Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Very Palatial New Years

New Years Eve .... A Continuation

I walked through the spacious grounds to enter a grand mansion, former home of the Russian Embassy. The original structure, built in 1776, is the same year the United States became an independent nation. Amazing to think of it that way.

The estate had three levels, with terraces upon terraces, and a pool. Inside, the tiles were handpainted yellow and blue, very Spanish, with Morrish chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

Varieties of eye candy wandered around as did many expats and Argies who spoke English.

At midnight, a Champagne toast, of course, to the New Year. I felt a little teary thinking of the coming year .... the hope of it being better than the last four making me feel whistful and sad. The last four years of my life have included a divorce, a job layoff, the loss of a home, death of beloved pets and my son leaving home for college.

"Up to the roof!" said someone as the fireworks began in earnest. We climbed up a narrow ladder to see the whole of Buenos Aires lit up with fireworks in dozens of locations. "There will be a lot of people in the emergency rooms tonight," remarked someone, the fireworks being of the do-it-yourself variety.

A full moon, a blue moon, to be exact, complemented the magical night sky. A Brazilian thing went whirring by .... it wasn't exactly a firework, but an orange paper lantern lit up inside with a candle, a rather errie site. A palm tree caught on fire below us.

Behind the mansion, a man stood on his roof and waved to me. I waved back. He blew kisses. I blew kisses back.

"You've still got it," commented the home's owner.
"Yeh, right," I replied. "It was so dark I could have been a man in drag."

Dear Reader, after the fireworks stopped booming and popping, we guests danced the night away in an elegant great room--all ages and every type of music--until early morning.

When I arrived home at 4:30 the house across the street was still rocking!

At home, in Minnesota, New Years would have been quiet and cold ... people staying off the roads in fear of drunk drivers, and ensconced in front of the television with some California Champagne and a bag of chips. I would probably have been alone.

This New Years will be one to remember into my dotage.

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