Last night, J and I attempted to stay up and see 2011 in. We had a bottle of Moët & Chandon to share, cheese and crackers on hand, kids tucked up in bed... and the TV. The plan? To watch the Times Square Ball drop at midnight.
I'm not even sure why we thought this would be a good idea. For a start, it wasn't even live. Well, it was when it was recorded, of course, but there's a 3-hour time difference between New York and L.A. so by the time it aired at midnight in L.A., it would be old news in New York. I knew, at 9pm, that the ball had already dropped. Kind of took a little of the fun out of waiting to see it.
Anyhow, we refilled our glasses of the bubbly, and pressed on. Unable to commit to one channel, we kept switching between the coverage on NBC and ABC, depending on commercials, and which performer happened to be on. If I see Willow Smith lip-syncing her song and giving precocious answers to interviewers one more time, I will scream.
But I digress. We drank our bubbly, chatted, made observations, and continued watching. Whereas once upon a time, the old me would have loved to experience being in a place like Times Square on New Year's Eve, I honestly couldn't think of anything worse now. Huge crowds, in freezing conditions? Without public toilets? That's my idea of hell.
By about 11.30, my eyes could barely stay opened. The champagne hadn't helped. I decided bed was the only sensible place to be... proof that I'm no spring chicken any more. I can't recall a single NYE - at least since childhood - where I was in bed before midnight.
Thinking about the cold conditions, I have to admit to being envious of friends and family in Australia. Although Christmas in the northern hemisphere is magical and the cosiness of being indoors, or rugging up and watching your breath fog up in the crisp air when venturing outside is rather lovely, New Year's Eve celebrations are so much better when the air is balmy and warm. Whether outside, down by the water and watching the Sydney fireworks display (with public toilets around, of course!) or relaxing under the stars at a friend's party, for me, there's nothing like a summery New Year's Eve. Barefoot, naturally.
Can't have it both ways, though. Not unless one is filthy rich and jets around the world frequently.
As for the Times Square Ball drop? I did eventually see it after a search on YouTube and was a little underwhelmed. I realise YouTube wouldn't have done it justice, and I'm probably biased, but I suspect that Sydney put on a far better show for the revellers.
However, today, the first day of 2011, I did see something impressive - the Rose Parade in Pasadena. It was broadcast live so we once again put the TV on for a good old glimpse into some Americana that we're not necessarily living. If we'd been more organised, we could have seen it in person because we live so close to Pasadena. I don't think the almost one-year-old or four-year-old would have appreciated it, but for me? Marching bands? Floats with dogs boogie boarding on mini water streams? B-2 stealth jets flying overhead? That's out of the ordinary, for sure. I wonder if there were public toilets there...