Guess what’s now crossed off my bucket list?!
Watching the Times Square Ball Drop live on New Year’s Eve!
Watching the Ball Drop in person wasn’t actually on my list. The thought of being squished in a giant crowd is not my cup of tea. Every year as I watch the Ball Drop on t.v, I wonder why anyone would want to wait for hours on end to be in Times Square whether it’s clear, raining or snowing. To confirm that this was not something I ever wanted to do, I found myself in Times Square a bunch of year ago at the end of December. Cousins and our daughters got together to see a matinee and, though I’m not claustrophobic, I couldn’t get out of the packed-with-people streets fast enough. Hubby and I agreed that the only way we’d go to Manhattan on New Year’s Eve was if we had reservations at a restaurant near the festivities. This year, an opportunity came up.
Hubby found a promotion through United Airlines Mileage Plus and Visa Lifestyle Events–heavy hors d’oeuvres, open bar, dancing, and more at Charlie Palmer Steak. We stayed overnight at the beautifully appointed Conrad hotel. United Airlines threw in an Uber credit. We booked it!
On December 31, 2022, we drove into the city and passed thousands of people waiting in line. Security in the area was intense, so we had to show our hotel confirmation and restaurant reservations to be allowed through metal barriers.
We finally joined the New Year’s Eve party at Charlie Palmer’s where the restaurant was decked out in a 1920’s themes, flappers danced along with the guests, a woman performed acrobatics on an aerial ring, blackjack tables were bustling (people played for fun, not real winnings), a line formed to take photos at the photo booth, friendly people were ready to welcome in a new year, and there were even swag bags.
About 11:40 pm, the entire restaurant–patrons and the event and kitchen and staff–emptied into the closed-off street. There was the ball! We counted down from 10 to 1. Fireworks erupted immediately after. It was very exciting!
Hon, wishing you unexpected opportunities and happy surprises in 2023!