Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Years 2010

From New Years 2010

New Years 2010 will never be forgotten in my mind. Not only was it my first New Years spent with Lyosha, it was also my first spent in the snow.

From the moment New Years holiday was mentioned for the first time by Lyosha, it was made clear to me that it would be spent in the snow, most likely in Tahoe. I did not object to this suggestion because I thought it would be romantic, and I also wanted to be involved with anything which could help me to better understand the culture from which my new beau had emerged. A couple of weeks before New Years our sleeping plans were decidedly changed after an eventful weekend at the original cabin of choice. After working out monetary details with 2 of my roommates, we all finally decided to book a hotel for 2 nights in South Lake Tahoe. As I said before, I have never been to Tahoe for New Years, so the location of the hotel was mainly decided by my roommates and the proximity to the casinos. We ended up taking two separate cars to Tahoe after there was a horrible confusion with our original plans to rent an SUV, but in the end it worked out for the best.

On December 31, 2009 Lyosha and I arrived in chilly Tahoe and checked in to our hotel before my roommates showed up. The room wasn't glamorous, but it was comfortable and it was warm. Also, with a little help from some Christmas lights, the room quickly became quite festive so I could not complain. The beds were not big, but at least there were 2 of them and Lyosha and I certainly did not mind cuddling.

After my roommates arrived nearly 2 hours after Alyosha and I, we immediately began mixing drinks and getting ready for the big night. All 3 of us ladies somehow managed to match very well, all wearing black and silver dresses. Kory brought "Happy New Year" crowns for all of us (including Lyosha), which we wore throughout the night and helped us to keep an eye out for each other in big crowds.

After a few hours of makeup, changing shoes, drinking and laughing, we were ready to venture out into the snow. Luckily, before heading outside, Lyosha persuaded us girls that we needed to wear jackets, which we were all very thankful for after less than 1 minute of shivering in our tiny outfits. We could not book a taxi, so after standing in front of our hotel for 20 minutes with our thumbs in the air and being repeatedly disappointed by cars full of men honking as they drove past, we decided to walk.

Typically on New Years, I am with my family or my closest friends and we try to stay home away from the cold. I have never lived in the snow, so the type of cold that I was experiencing last weekend was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. My favorite celebrations in the past always consisted of family, lots of champagne and other festive alcoholic drinks, fireworks, watching the ball drop in Times Square on ABC, mistletoe, huge amounts of delicious food, and New Years resolutions. I have also been to big parties in college, but they are not nearly as interesting as small ones with my closest family and friends.

Arms linked, the 4 of us marched forward, trying to drown out the freezing cold temperatures and the immature suggestions shouted out by cars full of American pigs. After a few minutes I became immune to the cold and my body efficiently built up a numbness which shielded me from the torture. The icy sidewalks were less than ideal for our heels, but this we also grew used to over time. We didn't know exactly where we were going, but we didn't know of any Russian parties in the area either, so we figured we would find some Russians among the crowds in the casinos and make plans from there. Finally, after about 20 minutes of walking, we spotted the casinos. We had to plow through fences of security guards, but after they let us through we had the heart of Tahoe at our feet.

I have never been too fond of casinos. First of all, I HATE the smell of smoke, and second, I hate being surrounded by people who waste their life savings on stupid machines or card tables with tempting dealers in sexy bikinis trying to lure in pitiful, unsuspecting men. Call me practical, but isn't working a normal job a much more satisfying way to earn money?

After just a few minutes in one casino, I was already starting to feel my disappointment set in. I thought it would be interesting to spend New Years in a different setting than usual, but after all was said and done, I would have much rather preferred staying home with friends and doing the same types of things I do every year.

After a couple of hours spent walking around, we finally ended up in the first casino where we had started. My roommates found two dance partners and Lyosha and I went in search of some champagne for the midnight toast. With just 15 minutes before the clock struck 12, Lyosha and I finally gave up on the champagne because every bar had at least 50 people waiting in front of us. At midnight, however, champagne was the last thing on my mind as Lyosha and I danced and embraced each other as we brought in the new year with a passionate kiss. I cannot explain how proud I was to have him standing in front of me and holding me the way a man should hold his girl, as though he was proud of me as well.

As the romance of the moment wore off, Kory and Melaney went back to dancing and Lyosha and I decided that we needed to breathe something other than smoke for a while. It was freezing outside in the snow, but the cold seemed more bearable when compared to Nicotine swamped air.

After a few minutes we decided to go back and find my roommates, but when we could not spot them on the dance floor, we decided to head back to the hotel by ourselves. We did not make much attempt to flag down a taxi because we assumed it would take just as much time standing around as it would to just walk again. In no time at all, we were back in our hotel and the first thing I did was remove my shoes and dress. Lyosha tried to thaw out my ears and my hands with his warm skin, but in the end I still needed to take a warm shower to warm my body completely. We had tea and he made sandwiches for us, which settled perfectly in my empty tummy. After a few unanswered phone calls and text messages to my roommates, Lyosha and I finally decided to go to sleep.

As far as I am concerned, this is where New Years ended for me because the rest of the night was a disaster which will only be remembered as a nightmare for me. No one got hurt, but I have never felt that worried in my life and I can't remember a time when I have gone without that much sleep before. I still love my roommates, but I was very unhappy with them that night. We all left the next day after canceling our second night at the hotel, and New Years 2010 will never be forgotten. Hopefully 2011 will give me a real Russian celebration!

Peace ya'll!


Ulik said...

Hey! Why did you change your plans of spending NY with Leva and Oleg? I've been waiting your pictures in that booked big house.. And some beautiful Tahoe views and you together skiing...
But nevertheless you met this year with snow, you're brave girl!
P.S.: I desperately want your red-hair picture!! =)

Ulik said...

Actually, it wasn't the Russian way of New Year (except snow). Here it is: First of all, we belive that New Year is a "family holiday", so you should meet it with your family at home. You cook huge bowls of salads, prepare champaign and Bengal lights, take off a chicken from an oven and listen the president speech on TV =) You may stay for an hour after 0:00 with you relatives and after that you drive to your friends' place. And till the morning you drink, dance, let off fireworks (!) and enjoy ice-hills outside =)

Julie said...

Ah it is a long story about why we changed our plans with Leva and Oleg...basically Lyosha is tired of depending on others, so we wanted to stay independent from them :)

I would have much rather preferred your typical New Years over the one we experienced last weekend! Sounds much more fun!

I was going to ask Lyosha to take pictures of my hair this weekend as a memento before I change it back to blonde, so I will definitely show you :)

Ulik said...

..and I forgot to say that it was minus 36F outside, so if you ever decide to have a real Russian NY celebration you definitely should have some warm clothes. As I was wearing a short black dress our friends provide me a heavy trousers and a boots to enjoy fireworks outside, so I looked like a snow-woman =)

Julie said...

Oi! -36 is significantly colder than it was in Tahoe... I was unhappy about having to wear just one jacket that night, but I'm sure I would have had to wear even more than you in that weather! You are a brave girl :) I don't think I would have even tried to go outside at all...

p.s. I did not see ANY fireworks in Tahoe! It was an all-around crappy New Year :(