To ring in 2018, I’m doing a low key night on the couch by the fire. But 365 days ago, I was in Mexico on a beach celebrating New Year’s Eve out of the United States for the first time. So tonight I reminisce about that night that set off a year of amazing travel and many firsts for me.
I was with my cousin, his wife, and her family from Cuernavaca. Tourism has suffered greatly in Acapulco over the past five year because of the drug cartels and gangs terrorizing the city. Which is sad because in its heyday Acapulco was the playground of celebrities and the rich and famous.
We stayed in an area about a 15 minute drive to downtown Acapulco. It’s an area with many folks from Mexico City have a beach condo or home. It was an area where I felt safe.
The celebration started with sunset. It was a stunning one as the sun went down over the Pacific. Someone brought red and white flowers and someone else brought herbs. The flowers are for love and remembrance. I threw a red and white into the water. I went back and found my Facebook post – “Throw flowers into the ocean, remember the year that has past, and pray for blessings in the coming year. The white flower on the right was in remembrance of my brother.” My brother passed away in 2016.
After the sunset we had an interesting dinner of clams. I say interesting because my cousin told me mine was dead….but it moved when I put lime juice on it! As they say “when in Rome” and I ate my clam just like everyone else. The wine was flowing, the music was blaring, and the laughs were endless. It was a wonderful evening in the condo.
About 11:30 we headed back over to the beach. I couldn’t stop saying wow as I watch the globos de cantoya took flight. I had never seen anything like it in person. Watching these balloons of light float away over the soothing sounds of the ocean was magical. Releasing the globos is supposed to attract good luck and prosperity, illuminate the correct path of our destiny, carry the hope that wishes will come true, and a way to connect with loved ones who have passed on.
At midnight the fireworks lit up the sky. There was music, singing, dancing, fireworks popping, oohs and aah, hugs and kisses. The globos de cantoya are lit in remembrance of loved ones. As the sky lanterns take flight and float away over the ocean, it truly is a spectacular sight.
About 12:45am, my cousin and I called it a night. His wife and here sisters…true to Mexican culture, celebrated until about 4:30am. At sunrise, my cousin and I took a walk on the beach, now quiet from the all-night revelry. It was an amazing start to what would be a year of travel and change for me.