the final day of 2017
I'd initially forgotten that I was supposed to be doing DITL ... I'd stayed over the night at a friend's place and we slept in 'til around ... 11~11:30 AM or something? I took this picture on Snapchat so I wouldn't lose my 'streak' with my friends.
There was quite some commotion out on the streets when we left the house, and I found out there was some kind of 'end-of-year run' happening in the city. There were people playing drums and chanting to cheer the runners on. I really liked the Snapchat filter that counted down the hours 'til midnight so I used it throughout the day. I think they make a fun time-check for DITL posts like this one ...
My friend & I went out for brunch at a place called 'Le Pain Quotidien' 〜 it's a franchise that can be found in quite a lot of cities over here in Belgium, but their food is quite good. I had a cafe latte, orange juice, toast with avocado and seaweed and a soft-boiled egg. Yumm! I wrote the comment on the first picture on Snapchat because I had gone out for brunch on Saturday as well.
I say goodbye to my friend and head to the train station. I pass by this cute 'winter village' they make every year on the Grand Market with these wooden deer, a Christmas tree, etc.
On the train back to the city where I live; Ghent. Here we're passing through the capital city of Belgium, Brussels.
An hour later and I'm on a tram to the city center ... Almost home!
Finally home! I put on my Christmas lights to make things a bit cozier in my flat.
I collect some stuff that I want to take with me to my friends' New Year's Eve party that evening 〜 a bottle of bubbles and lots of games!
Whilst I'm searching for something else, I happen to find a list of the resolutions I made last year when I rang in the New Year with my friends Joost & Gudse and my sister. Right around the same time Joost texts me to say that I have to let him know before midnight how many of my resolutions I kept, so we chat about that for a while.
With still quite some hours to go before midnight, I work on writing my last Livejournal entry of 2017 ...
Eventually I start to feel bored, so I begin getting ready for the party. There's a fantasy theme and all the guests have been divided into good vs. evil. I'm evil, but I didn't have much time/inspiration for an outfit so I decide to go with generic witch. I loot the bag of make up my sister left behind in my flat when she moved out and get to work ...
I'm itching to get going to the party but the weather had been horrid all day. Rain and heavy winds since the afternoon ... I'm not really excited about going out in that weather, so I decide to wait it out for a bit.
The rain doesn't show signs of stopping so I decide to brave the foul weather; warm coat, scarf, umbrella ... ready to go.
The route to my friends' house was every bit as horrible as I imagined it would be so no pictures along the way. Once I've arrived I add my games to the ones they'd already prepared. They decorated their living room really nicely with lots of tealights, it was super cozy!
Can you spot my friends' cat in this picture?
As per our tradition, we discuss last year's resolutions and make new ones.
Dinner time! We had vegan Mac&Cheese 〜 really nice, but so so heavy (and there was so much of it!).
Out of all the people there at that moment (Mars, Marri, Stevi & I) 〜 Stevi was the only 'good' guy. I'm not sure what he was supposed to be dressed up as. I only know he had a lot of eyes on his face and people kept making lame puns about it all evening ("I'll be keeping my eyes on you" - "ooh, I see what you did there.").
We played a quick and easy game whilst we waited for the other guests to arrive.
We were joined by Ash, Arne & Vief. Ash made these little drinks she called 'health potions' and 'mana potions'. They came in alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety. I had some alcoholic ones ... They were quite tricky, they didn't taste like alcohol at all but were quite strong; dangerous!
Ash brought an escape room game which we decided to play. On the first picture you see my sister Marri & my friend Vief reading the game instructions. On the second picture they're joined by Arne and solving one of the puzzles. Actually, Marri & Vief did most of the work in this game.
Success! We beat the game and 'escaped' with 17:09 minutes left on the clock (you only get an hour to complete all the puzzles).
... And we've entered the final hour of 2017 ...
Shortly before midnight we played a quick round of Exploding Kittens. I thought it was a nice way to end 2017 as I played that game SO much that year (especially during my roadtrip to Norway). Most of the people at the party had never played it before though, so it was a rather slow round as everyone was trying to figure out how it worked.
AND THEN IT WAS 2018!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Haha, the picture is a bit of a fake because my friend popped a bottle of Kidibul for the non-drinkers at midnight. Then he popped the bottle of champagne but my smartphone was being weird and didn't want to take a picture (it told me Snapchat was not installed on my phone ... ?). So I just made him pose with the bottle for this picture and it was a couple minutes after midnight already.
Also I'd been a bit sad about not seeing the official fireworks this year because fireworks are a New Year's tradition, though the foul weather made me feel better about our plan to stay indoors. But we could hear some people in the neighbourhood set off some fireworks themselves and Vief & I went to watch at the front door 〜 we only saw about three fireworks but it still made me happy that I got to watch some!
New resolutions! Haha, I noticed only now that I wrote '2018 voornemens' in Dutch but then went on to write my actual resolutions in English ...
Mixing champagne and a 'health potion' and playing De Mol 〜 I bought this game for my sister's Christmas and we all love the tv show it's based on, so we were super excited to try it out! It's a really fun game as well ...
The idea of the game is that you have to collect letters by correctly answering questions and then discover the code word. The 'mole' knows in advance what the code word is and tries to prevent the others from finding it. Every separate game is centered on a different country and in this one we went to Japan. As you can see, the mole won and the rest of us failed because we gave 'fotomaki' as code word and ... that isn't even a thing that exists. The mole ended up winning two out of the three games we played.
Not pictured; when we were done playing De Mol one of my friends decided to go to bed. The others still played two games of Saboteur before calling it a night as well ...
I had prepared for a sleepover at Mars, Marri & Stevi's place because I didn't feel like walking the 20-minutes back to my flat at that time of night. Ash, Arne & Vief were so kind to offer me a ride to my flat even though they didn't need to be in the city center at all. In the end I'm happy it worked out this way, it seemed only fitting that I would spend the first night of 2018 in my own bed in my new flat.