Friday, January 6, 2012

The best New Years Eve I ever had!

About half a week before New Years I realized that I had nothing planned, yet didn't work. I quickly did a search for fun things to do in Utah and found that most of the events were in Salt Lake City. I searched for hotels in the Salt Lake area and came up with only one hotel that wasn't sold out, the Residence Inn near the SLC airport. That was the first stroke of luck in a weekend filled with lucky moments. 

Saturday I surprised Steven with my plans and we headed for Salt Lake. My brother and his wife had sent us a gift card to Red Robin for Christmas and we stopped in West Valley to have an AMAZING meal! Because we were still outside of Salt Lake there was no wait time and we had a cozy corner booth. Dinner was fantastic and we were back on the road to our hotel by 7. 

We checked into our gorgeous hotel, just ten minutes from downtown Salt Lake and decided that we would drive into the city and check out exhibits at the Clark Planetarium. 

We ended up getting FREE parking, and saw lots of FREE attractions at the Planetarium. We learned a lot about the planets and the solar system. It was fun AND educational! 
We walked out of the planetarium around 10:30. Since we still had an hour and a half before midnight, I suggested we walk up to the Melting Pot and try to get some chocolate fondue. 

The next luckiest moment of the night came when we walked into the melting pot at 10.:59 and got seated RIGHT before they locked the doors. Awesome!!

Here we are waiting for our chocolate fondue! 
We chose to try the S'mores one that comes with marshmallow creme and graham-cracker crumbles!

Here it is---well, the last of it. :) 

We saved the cheesecake for last and smothered it with the left-over chocolate!

A nice man stopped and took a picture for us. Another lucky moment!

We left the melting pot at a quarter to midnight and ran up the few blocks towards West Temple where they would be shooting off the fireworks. There were other people running that way, but it was pretty quiet. We kept checking our watches, and it seemed like it was pretty close to midnight.

All of a sudden, all of the Christmas lights that were lining the street went off, and every one of the streetlights and electric signs started flashing and this ground-shaking deafening burst of sound went off just a block away! Boom boom boom boom!! One blast after another!! IT WAS CRAZY!!!

At first we couldn't see the fireworks, but we could see their reflection in the windows off all the tall buildings around us. We ran across the street, cars honking everywhere, and we saw them! Beautiful explosions of color across the sky! YAAAAYYYYY! ps. I LOVE fireworks.
Everyone was hugging and kissing and shouting-it was glorious!

Crappy picture, but their are fireworks behind us!

It was such a great magical moment! The fireworks went on for a decent amount of time, and when they had finally stopped their was a great cheer and shouts of "Happy New Year!" all around us. 
We headed back towards our car, parked about 6 blocks away, and were able to pass right through the mass of people that had been on the other side of the buildings where the fireworks went off. I was in heaven. I love crowds! It was so reminiscent of New York City with the big buildings and happy drunk people stumbling around in funny hats and crazy outfits. :D haha. Yay! I was grinning the whole way. 

On the walk back I called my parents to wish them a Happy New Year. We also noticed how all of the people who had parked up right by the fireworks were being completely blocked from leaving the parking lots by all of the foot traffic. There were people everywhere! 

Our luck, however, continued as we made it back to our parking garage under the gateway. We were able to cruise right out of there and back onto the streets with no trouble at all, AND, did I mention it was free? :) 

The night was a huge success, but still far from over. Once back in our cozy hotel we popped "The Bubbly" 
And popped the complimentary bag of popcorn that Residence Inn's provides. 
We then toasted to a brand New Year and settled into bed to enjoy the luxury that is TV. 

It was, hands down, the best New Years Eve I've ever had. :) :) :) 

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