Friday, January 01, 2010

Bidding farewell to the Old and Welcoming the New

The year that is. 2009 is now history while 2010 is barely one-day old. With memory still fresh, I was trying to recollect the few last things I did in the past decade. There was this Time Square countdown, seen through my sleepy eyes as I had succumbed to fatigue while watching the bowl game between Virginia Tech and Tennessee last night. Then there was my having finished reading “The Lost Symbol” (a scanned image book cover shown on the right below and hereon referred to as the Book) by Dan Brown, a Christmas gift from CY, alternating between watching the football game and flipping through the last few chapters of the book. That in itself would tell you how the ending part of the book appealed to me. I started with great expectations, having read several of Brown's previous works (and two movies based on his books), about a week back, until the latter part dealing with the near-drowning death experience of Robert Langdon, the story's main character, which was not to be. Along the way, I kind of lost some steam and started to read chunks of text at one go. However, I like the last word of the Book, “HOPE”.

The start of a new year is always synonymous with hope, starting afresh, and myriad possibilities. Of course starting afresh does not imply from a clean slate, but building on past efforts so as to be on a firmer footing to chart new territory, or a variation of a trodden path, tuning if you will, or looking at things from a new perspective (a change of mindset encouraged in the Book).

Going further back in time, there was this “Buy for less than a day, Come back for a year” deal offered by Busch Gardens for Florida residents, which we took advantage off. In the short span of a week, we have already visited the Park twice, the second trip accompanied by WT and CE, ostensibly to watch Christmas on Ice presented by some world class ice skaters. And we were not disappointed. The one-time tickets are valid till the end of 2010. And we will monitor how many visits to the Park, a mere minutes away by car, we will manage to chalk up in 2010. But first, here are some end-of-the-year memorable images of the year gone by.

Wify, relaxed and poised, sitting on a low wall made of stacked circular blocks not far after the entrance.

Now indoor by the fire place with stockings hung from its top ledge, Frosty standing outside the window, like real.

The Man of Note, belting out Christmas Carols in the pre-show to the Christmas on Ice, harmonious melodies without the accompaniment of music, a musical performance termed "acappella" as CE pointed out.

The team of ice skaters in snow attire opening the long-waited show, Christmas on Ice. We arrived about 35 minutes before the show and we were glad we did that as the seats filled up quickly.

The Russian duo, easily the highlight of the show with their breath-taking display of well choreographed dance moves in perfect synchronicity ...

... as seen here in the face brushing while swinging around act.

The last act of the Dinner Show during which kids went on stage to sit with Santa.

The closing of the Katonga, the dancers having performed to four stories being narrated successively, all contributing to the grandeur.

Sheikra, touted as the first America's dive coaster featuring the vertical drop here. Obviously it's out of our league.

Sheikra again, next to the Blue Moon, so called because it's the second full month in a month, which occurs once in 2.5 years. However, New Year's Eve blue moons are rarer, occurring every 19 years, which means the next one won't happen until 2028 (as read in today's St Petersburg Times, front page). This significance did not dawn on me until so informed by St. Petersburg Times.

A fully stretched rabbit, its head resting on crossed arms.

Pink birds (Wify said they look more orange to her), long legs. Who can miss these gregarious waders, the Flemingos, here using the head for balance as one of the legs is retracted?

Pick-a-lock? Will that work?

A fully extended plumage of a peacock.

Cuddling for warmth, our way.

Head touching pose, as picked up by a nice passer-by.