This year for New Year's Eve, we decided to go the party route. Since this was such a difficult year, it seemed the best way to ring in 2009 and the hopes of a better year was to party in a big way. We also decided to combine our New Year's Eve celebration with our travel plans. So, we booked tickets at the James Bond New Year's Eve Gala.
Since my Christmas Eve illness knocked me out so badly, we decided to erase Atlantic City from our Christmas trip, and therefore, our trip would begin on January 31st. The first stop would be Washington DC.
We left around 8:30 am, and knew we needed to be at our hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, which was also the party venue, by 7:30 pm.
Of course, this is what we found when we walked out the door that morning:
The snow was coming down really hard, and by the time we reached the Merrit Parkway, it looked like this:
The driving was extremely slow, and the snow was coming down like mad. It started to look like we might be extraordinarily late for the party. It turned out that the snow stopped in northern New Jersey, and by southern Jersey, the sun was out. Here are some pictures from the ride down to VA.
The ride took us through New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, and into Virginia. Despite the incorrect setting on my dad's GPS, which was set to avoid highways, we had some wonderful views of Baltimore's Ravens Stadium and Camden Yards. Also, a beautiful thing about the east coast of the US is the relatively small size of the states, you can get quite a few under your belt in a few hours.
The trip took about 6 hours, including the snow at the beginning, and the rest stops. The hotel, Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, was quite nice. Joern was a bit disappointed though that we did not have a room on a higher floor, which would have provided an excellent view of Washington DC.
We had a little time to prepare for the party, which was held in the various ballrooms of the hotel. Obviously, it was a hit with the boys, who were already trying out their James Bond poses before we left the room.
The party itself was set up to represent the various James Bond locations, inclusive of food and music from each location. We started in the Latin America & Caribbean room. Because we were there just as the party had started, the room was pretty quiet, but we enjoyed the atmosphere.
From there, we were off to India. The room was loud, Bollywood hits were pumping from the speakers, and the food was all so delicious! We were even treated to a performance by belly dancers!!
Next stop was Iceland, which lived up to its reputation, icy cool. The lighting in the room was a cool blue, the music and dancing were in full, and the bar had plenty of cool libations for all. We all had fun posing by the ice sculptures!
England, MI6 London, entertained with big band sounds, a buffet including roast beef and cheddar cheese, and lots of James Bond scenes on the big screens.
The lower lobby was transformed into a casino, representing Montenegro's Casino Royale. Marcel was excited to get in on the action.
And of course, I can't forget the famous faces that showed up!
I have to admit, the party was incredibly fun! It was such a special and unique way to start off the new year. I don't know what we'll be up to next New Year's Eve, but we ushered in 2009 in a way we won't soon forget!