Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's 2012, New Beginnings

Happy New Year!

Cuenca sure knows how to party!  New Year's Eve is traditionally loud, raucous, crowded and FUN!

For those who think they will get a good night's sleep on this night may be disappointed, no matter where you stay in the City.  For those who want to join in and party-hardy, you will celebrate New Year's like no other! 

We began the evening right here in the neighborhood with a festive dinner with friends down the street. 

Chuck introduced us to his new friend, LeRoy! 

We had to take LeRoy for a little stroll down the street and get him all set up.

He had company.

We tucked notes in LeRoy's pockets of things we wanted to leave behind in 2011 and then LeRoy was set on fire!  Our troubles went up with the smoke... now we're all clean and ready for wherever the New Year takes us.

Traditionally, most of the dummies all over town are burned at midnight.  These dummies represent the old year and their burning signals a new beginning. 

Being old fogies ourselves, we were happy we all decided to go with Greenwich Mean Tme.

LeRoy was torched about 9pm. 

Celebrating New Year's Eve early is nothing new for us.  When we were in Oregon, we used to celebrate with the New York Time so we could all hit the road for bed early. Back then, we all wanted to avoid the hazards of driving on lonely country roads with black ice.

Of course, no snow storms or black ice here in Cuenca.  Early bed and quiet sleep here didn't happen either. Not that we cared much...

Several of us wanted more insurance for good luck in the New Year.  It's traditional to also jump over the flames...wish we'd gotten pics of these brave souls!

There were so many fireworks in our neighborhood it was hard to enjoy them all. Fireworks were everywhere all over the City. There were a few early ones, but most everyone began shooting them off a few minutes before midnight and the show went on for at least a half hour.  Think of the best ever July 4th fireworks show and then multiply that by about a 100 or more! 

 A friend bought a stash of fireworks and rockets and set them off from the top terrace of nearly Terrazza!  He sure got some good ones.  Our view from our porch put us right in the middle of all the noise, smoke and excitement and we loved every minute!  His fireworks were so close we could have almost reached out and touched them!

To add to Cuenca's party night, there was loud music all day, intensifying around 10pm and didn't slow down until the wee hours.  Happy, joyful, dancing music!  We could imagine everyone dancing and celebrating most the night.  We thought everyone would be sleeping in New Year's Day, but the music started in again at 5am for awhile.  Someone was up early, besides us!

There is always something hopeful about a New Year.  We already have several confirmed bookings for our rentals for 2012 and our blog readership statistics have sky rocketed in the last few weeks!  We think it's because many of our readers have big plans for the New Year!  Most of the off-blog notes from our readers are hopeful and excited for a new life here, a new beginning.  We applaud your enthusiasm, hopefulness and sense of adventure!  (We're always happy to check available dates for you at our rentals, if you're headed our way.  Just send us an email.)

Our readership is still well over half from the US, but we've been picking up blog readers from around the globe, big-time.  In 2011, readers from105 different countries read our blog.  We're still amazed and delighted! that our silly little blog is helpful, informative and fun for all readers.  It's well beyond the initial intent of just keeping in touch with our small circle of family and friends way back in 2007, where this blog begins.  For our story, you can go back in the blog or seach it for key topics.  But, keep reading everything you can find on the internet as you decide if Ecuador is right for you...a ton of good info out there!

We are so hopeful for the New Year.  Not that 2011 was a bad year, far from it.  No regrets.  Looking forward to 2012!  This year, thankfully, we don't have the New Year resolutions we've had in past years...visit Ecuador and sell the ranch in 2008,
move to Cuenca in 2009...  We want 2012 to be more of a continuation of more fun!  We'll be working more on our Spanish (seems like a never-ending task for our old brains!), taking more trips, continuing our walks around the City and enjoying our friends who have become our 'family' here.  As one of friends always says...Life is Sweet!

We wish everyone a Very Happy New Year, full of love, peace and happiness.
And New Beginnings!

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

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