Tuesday, January 02, 2007

It's a New Year

I rang in the new year this year in an entirely different way than ever before. Most years I'd sat in front of the tv, watching, through sleepy eyes, the ball drop. When the kids were smaller, we all went to a neighbor's and celebrated new year's, banging pots and pans and generally making a lot of noise.

This year, Julie and I went to the Back Bay Gala - the Baby Boomers's Ball at the Colonnade Hotel. We decided to spend the night at the hotel, as well, to avoid the post-midnight drunken traffic. We were even able to bring the dog, although she wasn't able to attend the event - but we still got her in!

The event was black tie optional so I wore a suit and Julie had on a floor length gown. Some of the guys wore tux' and there were a lot of backless gowns on the women.

We checked in to the hotel around 3:30 p.m. Since the hotel is right near Copley Square, we walked over there to see the ice sculptures. Then, we walked over to the Boston Common. In the Common, instead of the traditional ice sculptures, there were "shrink-wrapped" sculptures. I guess, since the weather has been unseasonably warm, the artists/city/organizers decided that melting ice sculptures wouldn't be too exciting. There were a number of "sculptures" that were made of wire framing shrink-wrapped with plastic. It was kind of bizarre, but practical, I guess.

Afterwards, we took the dog back to the room and headed over to a sports bar just up the street from the hotel to get something to eat - and also so I could watch the Ravens football game. Go Ravens!

The Gala started, for us, at 8:30 p.m. We changed into our formal wear, made sure the dog was fed, watered and relieved, and headed on down to the Gala.

For the first hour it was open bar so we each had a couple glasses of wine and ate the hors d'oeurves that were brought around by the wait staff. Since we didn't know anybody there, Julie had us sidle up to a couple also standing alone and we all became friends. They were from Western Connecticut and so were also spending the night. The four of us sat together for the evening, grabbing what seemed to be the last table for four.

At 9:30 p.m. the music started. The featured band, the Love Dogs, were one of our favorite bands to dance to on Friday nights, which was one of the reasons we decided to go to the event in the first place. The first few of their songs were east coast swing dance numbers, including a cha cha thrown in; we were out on the very crowded dance floor doing our thing. After a while, the band went into playing music from the 60's, 70's and 80's, and, as we don't freestyle dance, that was pretty much it for us on the dance floor.

In addition to the small but crowded dance floor, it got hot in the room filled with about 500 people. We sat back and people-watched. Someone told us that in the crowd was a Nobel prize winner; he was described to us but we never did see him. As we sat there, too noisy to have any kind of conversation, I started looking around and came to realize that the scene reminded me exactly of my high school reunions. The more I looked around and thought about it, the more I was reminded of that.

We left around 11:30 p.m. - too hot, too crowded, too noisy, and went up to our room to get the dog out for a minute. We walked around a park located about a block away and got back to the Gala just before midnight. And, just like that, the three of us went in for the count down to 2007.

While Dixie had adjusted admirably to the elevator and being in the room - she really liked looking out of the window of our 11th floor room, she didn't care for the horns, poppers and people yelling in the new year. Even though folks came up to pet her, her tail stayed between her legs until we got back to the lobby.

In the morning we had breakfast in Brasserie Jo's. While eating, we watched the rain coming down.

A little earlier, while walking Dixie, I reflected that the rain seemed to be washing away the previous year, its cleansing bringing in the next. I wondered just what it would bring.


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