This year was our first New Year's in Wilmington, and it was... okay. Nathan and I stayed home sipping wine until 10pm, then went to a friend's house until 11:15, then headed downtown to a bar to meet some other people before the ball dropped. The chosen bar had a cover charge ($20 for guys, $10 for girls) so we did the sensible thing and went down the street to another bar that didn't charge anything. This bar was having problems with their cash register, so it took forever to get a beer. We played foosball. I learned that I am terrible at foosball, but still had fun. At midnight, people started hollering but there was no countdown (I KNOW. A travesty!). On the bright side, Nathan and I kissed close enough to midnight, for the tenth year in a row. Adorable. We were home and in bed by 2am and fell asleep watching a movie. Next year, we plan to ditch the bars all together and throw a party at our house. We were famous for our New Year's Eve parties in Nacogdoches (famous I tell you!) so why should Wilmington be any different?
To sum: New Year's Eve was all right. But New Year's Day? Now that was special.
We slept in, made coffee, and took the dogs to the park. Once they were worn out, we came home and made a huge brunch. We wanted to have mimosas with our breakfast (to make up for the previous night's lack of champagne) but forgot that you can't buy booze before noon on Sundays. A disappointment to be sure, but we managed to have a delicious meal anyway.
Blueberry pancakes, hash browns, veggie bacon, and bottomless cups of coffee. So good.
We played Scrabble while we ate. (I won.) We used to play board games over dinner/brunch all the time but fell out of the habit. When we moved to NC we didn't have a kitchen table for a few months and started eating our meals at the coffee table, in front of the television. I much prefer eating in the kitchen - we talk more and it's nice to focus on the food and each other. Starting the year with Scrabble (which I won) and brunch set just the right tone for 2012.
After breakfast and our game (which I won) we headed out back to do some serious yard work. First, we raked the whole yard until it was clear of leaves and sticks, with the hope that some grass might actually grow back there.
We raked the debris into the second half of our backyard, behind the gate, into three long piles. You see, phase two of yard work involved finally building raised beds for our planned garden. The leaves will make great compost, once mixed with soil and horse manure. Sounds gross, but it works.
We made a lot of progress and actually finished the beds the next day, but I'll post a photo-heavy recap of that process tomorrow. (Teaser: I used power tools!) As for the rest of New Year's Day, we cleaned up, I made a batch of vegan cornbread, and we headed to the home of a fellow MFA student for black-eyed peas and greens, which one must eat on the first of the year for luck and money, respectively. It was a nice gathering of people I didn't know very well, but I'm making an effort to be more social in 2012 (an unofficial resolution) so this was a good first step.
How did you spend the first day of 2012? I've found the right mix of good food, good company, and good work can make any afternoon one to remember. Happy New Year!