New Year's Eve has always been a little odd for me. No real traditions per se, alot of different things though makes New Year's Eve rather interesting to me, though not nearly one of my favorite holidays. So today I will be using my smoke signals column to share some of my more memorable New Year's Eve's.
-When I was younger my Aunt and Uncle and cousins from New Jersey would come to visit on New Year's Eve, or we would go to their house. We had some fun times. One year we decided to dress up in silly costumes. Not just the kids but the adults. Using clothes we had in the house, and make up as well.
-I spent the 1999-2000 New Year's eve in New Jersey. Everyone was freaking about Y2K, and it was the new century so the networks were running their coverage of New Year's Eve all over the world and remberances of 1900-1999. I had just gotten my first ever car and this was my first real solo drive. My mom and stepdad left before I did. Yet I beat them to Jersey on New Years Eve. Got there at 3pm. The roads were dead. We were then going to go to a friend of theirs house near the beach and hang out. I was the youngest one there. Had fun though. Watched the fireworks on the beach. We went back to my Aunt's house and she wanted to get up like 4 hours later to watch the sunrise on new Millennium. So we got up went to the beach and could not see a thing. Fog socked in all over. had a chanpagne cheer then went back to bed. That night we had dinner at another of their friends house and I got really sick. Food Poisoning possibly needless to say it was a horrible night and we were leaving the next day. I felt better and made it home in one piece.
-Also when I was younger, on my neighborhood lived the Bakers. Their youngest son Craig was a few years younger then me but we were friends. One NYE he came over to my house because his older brother Chris who went to the University of Maryland and was in the Marching band was having a party. But what was cool was not only was that the first year I ever saw Gremlins, but at midnight Chris and his friends in the marching band, now slightly intoxicated would get their instruments out and played Auld Lang Syne outside of their house. Then they played the Maryland fight song, and then decided let's have a parade. So the marching band began to march through out neighborhood playing all kinds of music. People came out of their houses to watch, or join the parade. We went around the block and they stopped and played Auld Lang Syne to some folks who came out and kept marching. They would do this for two other years as well. That was always cool. i do have a audiotape of one of their parades somewhere in my house.
-Senior Year of High School I was hanging out with some kids a year or so younger than me. One of them decided to have a NYE party at her house and we were invited. My first real party! So I went and had a blast. Then when we left we went and hung out at someone elses house. Then others began to leave, soon my friend Matt and me were all that was left and we decided to walk around the neighborhood and chat. When I got home about 3am or so my mother was freaking out since I did not tell her I was going to hang out with others. She thought I would be home after the party. She called a bunch of people after midnight trying to figure out where I was. Needless to say I never did that again.
-NYE 2000-2001 was probably the best one I ever had. I had just started to date my now wife and her and her friend who set us up and her boyfriend got two hotel rooms at The Renaissance Hotel which was write on Baltimore Harbor by Harborplace. There was going to be a parade, and then the fireworks and we had rooms right there. But that's not all. That afternoon was the Ravens first ever playoff game in their history. (This was the game that started them on their Superbowl win). They were playing Denver in Baltimore and my dad had snagged us tickets to it, albeit not sitting together. It was freezing cold, but it was a great game, we won and then I knew i would be with my wife at a nice hotel and have a nice dinner and see cool fireworks. The only downside was I was fighting a cold that day, but still a great night and an even better New Year's Day, but we will not get into that! ;)
-During the early part of the 2000's my wife and I and our friends had a tradition. We would go to Nichi Bai Kai a Japanese steakhouse for dinner on NYE, usually around 930ish since I was working a late shift during that time 11-8 and we never had off NYE. Then go to a local club called Padonia Station. That was the closest we did to tradition.
-The last NYE before kids was memorable also. My wife and I went with our same friends on a Dinner cruise out of Baltimore Harbor and anchored near the Key Bridge and Fort McHenry. We had free buffet, free drinks and music. When it was time for fireworks the boat took us just outside the main harbor, near Fells Point and we watched the fireworks from the water. Then returned to our perch by Key Bridge while the downtown revelers left and they cleared up the firework equipment. So it was close to another 90 minutes before we could get back to our car. We also had a guy sitting at the table in front of us pass out and vomit.
-NYE with kids has really been uneventful. I think we've had get togethers, one year we had our Christmas with my in-laws on NYE. This NYE is not really any different. We are going to my sister in laws house for a get together and may spend the night. We'll see.
Anyway I may have forgotten some other NYE's but those are the most memorable ones. So be safe. Get a designated driver if you had to much, and have a good New Year's Eve!