Happy 2011! Riley and I started our New Year’s Eve festivities with dinner at the house of my friend Patri. She had several international guests; our group had Romanian, Portuguese, French, American, and Spanish merry-makers.

Our group adopted the Romanian custom of writing down 3 wishes for the upcoming year.

We rang in the new year close to the Puerta del Sol, which is akin to spending New Year’s Eve in Time’s Square. Wigs and silly hats are traditional…

…as are eating grapes! We tried to eat one with each bell chime, but failed because our group didn’t hear the beginning of the chimes. Are we cursed for 2011?

The male-to-female ratio was tipped in Riley’s favor. Also, this flower-peddler insisted on being in our shot.

Here we are in the Puerta del Sol after the madness died down (3:30 a.m.)

Close-up of the bell tower.

Interior view of the Christmas tree in the square. Magical!