Party, 1999

I vividly remember New Year’s Eve, 1999. Theorists suggested it would be the end of the world as we knew. Computers would crash, banks would go under, we would never survive. We decided to make NYE an experience for our kids–just in case the world ceased to exist–and we rented hotel rooms with several other couples and their kids in downtown Tempe. Home of Arizona State, Tempe threw the most elaborate festivities. Food, drink, and entertainment were in abundance. Drunk college boys were randomly kissing strangers, everyone was singing and laughing, as a variety of bands took the stage.

After receiving 10 free bags of Tostidoes from the sponsor of the Fiesta Bowl, we all walked back to the hotel. We adults decided viewing the midnight fireworks from our balcony might be safer for kids than being amidst all of the revelers. As we waited for the light to change to cross one street, our kids were entertained by three young coeds barfing in the bushes. We were all in the bed by 2:00 AM–we had made it to the 21st Century!

Then, at 3:30 AM, the fire alarm went off. We ushered the kids down the four floors of stairs to join the numerous Tennessee fans who were also staying at the hotel. Some of them were chugging beer out of gallon plastic milk jugs, and of course, they were proudly wearing their orange pajama pants. The all-clear signal sounded, and we returned to bed. Yet, at 4:15, 5:30, and 6:00 AM, the fire alarm blasted. Enough of four floors of steps! We checked out at 6:30 AM.

We all certainly had a memorable experience greeting 2000; little did we know what lie ahead.

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