How to Usher in a New Year, Pt. 1

I’ve had a lot of people ask me how my new year’s went, so I figured I’d make an official post  here. Granted, most of the people who asked are the ones who already read this blog BUT I will tempt you to keep reading with pictures!

So I was in Wonju with Andrea for this celebratory night. Thank god for that, because new year’s always makes me sad. No matter how terrible a year (well…2012 being the exception), I’m always sad to see the end of things. And alas, I do see them as an ending rather than a beginning. New things freak me out (ironic, I know, considering I’ve declared myself a world traveler wherein I’m jostling shoulder to shoulder with new things on a daily basis).

But this year I didn’t really have the blues. Be it my enthusiasm of getting to spend a second holiday with my brain twin within a week, or just my determination that my first New Year beginning in a different country be happy, I had a great time.

Andrea’s Wonju circle organized a “secret party”. We had no idea what to expect, except we were told to dress warm and supposed to meet in front of Baskin Robins.

New Year’s arrives and after several hours of playing Diablo 3 (my Xmas gift to Andrea), we get set and ready to go. I pack up my 1.5L bottle of champagne (which you’ll remember from a couple of posts ago) and we warmly layer ourselves more elaborately than a mille-feuille.

Arriving at Baskin Robins, we mill around the entrance for a bit. No one knows what’s going on or where we’re going except those select masterminds who’ve planned it all (aka the most adorable couple ever who also planned the Christmas party).  The only thing we know is that someone’s brought a ghetto-ass plastic bag full of fireworks.


We do a quick 711 run (BEER) and then we’re off! Considering we’re in the middle of the city, I have no idea where these fireworks are supposed to happen. But lo! we turn a corner, and as if by Harry Potter magic, a forest is revealed – a huge, sprawling park with a wildernessy path and steps cut into the earth.

Upon reaching the top (a good quarter of us winded, yours truly included), we saw that a large circular patio with flat stones had been laid out. Trees ringed around us, but even through them we got to see the bright city scene. Above us was a clear view of the night sky. Everybody nodded in agreed appreciation that this place was an all around win.

So for the next hour we chatted, became increasingly inebriated, and then increasingly emphatic about our chatting. One Kiwi went around with a lighter and aerosol hairspray to keep us warm with a fairly terrifying open flame (but after forty minutes in the cold, the risk was worth the warmth).


Come the final ten minutes, many “already??”s filled the air. Time to say goodbye to 2013.

We gathered in a circle and me and another girl who brought champagne got ready with our thumbs to the corks. Another guy was handing out sparklers. Everybody was counting down: three, two, one, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Champagne exploded, sparklers were lit, Andrea cringed because she remembered she’s less than keen about sparklers only after hers was lit (I love you Andrea), and 2014 began with a bang.


Quite literally because minutes later we set off the fireworks. Surprised we all got out of it with our limbs though since one malfunctioned and whizzed past our legs, hitting a girl in the calf before bouncing into the trees. (Don’t panic, parents! What’s the point of life if you don’t do stupid things you can laugh about later?)

Fireworks mashup

After we’d expended our fireworks and midnight hugs and kisses, we headed to a bar. Kraken was its name, and pirate theme was its game.


(They even had a drink specially for us!)


Don’t know how much we drank that night, but we stayed out late enough to get the breakfast specials at McDonald’s. Also I ended up being sober enough to talk about the weather by the end of the night, which was astounding.

BUT this led to good news the next day, which I will continue on about next post ^ ^

But tell me – what’s the best way you’ve come up with for ushering in a new year?

3 thoughts on “How to Usher in a New Year, Pt. 1

  1. Your friends went to a lot of trouble: planting those trees in a circle (that’s advanced party planning for sure); laying the patio stones; and somehow contriving a way to keep the champagne cold!

    I got nothin’ re New Year’s Eve, but I’m looking forward to your good news next day post and to whatever people share about their best New Year’s memories.


    1. Haha I just reread that part and it does sound like my friends laid out the patio themselves. Oop ^ ^ though with all the effort they put in, they very well might have…


  2. To be continued? What?!! You’re so evil! Lol. Truly an awesome & unparallelled New Year! 😀
    We were supposed to have front row seats for fireworks while cruising the harbor in San Diego but missed out because, by freak of nature, we were enveloped in fog.


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