We had a pleasant New Year's celebration last night -- as noted yesterday, we had invited Nancy's mother and one of Nancy's sisters and her husband and teenage daughters to join Nancy and Sean and me for dinner. And, as usual, I was rushing to get everything ready -- lassagna (three pans: one with spinach, one with sausage, and one with both spinach and sausage -- plus a nice big salad and hot garlic bread and brouchetta. We had chips and veggies and dips and crackers and cheese and shrimp before dinner... and Nancy had done some baking: oatmeal raisin bars and some kind of chocolate fudge things.
After dinner Sean went off to a friend's house while the rest of us watched Spiderman and Ice Age (well, the girls had already seen Spiderman so they went up to Sean's room to use his computer to chat online with friends, leaving that movie to just us grown-ups). We paused for a champagne toast at midnight (switching to the traditional view of Times Square crowds). That left just the final fifteen minutes or so of the movie and our guests were on their way home by 12:30. Nancy was asleep before one.
As noon approached the crowd of spectators stepped aside, leaving an open pathway to the ocean. The swimmers were gathered, watching a count-down timer -- 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 -- shouting and cheering -- a mad dash across the sand -- into the water -- painfully cold feet, splashing through the shallow water, running and splashing -- low tide, it's a long way to deeper water -- calf deep, splashing, knee deep -- eventually I got far enough out that I could do a shallow dive into an incoming wave. The cold was not that bad -- uh, let me rephrase that a bit -- the cold was not as bad as I had feared it would be. It was a mild day for January 1st... the air temperature was around 45 degrees and the water temperature was around 40 degrees (for metric readers, that's about 7 degrees for the air and 4 degrees for the water)... I wore sneakers because I did not want to worry about stepping on rocks or broken clam shells (and I was not wearing my glasses because I didn't want to lose them when I dove into the waves) and it seemed to me that the worst part was how cold my feet were, but after a couple of minutes they seemed to get a bit numb. The first picture was taken before the swim. The second picture was taken after I had been in the water for a few minutes, then returned to land and jogged up to the fence where I had hung my clothes so I could put my glasses on and try to find Nancy in the crowd. As you can see, almost everyone has left the water.
I did this mostly on impulse, but it was fun and I think I might do it again next year.
There had been some light rain most of the morning. It had stopped around noon, but has since returned. I'd been hoping to go for a bike ride but, although I might have just had a January 1st swim, I don't really feel like riding my bike in the rain. So, I guess after I post this entry, I'll head down to the basement and lift weights for a little while.
Here's a picture of those Christmas mice I'd mentioned a few entries back... the idea came from a show on HGTV... bodies are maraschino cherries (with stems) dipped in chocolate, Hersey's Kiss for the head, almond slivers for ears, miniature M&Ms for eyes (I think HGTV had used dots of frosting for the eyes).