New Year Holiday in Not-Brazil

I didn’t do a lot of reflecting on the turn of the year as 2013 approached and 2012 eeked to a close. But a couple of weeks ago, I was offered the opportunity to close the year out with a bang. Or rather, um estrando. A client canceled his trip, leaving a vacant room up for grabs in a Rio de Janeiro hotel. On Copacabana beach. With a view of the New Years fireworks.

The trip to Rio was the ultimate way to “stick it to” 2012, a year that was full of upheaval and bad news. Hop on a plane, soak up some sun and order room service. Be jetset. Come out on top.

It’s not uncommon for me to close chapters of my life by skipping town. A good international cleansing to bookend seasons of growth, struggle, incubation, or serenity.

After a last minute scramble and a lot of tension (can Lewis go? can we get visas in time? plane tickets are how much???), it didn’t work out, and thus I am blogging from my home office, not a Club Room overlooking the Rio nightlife. And the holiday I had was entirely different than the holiday I passed up.

Instead of a plane, I hopped on a Megabus. I guess instead of jetset, I’m coachset.

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Instead of the concierge, I hung out with old friends (Rex and Lee are not pictured, but they came to visit on a night that I would have been in transit).

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Instead of Copacabana Beach, I sat in a cozy coffee shop on Guadalupe Street in Austin. The people watching was just as good.

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Instead of room service I had Kerbey Lane Pumpkin Pancakes (once at the restaurant, and then again at home with this exotic local…)

IMG_0231[1]Instead of in-flight entertainment, I did a lot of this:

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And instead of fireworks from a Club Room in Rio, I watched them from my own bed. In addition to the official display downtown (which we can see to the south), last night it was hard to tell if 2013 or a revolutionary militia had arrived in Dignowity Hill. Fireworks are a major budget line item for our neighbors.

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Compared to a trip to Rio, yes, it was a low-key holiday. But it’s a more fitting way to say goodbye to 2012, the year of bad news. Rather than fleeing to South America to dazzle the year into oblivion, it exited through a sieve. Staying home I realized that there were a lot of things from the past 12 months that I don’t want to leave behind. And those things have passed through Christmas and into the new year. I love my friends. I love my husband. I love gingerbread pancakes. And I love our city. God is on the throne. I hope that some things stay just the same in 2013.

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5 thoughts on “New Year Holiday in Not-Brazil

  1. Juan Garcia says:

    Happy New Year, Bekah…and you too, Lewis! Not a bad way to bring in 2013, staying close to home. Brazil would have of been fun but Dignowity Hill is just as exotic and welcoming! Barb and I were at Boneshakers NYE, probably the oldest kids on the scene but felt right at home. Blessings to you, Lewis and Riley for 2013!
    J

    • bekahmcneel says:

      Haha! Thanks, Juan! Happy New Year to you guys! We stopped by Boneshakers, but we must have tried too early. Didn’t see anyone we knew…so we put on our PJs and stayed in. We were probably the youngest adults to ring in the New Year that way…but we too felt right at home. Hehe.

  2. Keelah says:

    I love the gingerbread pancakes from Kerby Lane! I’ve heard (and it looks like from your photo) that the restaurant got a facelift!

  3. Judith McNeel says:

    Bekah, I hope that a fabulous trip to Rio is in your future!
    Happy New Year!

  4. Lee Daugherty says:

    I’m happy you stayed in TX!! 🙂

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