When much of the U.S. was in the grip of bone-chilling temperatures, it was warm and sunny as usual here on the first day of the new year, with the high temperature hovering around 70 F in the day.
In the afternoon of this sunny day, we drove to a nearby beach, hoping to catch the sights of the sunset and moonrise as an embrace for the new year. It was no surprise that parking was mostly packed in the crowded beach, where people of different races were gathering for the parties. It was not a perfect day for the beach, when the azure sky converges seamlessly with the blue sea surface. Instead, the sky was dimmed and veiled with mist and cloud，losing much of its luster. We walked down the cliff, roamed in the soft beach, breathed in the fresh air, took a few pictures before heading off to the Top of the World, a mountain summit not as lofty as the name suggests, but is high enough for us to have a bird-view of the cities underneath, with one side of the mountain adjacent to the vast Pacific sea.
It was around 4:30 pm when we reached there. More people than we thought flocked to the platform, some carrying big cameras and tripods. The sky at the top of the mountain was then clear and blue, with white clouds patching or dotting the two thirds of sphere. The other one-third in the west side was tinged with sunsetting orange-colored rays, bursting out of the dark clouds and casting its shimmering gold on the sea surface. It was beautiful, but not at its best. As we watched the sunset changing colors and patterns minutes by minutes, we kept turning our heads to the other side in anticipation of the moonrise, which was forecast to show up at 4:55. Yet by 5:20 pm, the moon was still nowhere to be seen. When the last sun ray retreated itself to the back of the clouds, it was dark and cold. Seeing not a slightest chance, people collected their tripods and prepared to leave. So did we. It was a bit disappointing not being able to witness the rising splendor of the full moon as it coincided with the first day of new year.
The moon finally broke out of the thick clouds to our full sight when we were down the hills and on the highway around 5:35 pm. Though the first night full moon was far from being golden and dazzling, it is the same moon that has for centuries perked on the night sky, shedding its brightness upon us, with its charm and elegance, of which we shall be eternally appreciative.
With an eventful 2017 bygone, we are looking forward to a peaceful year!