Little trivia fact:
In Germany, the age of consent and legal drinking age both come at the same time -- 14.
Wow. When German's celebrate New Year, they don't mess around. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures because I was toddler-wrangling all night, but one of our friends did, so hopefully I can get some from her to post soon.
Every year, it is legal to set off fireworks for a half-hour in Germany, from 12-12:30 AM on New Year's day. We went to our friends, Jeff and CC (who have the 3-year-old Other Andrew) for a party where there was lots of food and drink, and much partaking of both by all guests. At midnight everyone went outside, and the semi-tipsy guys began setting off firecrackers and large fireworks like it was their job. The entire countryside joined in for a fireworks display that was both loud and colorful, although Andrew was so tired that he nearly fell asleep right in the middle of it all. Soon they were joined by a group of rather inebriated Germans, mostly teenagers, who assisted in setting off bottle rockets a little too close to cars...than maybe aimed at the cars...and then joined in the fire breathing that Greg was overseeing.
One of the German guys (probably about 16), insisted on holding the torch pretty much BY the fire ball at the end, and when he was blowing the fuel, would keep his mouth so close that the fire was licking his lips the whole time. We're not sure if he was extraordinarily gifted or just too stone drunk to care.
I'm still tired and the boys have been a little crabby today, but it was a fun night.
Hope you all had a safe and great New Year's Eve, and get enough sleep to start your year off right!