A New Year Celebration to Remember
How I had the night of my life for under $35
Perhaps I have never been (or had the desire to be) exposed to experiences one would qualify as "partying it up," however, according to my standards, that's precisely what I did last night. Leah, Elley, Becca, and I went to downtown Grand Rapids for the annual countdown and dropping of the ball. We came to the general agreement that the experience was just an overwhelmingly heartening beginning to the upcoming year, filled with memories we will not soon forget.
We made it an all day event. Starting after a hot bowl of soup, we did Elley's hair and makeup and set out to Plato's Closet in Grandville in search of dresses for our ladies' night out. Against the employee's wishes, we ended up huddled in one fitting room along with almost two dozen dresses. We each purchased a suitable dress ($14) and headed to the mall for a belt. We ended up cutting our time rather close. We only had 30 minutes before our dinner reservations at the Rockwell Republic, and we had no idea how to get there. We frantically changed in the nursing area of the women's bathroom, forgot the belt, and bolted out of Macy's with an overstuffed backpack and a handfuls of the jeans and shirts we changed out of. Apparently, we didn't look like the shoplifters we felt.
Miraculously, we made it to the Rockwell almost on time without too much trouble. The restaurant was--well--classy, but not
satisfying for those without deep pockets. Regardless, we had a great time. Elley and I had sushi; a good choice ($10 with tip included).
After our frugal feast, we headed deeper into the heart of GR. Fortunately, after I drove the wrong way down a one-way street, we found free parking not that far away from Biggby, where we filled our bellies with grande cups of doctored up coffee (less than $5), which is always a great alternative when it's the last day before you start your new year's healthy resolutions and you're hungry and in need of energy.
When the visit to the over-crowded coffee bistro was completed, we found ourselves with 4 hours to kill. We decided to check out the Gerald R. Ford's Museum of Art. It costs $5 to get in. As it was far too dark and cold to take pictures outside, we set ourselves to capturing kodak moments with the art. We became quite creative ourselves.
Finally, after much laughing, joke-making, and picture-taking, we headed outside to endure the long 2 and 1/2 hour wait for midnight's arrival. After enjoying singing and dancing along to some mainstream favorites, we endured over an hour of "The Romantics," a band local to Grand Rapids. It might be possible this group of old men were appreciated in the 80's, 30 years ago, but they certainly weren't yesterday. Not even the drunk people liked them. Just when we thought we couldn't handle one more song, the countdown was already upon us. The crowd joined in reciting the last seconds of 2011 together. The clock turned. There was shouting, streamers, and confetti. Suddenly everyone wanted to leave at once and the new year was upon us.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, and the creation of my year-long blog. The only resolution I have resolved to actually keep.