New Year’s Memories!

The end of another year signals the start of a new one. I’ve been thinking about my most memorable New Year’s celebrations, and really there are only a few that stand out.

New Year’s Eve 1999

The year the world would end! Computer’s which didn’t even rule our lives yet, were going to crash and die. For that New Year’s celebration my family had traveled to Branson, Missouri. In addition to the usual Branson stuff, we got together with some friends, one of the performing families – The Brett Family Singers, for a New Year’s Eve party. What makes it memorable? When the hour reached midnight, the host went to the breaker box and flipped the switch. It went black and we yelled Happy New Year!

Lion from the Lanc Hid (Chain Bridge) in BudapestNew Year’s Day 2004

These next two were New Year’s while I was living in Hungary as a missionary for the LDS Church. As you might imagine, we didn’t really do much partying on New Year’s Eve. In fact, we went home early and stayed in all night. The next morning we were out and working as normal. That’s what made New Year’s Day 2004 memorable. We decided to go contact people in the Castle District so as to not disturb people at home. We hoped there would be a few tourists out and about. That was a beautiful and memorable way to start the new year. We were walking around amazing architecture and history trying to talk to people about the good news.

New Year’s Eve 2004

The next year I was living in a small city called Sopron on the western border of the country. Once again we went to bed at a normal time with a New Year’s Eve party downstairs. At midnight we awoke to fireworks right outside our window. Literally right outside our window. Our apartment was on the fifth and top floor of a building and right outside it was a plaza. It turns out the locals set off fireworks in that plaza at midnight on New Year’s Eve. We watched until they died down and went back to sleep.

New Year’s Day 2012

My most memorable New Year’s was at the beginning of this year. I can’t help thinking about it. Twelve months ago I flew into Guilin, Guangxi, China with some friends. We arrived in Yangshuo right around midnight. The next morning was spectacular! There was no better way to start the new year than to float down the Li River through some of the most magnificent scenery I’ve ever seen. It was tranquil and magical rafting through one of the most iconic Oriental landscapes. Now I can’t help thinking about it. Hopefully, I’ll celebrate many more memorable New Year’s in fantastical places. (By the way, my post about Rafting on the Li River was one of my most popular ever with nearly 2,000 reads!)

I hope you have a fantastic New Year! Make it memorable and stay safe. I hope your year takes you on many adventures and you take advantage of them all! Happy New Year!

One side note: I’ve created a 2013 calendar with photos from my adventures in China, including one from my Li River excursion. If you’re interested in getting one, send me a message. See the pics below.

Water Buffalo on the Li River - June 2012 calendar

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