a new year

I'm still getting accustomed to writing more consistently, since it's been over a month since my last post, but I'm trying here. The past three weeks have been pretty crazy, visiting London, Leiden, Paris, and Rome, but now I'm back in Florence. It was strange because my first thought after getting off the train was, "It's good to be home." After being away, the city had a familiarity to it, I knew where to go without staring at a map, asking a stranger, or just staring up hopelessly trying to find my bearings. I stopped at one of my favorite bars to grab a panino, the first time I came there was on my way back from Cinque Terre in the pouring rain. I was wet, I looked miserable and I hadn't eaten in far too long, it must have been all over my face because when I walked in, the owner took one look at me and plated the biggest panino on the counter. Ever since then, I guess you could call it a tradition, I stop by when I return home. 

The previous night's New Year celebration was still ringing in my head, and what a celebration it was. I thought it would be a cool idea for me to head down to the Colosseum when the clock hit midnight, I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. So I headed down with a friend, she was letting me stay with her while I was in Rome, her place was less than a five minute walk from the magnificent structure.  Fireworks in the throngs of people were being set off left and right before the main event. Music was blaring and a DJ was furiously spinning his turntables, but in true European fashion, no one really knew how to dance, but that's alright. We made it on top of a ridge overlooking a courtyard and saw thousands, of people all cheering, drinking and holding each other in festivity. It's as if the Colosseum had an effect on the crowds, sending them back to their primal roots in raw ecstasy, it may as well have been the celebration after a gladiator fight.

I could feel the fireworks I had bought earlier that day bouncing around in my pocket as we made our way down to join the masses. I had planned on setting them off in the new year, but the 12 year old side of me just couldn't wait any longer. I whipped out a roman candle (how appropriate) and lit it right where I stood. Everyone stepped back, and the initial panic of a lit fuse in the middle of a crowd of people, was overcome by cheers and high fives as colored sparks shot up into the sky. The more enterprising Romans were selling champagne, a temptation that I fell into. I feel as if I redeemed myself, however, when I bargained them down from 10 euros to 7 and a half. Bottle in hand, we pushed back the tumultuous group of bodies until we arrived at what can only be described as the best seat in the house. We found a boulder shamefully unused in the middle of the courtyard, with a perfect view of the countdown projected with lasers onto the side of the Colosseum (who thinks of this stuff?), as well as where the fireworks. Journalists weaved throughout the crowds, all vying for that perfect shot. Standing on top of the rock, with a bottle of champagne, we drew the attention of several cameras. I'm still scouring the internet in hopes of finding one of them. 

Before we knew it the countdown had begun, and everyone's attention turned to the giant green numbers, as the yelled them out at the top of their lungs, in English oddly enough.

5...4...3...2..1...HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The sky exploded in a dazzling display of, booms, cracks, sizzles, as all manners of sounds and colors filled the air. Celebratory kisses and flashing cameras permeated the mass of people, followed by screams of joy and of course, more fireworks. 

As far a resolutions go, I've never been a huge fan of trying to trick yourself into changing when you really don't want to, but cynicism aside... Happy new year to everyone!