Happy New Year !!!

Photobucket

Just dropping by to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Hopefully you all had fun seeing in the New Year in whatever you chose to do so. Personally I joined the squillions of thousands of party-goers crammed along the harbourside in Sydney to witness the most spectacular fireworks display I’ve ever seen! It was a nightmare for me getting there, thanks to over-full and late trains causing me to miss my last ferry to Balmain, but a bus trip and short taxi ride later and I was joining my party group in time to play “celebrity heads” (which was a total hoot!), have a few drinks (OK, perhaps more than a few!), and a lovely dinner. My group had all been sitting in our selected position since lunchtime, but I got there late after working all day.

Anyway, I’m so glad I made the effort to go along and join them, and the fireworks truly were spectacular. The crowds were phenomenal, but I’d still do it all again next year given the chance! Here are a few photos of the fireworks at midnight, along with a shot of how clearly we could see the harbour bridge in front of us … prime real estate, we had, that’s for sure LOL.

NYE Fireworks SYD 2008_2009_4

NYE Fireworks SYD 2008_2009_2

NYE Fireworks SYD 2008_2009_11

NYE Fireworks SYD 2008_2009_10

NYE Fireworks SYD 2008_2009_6

NYE Fireworks SYD 2008_2009_8

NYE Fireworks SYD 2008_2009_7

and the piece de resistance for me … look at all that gunpowder going up … this little Annie was in childlike heaven!!! 😀

NYE Fireworks SYD 2008_2009_1

If you want to see a quick video clip of the start of the fireworks, you can check it out here! And if you have more time to spend and fancy watching the first 8 whole minutes of some spectacular fireworks, check out the You Tube video here 😀

Candles/Carols in the Domain Sydney-style

We had a lovely time at the carols last night – while we couldn’t see the stage clearly from where we were sitting, we could just see the large screen to follow who was on stage.  They had a good line-up of local singing stars including Delta Goodrem, Guy Sebastian, Shannon Noll, Paulini, and Brian McFadden plus others.  We had a star of our own, though, as we found ourselves joined by a certain ‘Gladiator’ along with his family, bodyguard and nanny … definitely a highlight of the night for me!  You can see him in the sunglasses just behind us (I felt uncomfortable taking more photos as he was enjoying a family night out, and I thought that would be too intrusive) 🙂

Candles in the Park SYD Dec08

Mr Russell Crowe and friends enjoying Candles in the Park Dec08

The great thing about the Sydney event is that you can buy a “Candle Bag” for charity, which has 4 candles with cup-holders to sit them in – it looks so pretty looking out over the event when darkness falls to see all of the candles lit up around the crowds.  Unfortunately I couldn’t get a good photo to share though.

Candles in the Park SYD Dec08 1

There was a short firework display at the start of the show, and another final short fireworks display at the end.

Fireworks at Candles in the Park SYD Dec08 1

Fireworks at Candles in the Park SYD Dec08 3

Fireworks at Candles in the Park SYD Dec08 2

All-in-all it was a fun night – although my head was suffering overnight due to the consumption of too much wine and the excitement of sharing the night with Mr C 😉

Today will be spent finishing the Christmas decorations off, I think, then doing a spot of housework … I bought a new attachement for my vacuum cleaner making it semi-bagless, so I’ll have to trial it to see if it works well … nothing but glamorous stuff for me today – serves me right, I’ve been having waaaay too much fun lately! LOL 😛

Back home again … and Christmas in the Park

Here I am sitting at my computer desk at my little flat – I got home last night, after having a really awesome time back home in NZ.  I took oodles of photos so I could document all or adventures, so I may have to spread them out over a couple of posts.

I guess I should start where I left off last time … last Friday we drove over to our closest family friends for a BBQ (including Dad).  It was really wonderful to see them again – they are the only people I “have to” see when I fly over, even if it’s just a flying visit I try hard to make sure we call round to visit.  They’re just like our family (in fact probably closer than family), and it always feels as though I’ve never been away when I see them, as there is such a level of comfort there.  It was great to see Bradley and Danial to see how much they’ve grown up, and of course always lovely to see Heather and John, Tracey and Glenn.  I always have such fond memories of our get-togethers.  Unfortunately I neglected to take photos, but Tracey took some, so I’ll have to try to get some copies down the track.

The next night (Saturday) we headed off on the train to Christmas in the Park at Auckland Domain.  We were very lucky with the weather, as the forecasted rain held off and didn’t show itself at all during the day.  I’m so glad we went (Mum and I), as it was a really super show.  Unlike Melbourne, these shows are free entry with donations made to a charity on the night by way of buying glow sticks and Santa hats etc.  They say Auckland had a record crowd this year, with approx 150,000 people there … can’t say I noticed all the people as we were in our own little bubble enjoying the atmosphere, music and gourmet delights we’d taken along in our picnic hamper (along with a delightful bottle each of red and white wines to wash it all down with!).  Following are a couple of photos from the night:

I thought some of you in the Northern Hemisphere might enjoy this one … Santa comes to visit in all his glory in the middle of summer for us – while you’re sat huddled in your jumpers (aka jerseys, sweaters, pullovers), we’re down here in our singlet tops and shorts, but still following traditions with the Santa hats and trees etc 🙂

Carols in the Park crowd 1

Crowds starting to fill up in front of Auckland’s Museum – the concert is held in the Auckland Domain, a large parkland which is usually just used for recreation and sporting activities (especially cricket)

Carols in the Park crowd 2

And here’s the stage itself as people are starting to fill up the spaces

Carols in the Park crowd 3

Lucky last, here is the Christmas tree once the lights have been switched on, and the evening finale of fireworks (which were disappointing compared to previous years, but still awesome to see – and guaranteed to bring the childlike glee from the depths of my soul).

Carols in the Park Xmas tree lights

Carols in the Park Fireworks

We didn’t get home until just before midnight, and had an early start the next morning, as Mum and I hijacked the car for 3 days and drove to Napier/Hastings for a mini-break … which was absolutely awesome!! That will be the topic of the next couple of posts 🙂