I am truly blessed. I have an incredible group of friends who, for nearly a decade, have been gathering to greet the New Year somewhere in the world. We spend four or five days together reconnecting, laughing, and relishing our ever-deeper friendship. Oh, and there's amazing cooking, profound wine choices (with a sommelier in the group), and music like you wouldn't believe (an opera singer, a pianist, a harpist, percussionists, singers... and there are only 7 of us total).
The tradition began at my house in Faribault, Minnesota, but we have celebrated in Philadelphia, California, Chicago, Minneapolis... and Italy. Two years ago we met in Rome for two weeks of Italian wonders in Rome, Florence, and Venice! These photos are from that trip... and I am writing having just arrived at the Corner House for our annual gathering.
We've been friends since college, and we know that at a minimum we will see each other once per year. It isn't enough, but it is the promise we make to each other. When we were born, we were given a family. But this -- this is the family we choose. We are such dear friends, and we enjoy each other so much. Our friendship is one of the great joys in my life.
We will be together again this year. It is truly the best way to end one year and begin the next.
I hope you celebrate the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 with people you love, too. Happy New Year!