05 January 2009

THE PARIS JOURNALS END OF JOURNEY December 31


Farewell to Paris. Goodbye to oldest daughter who will head back to Finland. Won’t see her again until June. A bit of the sting of leaving is taken out by getting an involuntary upgrade to first class on our British Airways flight into London.
Check into our hotel then head into town.
It’s New Year’s Eve and the streets of London are swarming with revelers, many of them quite intoxicated. We find a pub for fish and chips. We’re surrounded by friendly and chatty Brits and enjoy our meal and the warmth both figurative and literal.
Back outside its just two hours before midnight and there are tens of thousands of celebrators in the streets. We’re near the action at Trafalgar Square so we take in these most unusual sights. The missus and I haven't been out on New Year’s Eve since before the oldest was born. Youngest daughter enjoys the scene but complains about spending New Year’s Eve “with a couple of old people.” I see her point. She readily admits to wishing she could enjoy this scene with friends.
There is a strong police presence. The London cops are among the friendliest people in the planet and help direct us toward an open underground station when we tire of the revelry. I used to dance with Bacchus myself but those days are well in the rear view mirror. When it comes to parties I am as youngest says: an old geezer. I did appreciate the opportunity to be among so many happy people regardless of the circumstances of the holiday and their conditions.
We return to the hotel and face the prospect of a long flight home the next day. I know I'll be sad to be home but I'll also be all the more determined to return to Europe soon.

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