It often seems that life’s most memorable moments are unplanned. Case in point: New Year’s Eve — last night.
The condo next to ours is owned by a large Mexican family. Most of them live in Guadalajara; they come here to Puerto Vallarta and Los Tules (often) to vacation. Last night, it seems as if they were all here — thirty-five happy people, laughing, loving, and toasting their good fortune.
It was our good fortune to be invited to their celebration — the only non-family members, two gringos embraced by Mexican hospitality.
Following our ritual watching of Love Actually, we walked the five feet to our neighbors’ patio. Caterers had been hired: a rack of lamb on a vertical spit scented the air.
Something else was in the air: sky lanterns, a Mexican New Year’s tradition. Our neighbors offered one to us, we wrote our wishes on it, lit the fire, and turned it loose. It joined scores of others, drifting and bobbing like fireflies over the bay.
Tacos were served amid a sea of happy Mexican chatter. Beverages were consumed (lots). Someone cued up some Mariachi. Tres Leches Cake for dessert.
Midnight. We all walked to the water’s edge and looked south toward the city. The fireworks lasted half an hour. The shrieks of delight continued for most of the night.
The movie was our only plan. The happy company, the sky lanterns, the tacos, and the fireworks with friends were as unexpected as the first bite of Tres Leches Cake. But that has been our life for the past nine months: unplanned, infinitely rewarding, and brimming with new friends — generous, kind, and nonpareil. If the wish that we floated into the sky last night comes true, 2014 will be more of the same, for us and for all those we know.
Hapy New Year, everyone!
What a great way to start the New Year 2014 !!
I hope the rest of your year 2014 will be just as much fun as the year 2013 for you !!
The Frisky Geezer said:
Thanks, Mapi. That’s our plan!
Marcia Boyd said:
Happy 2014 Tom and Louise !!! may it be a wonderful year for you both ! look forward to following your travels into the new year –
Well Marcia, since you’re due to visit us here not long from now, you’ll be able to follow those travels up close.
Anita Blanchard said:
Happy New Year from the Blanchard’s. Happy continued adventures as well.
Chris Flavin said:
Happy New Year Tom and Louise. By leaving room in life for the unexpected, we are open to more and can embrace it warmly. I so appreciate your observations and insight. Thank you now and always.
Thanks and Happy New Year, Anita and Chris! And yes, Chris, the unexpected often brings life’s greatest rewards.Our lives these past nine months have been nothing but one long strip of flypaper for the unexpected, and we don’t regret one minute (inch?) of it.
Christine, you are so good to read and appreciate. Thank you.
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Ginger Manley said:
I’m jealous! What a wonderful beginning to the new year!
Well, Ginger, it WAS a wonderful beginning to the new year. We smile knowing that somewhere out in the Pacific there’s a sky lantern worth our names on it.
Tom and Louise, what a magical New Year’s Eve celebration. And you watch Love Actually – we do too! December 31 is my birthday, so we’re always celebrating, but yours just sounds so wonderfully serendipitous! Happy New Year to you. May 2014 bring more many more adventures. All the best, Terri & James
This year Love Actually was watched on an 8-inch screen with sound reinforcement provided by a VW bus. It’s a long story but the (impossibly-expensive-in-Mexico) champagne made it all seem normal somehow. The next of the New Year to you both!
Mexico is a great place for vacation. Whether it is a family vacation or romantic getaway, Mexico is a great destination.