It’s a funny thing because I suspect if one chooses to get married on May 13, nobody has anything to say about it. But holy potatoes if you decide to get married on January 1 EVERYONE and their dog has an opinion. Good? Bad? Expensive? Convenient? There were a few people who suggested we should get married on December 31 – New Year’s Eve. And the award for the stupidest reason goes to the tuxedo rental guy who thought switching the date to Dec 31 would allow Mike and I to benefit from a break on our 2009 income taxes. How romantic.
No we stuck with our original plan – and forfeited potential tax cuts for 2009, at least – so that we could spend the first day of 2010 becoming husband and wife. And in doing that, we could spend the last day of 2009, doing this… (see below!)
Look at all these happy smiley people! We all joined up at Oh Pino Bistro on Avenue Cartier on Dec 31 for an AMAZING 5 course meal deliciously prepared by Chef Phillipe Richards. I worked with the restaurant owner Mario Audet prior to Dec 31 to ensure this meal was divine. And it was. Oh my the presentation was so beautiful but the food was incredibly tasty. I had spent months scouring potential locations for our New Year’s Eve meal. I wanted to find a local gem not just some tourist hot-spot. Well wasn’t I just tickled pink when the site coordinator at Chateau Frontenac told me that my choice was so impressive. She knows Oh Pino quite well (living not far from Av Cartier) and said she is so pleased when visitors to Quebec City move beyond Vieux Quebec to experience the local favourites. Yay!
In the far right photo, stands Mario (the owner), Jeremy (our server) and Phillipe (the chef). We applauded and praised the three of them and the rest of the Oh Pino team for such a memorable evening. By 11:30pm, we had just enough time to cab or briskly walk it to Grande Allee. That was where the New Year’s Eve countdown was taking place.
What an experience! It was PACKED. So much so that those of us who walked got stranded on one end of Grande Allee and those that cabbed were stuck at the other end. That was ok because we all cozied up together and moved through the crowd like the BLOB. Stepping on the toes of plenty of Quebecois who were equally friendly as they were drunk. We got half way to Grande Allee and then it was time for the COUNTDOWN.
Dix, neuf, huit, sept, six, cinq, quatre, trois, deux, un… Bonne Annee!
Can you see the fireworks in the background of the top-middle photo? There was an amazing display above the Plains of Abraham. Of course, instead of Auld Lang Syne everyone sang a famous French Canadian folk song (the name of which I cannot remember!) We all hugged, wished each other a Happy New Year, snapped photos in front of the BIG 2010 and then….it was over. Everyone started to disappear. Some probably went to party at the clubs which line Grande Allee and others likely started their trip home. We gathered for champagne at the Chateau Laurier. Some bubbly and full bellies was a great way to start 2010.
Mike and I were overjoyed to be able to spend the eve before our wedding with friends and family ringing in a New Year full of love, promise and adventure. And one of the most exciting treasures is this little secret Mike shared with me. He said: “What no one realizes except those who get married on January 1 is that at the turn of the New Year and the first second of our anniversary, I will already be kissing my wife.”