Parma Italy; New Years Eve, 2006
Parma Travel Blog› entry 9 of 18 › view all entries
Waking up the next morning, there was a great deal to be done. I made arrangements with the consulate to head up to Parma on the 3rd of Jan to get my emergency passport. We had to wait until then because the 1st was a holiday and fell on a weekend, and on Jan. 2nd all US offices, both at home and abroad were closed, to honor President Gerald R. Ford who had died on December 26th.
Next, I made arrangements from my parents to have them fax my outdated drivers license and passport to my Parma hotel so I would have them for the new passport.
My friends Ken and Laura were in Kyoto for New Years, and they called my cell phone to wish me a happy New Years Eve! It was fabulous speaking with them, and meant the world to me that they called.
This was also the day I would experience my first connection from Couchsurfing; I had joined the site at the end of November, thanks to yet another great tip from our own Travbuddy forums, and posted a few letters to people that lived in a couple of the towns we were going to. We'd had a response from a member in Parma, and he offered to show us his town that day.
We met him in the town square, and proceeded to be taken on a really wonderful walking tour of the city and it's big part. He took us out to lunch and refused to allow us to pay, and took us out for really fantastic coffee as well. It was a fabulous day and we really enjoyed meeting him. He dropped us back at our hotel, and we got ready for New Years Eve.
By this time I was pretty sick, and taking quite a bit of cold medicine.
After walking around for a bit, we decided perhaps it was best to just go back to the hotel, and try to get a drink in the small lobby, and call it a night.
It was the best decision we could have made. The hotel had been throwing a fancy party for people that had paid to attend, and it was just beginning to spill out from the dining room into the lobby. There was music, and lots of Prosecco, and we had a really happy, fabulous time. There was a little band playing, and they were really bad, and it was cracking Michelle and I up.
At midnight we had a great toast, and I told Michelle I had promised Andi we would do a toast to her; she had also traveled to Europe on the same day I did for New Years; to Madrid. So we did our toast to Andi, and Ken & Laura, and all fellow travelers. (Little did I know at the time that Andi had also been robbed, lost her passport, and was scheduled to head to HER nearest consulate on the 3rd as well, to get it replaced.)
After our big toasts, we took a picture to mark the occasion. the cold winter air was beautiful outside the hotel, and I loved sitting out there with my glass of Prosecco and just being aware that we were in Italy, and how truly blessed I felt.
It ended up being a fabulous night, and I loved every minute of it.