Popular New Year’s Eve celebrations are usually cruises or parties or a combination of both in Sydney. Senior citizens that we are, my husband and I haven’t really kept pace with trending party scenes. Loud music and lights may not be our scene right now, but you definitely can’t club us in the same bracket as those who live in assisted care homes. We don’t use walkers to move about precariously nor do we take forever to walk from the living room to the dining room. The athletes that we were in our youth, I’m pretty sure we can give the current digital generation a run for their money!
For some time now, there’s been nothing extraordinary about our New Year’s Eve celebrations. Like any other day, we end up in bed by 10, calling it a night. It’s not that we’ve lost our zest for life; it’s just that after a certain age you begin to debunk the ‘variety is the spice of life’ routine.
This New Year’s Eve, I was in the garden pruning the rose bushes, when my phone started buzzing. Thinking it would be one of those annoying marketing calls, I ignored it. When the phone buzzed again I thought this must be a persistent soul, someone who probably didn’t achieve their monthly sales numbers and might lose their holiday bonus pay. Yes, sometimes I do over think trivial things. But, that was no sales person; it was my friend Darla asking me to get over to her place right away. My mind first conjured images of her being hurt or caught in the midst of an unfortunate incident, but the hint of excitement in her voice made me recant those thoughts!
She lived right down the road, so I pulled off my gardening gloves and quickly (as fast as my aging legs would carry me) made my way to her place. Darla was waiting for me at the door and as soon as I got in the house, thrust an envelope into my hands. Seeing my perturbed expression, she smiled and said the envelope contained the tickets to a Sydney NYE Fireworks cruise. I remember her telling me that she had gotten tickets for a New Year’s Eve cruise on Sydney Harbour a while back.
Puzzled as to why she would gift me such prized tickets, Darla explained that her daughter Debbie had gone into labour and before the night was done, she would be a grandmother! And however much she was looking forward to it, a New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise was the last place she wanted to be when her grandchild was making her way into this world! That baby couldn’t have picked a better day to than the start of a New Year to make an appearance!
True, Darla and her husband would miss out on a New Year’s Eve dinner cruise and the midnight fireworks of Sydney H..., but that could be experienced next year as well. It definitely pales in comparison when you know your first grandchild is born only once!
Clutching the envelope in hand, I walked back home wondering whether going for a Sydney NYE cruise will be my cup of tea. I called Bill and told him of the new developments. He was surprisingly very gung-ho about the whole thing. He didn’t want the tickets to go to waste as they were pricey and insisted we go. As the cruise leaves the wharf by 7pm, there wasn’t much time left to dawdle around and we got ready for it.
My perceptions of a cruise party on a boat where shattered when I saw our vessel which would be the venue for the evening. It was a stylish glass boat with elegant interiors that resembled a premium star hotel. There was dancing, there was good food, wine and spectacular harbour views. The beauty of night time Sydney and the spectacular fireworks display almost took our breath away.
The New Year’s Eve cruise on Sydney Harbour was a pleasant wakeup call for the both of us. We needed this badly to shake our life from its mundaneness. As for Darla who accidentally set all this in motion, I am gifting her a cruise for the coming New Year’s Eve as a big thank you!