We had a small amount of snow, not really enough for snowman building, but the boys made a couple of valiant efforts before they gave up and made snow angels in the street.
We took a walk to the beach.
It was crazy cold and windy.
Even Lilli questioned the decision to be there, as she practically blew over in the wind.
Back home, she recovered with a long nap.
Max entertained us.
There were lots of games of Fastrack.
We took a nice drive on a sunny (but still very cold) day. We warmed up with a flight of beer and lunch at Wheatberry in Buchanan. We realized there are still so many places to discover on our visits to Indiana and Michigan.
We spent the last couple of hours of daylight at Fernwood Botanic Garden, where there were plenty of icicles for the picking.
Back at the cabin, there were more games.
Our traditional New Year's Eve meal has become Boeuf Borguignon. It is a warm and hearty dish, it is relatively simple to make, everyone likes it (or at least parts of it), and we get to light things on fire.
While the stew simmered, we mixed drinks. A careful observer might notice that the top of the shaker is falling off here, as Max is pouring the drink into the glass. We ended up with a table full of Manhattan. Luckily, there was just enough bourbon for one more round. (For the record, the boys were imbibing Shirley Temples, and only mixing the harder stuff.)
We played more games, and we watched the first half of Casablanca (the first time the boys had ever seen it). At 10:30, we decided we would go ahead and shoot off our fireworks, celebrating our own idea of when it was officially the new year. We were only a few blocks from the Michigan border, where it would be 2013 an hour earlier. We were out and shooting off our bottle rockets by 11:45, and we wondered if the neighbors were confused or annoyed (or at least I did, since I'm always worried we are disturbing the quiet little town when we shoot off our fireworks). While we were outside, we heard others joining in on the fireworks, so I felt better about the whole thing. And when we set off our finale, the Skybusters pack, we heard a cheer, which we decided was for us.
There is always a lot of excitement when we shoot off fireworks, lots of grabbing and eagerness to be the one to light this one or that one. I have some fears about setting off explosives. This has dampened the overall fun of the event (or so I have been informed). I was asked to please remain calm during the lighting, and I asked that it would only be Martin to set them off, given the dark and very windy conditions. With these agreed upon parameters, we managed to have a pretty good time and a lovely display.
Happy New Year!