The Southerner and I decided to ditch our Sarasota plans (in other words, we waited until the last-minute and all of the hotels in Sarasota were booked) and stay in St Pete for New Years.  Our last two New Years have been pretty crazy. Especially last year’s where we ended up in the back of a stranger’s van, wedged in between refrigerator parts, because we couldn’t find a taxi and convinced this stranger to take us home for forty bucks.  We now look back on that decision with a mixture of  embarrassment and horror.

Turns out our New Years cab problems did not end in New Orleans. Last night, after waiting for forty-five minutes we learned that no cabs were actually servicing our area so we quickly made an executive decision to pour our drinks in to-go cups and ride our bikes downtown.

I’ve ridden my bike in heels before, but last night was exceptional.  I actually had some French women stop me on the street and commend me for my bravery.  I made it two miles without spilling a drop of wine.

We parked our bikes by the park in downtown St Pete and joined the hordes of other Floridians enjoying the 75 degree weather and spectacular views off the pier.  On our walk, we stopped to fill out notecards with our wishes for 2012 and pin them to a wishing tree.  This kind of shit always makes me emotional and super happy.  I loved that someone in downtown St Pete had taken the time to create the tree and put out notecards and pens for everyone.

We ate dinner at the first restaurant we walked into.  A six-course dinner with a bottle of champagne at a little table on the sidewalk and no one bitched about us smoking.  There are moments with the Southerner when time completely stops and it’s just the two of us.  Moments where I know that life with this person will always be exciting and whole.

After dinner we rode our bikes back home, had an hour-long conversation about AK-47s and the end of the world, and waited for the beginning of 2012.  At 11:50 p.m. we got back on our backs armed with a shitload of fireworks and alcohol (I just realized how dangerous that sentence sounds) and headed to the bay by our house.  At 12:00 p.m., after a mini make-out session, I put my head on the Southerner’s shoulder and watched the amazing fireworks display put on by the city of St Pete.  After it was over, I made sure to tell the Southerner that his fireworks were better.

2012, day one: so far you’re the tops.

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