Since we spent Christmas at home this year, we decided to do a barbecue for New Year’s Eve. Pardon the two grumpy looking little people – they were fighting over whose turn it was on the bicycle.
I had permission to go to the office rooftop again and watch the fireworks from there so the family and I made the drive to Jumeirah a little earlier on the 31st Dec to make sure we avoid the inevitable traffic. Bernie fired up the barbecue as soon as we got there and put on the pork. My sister came along shortly followed by my brother and their share of the meat went on to the hot coals as well. Oh and including campfire marshmallows which were delicious naughty little devils!
We decided to have dinner first before trekking up the rickety staircase towards the rooftop. but before that, they managed to play a couple rounds of the Filipino version of hopscotch called “patintero“. I can’t remember which team won but it was a close match.
With about 10 minutes to midnight, we made our way up the rooftop and I set up the camera ready for the eventual fireworks. But first, a family portrait. I offered no direction whatsoever so we were not in any particular grouping or order here.
The facade of the Burj Al Arab featured a big digital countdown clock which was faintly visible from where we were. I had to zoom in as much as my 18-250mm lens would allow for me to see how much time was left before midnight.
Everyone was just too excited, a bit too much marshmallow and chocolate I think, so there were no other group photos. I did manage to set the self-timer and get this rare photo of me and Bernie. The Honey Cowl and Austin Hoodie came in handy that night as it was very chilly up there. Bernie’s hat is store-bought and is at least 5 years old.
When midnight struck, we had no idea which side of the city to look at – fireworks were going off in all directions! At our 5 o’clock was this ginormous fireworks display which I am pretty sure was visible from outer space. It was alright – nothing fancy though as we have seen this during the gala opening last year. Still a sight to behold though. I think they did this about 3 or 4 times and then poof. It was done. The smoke took a while to settle. It must have taken a mini-armory to light up the entire structure the way they did. Glad we weren’t staying downwind!
The Jumeirah Beach Road was chock-a-block as usual on the run up to midnight. The roads cleared out though during the display. Police cars were on every major intersection along the Beach Road so, naturally, traffic was a killer.
The fireworks display continues to be a stunner. The kids of course saw this for the first time this year and were utterly impressed. The fireworks display had flowers and hearts and giant bubbles of colour.
After the fireworks, we made our way down the rickety steps again, one by one, and passed the time by clearing up our barbecue area and watching people make their way back from the beach to where their cars were parked. My brother-in-law joked that we could have provided valet parking services for a fee and made a killing! Up in the sky, a few people sent off these lanterns and the kids obviously thought of “Tangled” where the palace and the townspeople released lanterns up in the sky to mark Rapunzel’s birthday.
Of course I had to play with the bulb setting of the camera as soon as I saw the white clouds in the sky. This was at 30 seconds on ISO100, f/4.5. I love how it seems to be moving and how some of the stars were captured.
Happy new year, everyone!
Wishing you and your loved ones all the very best of everything every day of 2011.