to a poll done by DJ Mag. He was ready to make the floor dance! Even though we love trendy songs, we preferred some traditional music for the holidays. We chose to party out at the site which had local Quebec folk music. A life animator in a furry winter hat took the stage with pumped up enthusiasm, “ Vous êtes bons!”. He introduced various local performers who churned the crowd with their live performances with musical instruments like the harmonica and the violin. A group did a tap dance but the music was too loud and we could not really hear the rhythmic movements of the feet. We danced the night away with endless snowflakes descending upon us. When the clock stroke 12, we were presented with a minute of dazzling fireworks.

Fireworks 2013

Fireworks are no rare sight for me though not very common either. Nonetheless, every time I have the chance to witness the beauty of it, I would admire the spectacular sight with awe. Standing amongst thousands of people gazing up into the sky, I thought to myself, ‘how lucky am I to be here today.’ Another day just passed. Another year is here. Honestly, there is no literal difference in 31st December and 1st January. However, we hold the power to make the difference in each and every day of our lives. With conviction, I silently cheered myself in making 2013 yet another wonderful year.

That is how we ended off the evening.

That is how we ended off the evening.

Happy New Year to all!

Signing off with love,

Esther

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