Saturday, December 31, 2011
So this is the New Year...and I don't feel any different
The words in the title of this post are from the Death Cab For Cutie song New Year, and it's one of my favorite tunes of theirs. But this year, I do feel different. 2012 will be unlike any other year in my life and the lives of Annie and the kids. We spent the final day of 2011 exploring the streets of Auckland, searching for a good vantage point to watch the fireworks that evening and looking for gifts the kids could get each other for Christmas since the shopping was sparse in the Fijian village we stayed in for the first two weeks of our trip, Savusavu. Our hunger had us searching first for a place to eat, but with the holidays on, many places we wanted to go to were closed. Along the way, Ben was thrilled to see an Audi R8 stopped at a stop light, which he excitedly pointed out to the rest of us.
After a successful stop for lunch, it was back out on to the streets of Auckland, hitting some shops as we tried to find something that Ben and Marley could give each other. Marley is fairly easy to shop for, and Ben found something pretty quickly for her, while Marley and I struggled to find the appropriate purchase for him. The search continued, and during the course of the search, we came across a travel ad that caught the eyes of these world travelers. We'll be looking for a surgeon to remove the extra set of legs emerging from Marley's skull.
As midnight approached in Auckland, we hit the streets about forty five minutes before the fireworks were scheduled to go off. The preceding hours had seen some low clouds obscure the top of the Sky Tower, raising concern about how much of the fireworks display we would be able to see. Bad weather at the southern end of the North Island forced the cancellation of fireworks in Wellington, but the show went on in Auckland. The flow of the crowds took us down Queen Street to the intersection with Victoria, where the streets were blocked off and filled with people as the anticipation grew.
The clock struck twelve and the fireworks show began, with the appropriate oohs and aahs from the crowd, which considering its' size and the late hour, was well-behaved.
I was getting some natural sound (natso in broadcasting lingo) for my pieces for ABC and after obtaining enough of that, I headed back to the apartment with Ben in tow as he wanted to escape the throngs. Annie and Marley remained behind for the rest of what turned out to be a short, and somewhat disappointing show, especially compared to what we see each Labor Day in our hometown of Cincinnati.
I got back to our apartment and edited down some of the sound I had gotten and filed some of it with ABC from the Auckland bureau.
ABC didn't use as much of my filings as I had hoped, but some of that had to do with the tight time restrictions and the fact that the story repeated itself around the world as the new year marched to the west. But I have established a relationship with them, and hope to be able to file more stories as our journey continues.
Later in the Death Cab song New Year, Ben Gibbard sings: "I wish the world was flat like the old days, Then I could travel just by folding a map. No more airplanes, or speed trains, or freeways. There'd be no distance that could hold us back." I guess that's my hope for 2012 for me and my family as we continue our trek, that no distance is so large that we are unable to reach our desired destinations, and that the distances we are from friends and family aren't too great from us feeling close to them and keeping in touch.