NYE 2015 in Costa Rica
They say that the morning shows the day, and if you draw parallels, the things that happen in New Years’ Eve and January 1st are the things that are going to decide your fate for the entire year. Having that semi-superstitious thought-process drive the decision making for the NYE, we struggle every year to make any solid plans for the evening. Should we spend the evening drinking and splurging in lavish night clubs, or the evening be spent in the country-side watching stars glimmer, or even invite friends over and have quite a ball while watching the ‘ball’ drop at the stroke of midnight?
Well, even in a tight yet well planned schedule in Costa Rica, we failed to come to a decision about NYE until the time finally came to drop the mic. Costa Ricans typically spend NYE with their families and therefore most restaurants and pubs stay closed for the evening. The handful of bars serving mostly foreign tourists and some upscale young folk, require reservations and a hefty fee to get on their list (which requires advanced planning which we did not have, which meant we were out of options).
Our hotel, Sheraton Escazu, were having a couple of events in the premises involving buffet dinners, traditional rituals, and some bar stuff. The party at the rooftop with an expansive view of the valley would have been a great option, but the price-point at $180 p.p. and our early morning agendas, hindered the needle to leaning that way. To be honest, the lounge setting upstairs with additional incentives for SPG Elites was alluring. But after a palatial dinner in a local Indian Restaurant (which was also a precious commodity in the country), we settled for something we had never done in a NYE.
It was T-1 hour. We grabbed a couple of wine bottles and glasses from the restaurant!
And the night got started by turning off the lights (wait this is all censored content) in the room and sitting by the 8th floor french windows looking over the central valley with the volcanic mountains in the far background. There were stars whose lights were gleaming off-focus and started getting blurry every minute. Was it the wine? Slumber?
No, we realized, it was the fireworks that got started by some rampant teenager at the upper valleys that broke the romance of stargazing. It was way before midnight and we were not even through the first bottle of the Chilean Malbec. We didn’t even have our thoughts and wishes ready for welcoming the new year yet. In the last two weeks, we went from expensive boutique hotels, five star dining, romantic spas to minimalistic eco-lodges, roadside sodas and rustic public transport. It takes a lifetime to cover this gamut. Let’s get the mind straightened coming out of the fond memories here, we told ourselves, and focus on what we want to achieve in 2016. More gym, less carb, longer focus, fewer smokes and other over-the-top wishes later, some bell tower nearby announced its first strike of the new year.
First there was just one palm exploding in the dark sky painting an effervescent palm tree. Then there were five. Then it was a hundred or more aerial fireworks bursting into spheres, colored sparks, shining trails, clusters, horsetails, all around the valley. Even the tiny villages up in the hills chimed in. We pointed each other to look at a multitude of directions lest they missed out on the best pyrotechniques on display.
Excited and overwhelmed each of us looked for a shooting-star far out in the sky above the ghostly mountains, to say the last minute wishes silently, probably wishing for a good health and prosperity in the entire year to come. The clock started moving slower as the fireworks tired, and the smoky haze rose up to fill the valley. Two hands clasped together in desperation to make the wish, and darkness slowly creeped back in. The empty wine bottle tumbled to ground. The silhouette of two figures casted a thin shadow on the floor-to-ceiling window. And they kissed! Welcome 2016.