Up until about three weeks before Nate arrived, we had no idea where we were going to go for New Year’s Eve. We had entertained the idea of Paris, thinking it would be very romantic and such, but since airfare had already skyrocketed out of our price range we started looking at other options. I found a video of London’s NYE fireworks on YouTube and immediately sent the link to Nate and told him that this was where we needed to go. We planned our whole trip to London around this fireworks display, and it definitely wasn’t a mistake.
On the evening of the 31st, we arrived at one of the viewing areas around 6:30pm. That’s right: five and half hours before the display was to begin. And there were already thousands of people there when we arrived. We found a grocery store and loaded up on snacks to tide us over for the rest of the evening and began scouting for a good spot along the River Thames. Once we had found an area whose view wouldn’t be obscured by tree branches, our strategy was to slowly and subtly work our way forward. We spent the first two hours or so playing 20 Questions (not surprisingly, Nate is reeeeeally good at this game), and then when I realized that my bladder was on the verge of bursting and there were still nearly three hours before the fireworks started, I began doing what I’m best at: whining. (Just kidding. Whining is just one of the many things I’m able to do very adroitly.) It was raining and my feet were exhausted from walking around all day and I just wanted to watch the pretty fireworks and then go to sleep, okay? Luckily for me, Nate not only maintains a positive outlook in most situations like that’s the natural thing to do, but he also refrains from telling me to shut up when I’m being a wah-wah baby. He’s eligible for sainthood any day now, I expect. All of which is to say: once those fireworks started bursting, it was all worth it.
It was truly one of the most magical things I’ve ever seen. When I think about it know, I think about how I was looking up at millions of dollars worth of explosives erupting over the River Thames, but in the moment, it was like a dream: everything in the sky was colors and light and movement and bursting, and it was beautiful. Even without an immortal YouTube video, I don’t think I’d ever be able to forget those fireworks, and I’m convinced that I will never see another New Year’s Eve fireworks display that can surpass London.
Nate and I took several dreamy stills with our phones:
It was the happiest New Year I can remember, and it was the perfect end to a perfect trip.