Thursday, November 20, 2008


Well, I’ll just say it: When Wendy made the suggestion that we all consider attending Beaujolais Nouveau, Lyon’s very own midnight wine celebration during which 450 liters of wine is offered to the attending crowd, I wasn’t the least bit thrilled. In fact, I couldn’t have whined more about it! First off, the fact that I don’t drink alcohol (seriously) completely nullified the overall potentially alluring offer of free wine. Secondly: a MIDNIGHT festival? Was she serious?! It’s November! I don’t care if we’re in France, having a gathering in the middle of the night ANYWHERE (in these kinds of latitudes) probably means it’s going to be cold outside. Therefore, if I did go, I’d have to actually make the effort to put on multiple layers of clothing, bundle up with at least a scarf and my mittens, and make sure my jacket was buttoned up tight. Third, it was a Wednesday night, and we had an early day scheduled for Thursday. Wasn’t it irresponsible to stay out so late on a school night?

Nevertheless, I was conned into going. You see, after Wendy saw my highly unenthused facial expression regarding the potential late night activity, she used her second piece of alluring Beaujolais Nouveau information: The event was going to contain a fireworks show. Now, I had yet to see fireworks in France, and as I assessed the situation, I realized that I really hadn’t had the opportunity to see any since around the fourth of July. Plus, as the girls explained to me, it was officially our final ten days in Lyon, France. We would most likely never get the opportunity to experience such activities together—as the entire Lyon 2008 group—ever again, and truth be told, things just don’t get more Lyonnaise than this activity. Overall, they felt it was worth experiencing—at least worth documenting with my camera—and I might just enjoy myself.

[Of course, as I later figured out, the girls also had ulterior motives because if I was around, it meant they all got some extra sips of my undesired alcoholic beverage.]

In any case, upon our arrival in Place Bellecour, we were greeted by the musical delights of Lyon’s very own marching band! The band followed behind a horse drawn wagon baring the actual barrel of fresh wine, and the overall crowd included numerous individuals holding torches in order to brighten the street. As the procession slowly made its way toward a tent at the far end of Bellecour, we recognized and humorously sung along to numerous American songs such as the “YMCA.”

Finally, around 12:00AM, the wagon has reached its final destination, and we pushed our way into a crowd of people surrounding what appeared to be a decent sized stage adorned with even more barrels of wine! All of the sudden, loud techno music began blaring, lights began flashing, and fireworks filled the sky above our heads. As the crowd became overwhelmed with awe and amazement, glasses of fresh wine were passed out to the crowd. Overall, it was such a captivating and amusing display that I actually FORGOT I was cold (which is not an easy feat with me because I’m ALWAYS cold). Therefore, I actually had a really great experience and was extremely happy that I didn’t miss it.

[And, just for your information, my camera died at the very BEGINNING of this event meaning I only got about three photographs of the marching band, but I STILL enjoyed myself. I guess my friends and Wendy were right after all. ☺]

Avec l'Amour,

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