I have always wanted to spend New Year's Eve in zero degree weather... So, this year I decided to go to the Big Apple and make that wish come true!
Every year my sister, Kelly, and I usually stay home for New Year's, watch the ball drop on television, and after midnight go off to bed. This year, however, we wanted to do something different. We went to Times Square and spent the last few hours of 2008 standing out in the freezing cold listening to Taylor Swift, Lionel Richie, and the Jonas Brothers do their thing on stage. I had the time of my life.
My good friends Erin and Corey were going up to visit their family in Brewster, which is a town about an hour north of The City. They generously offered to open up their homes to me, my sister, and my cousin, Hyewon. I thought this was a great chance to tag along and spend time in the most exciting city in the world and have fun with the people I love. After all the plans were figured out, we were on our way.
During the first couple days in the city, we toured around like professional tourists and took pictures of EVEYTHING. We got shots of the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Empire State building, Brooklyn Bridge, statues and paintings in the Metropolitan Museum (the Thinker was a lot smaller than I expected). We even grabbed a shot of the stock market bull.
The group all wanted to watch a Broadway show while in town, so we stood in the line for discounted tickets in Times Square in hopes of getting tickets to any show available. After about an hour of waiting, a man with seven tickets to Mary Poppins offered us good prices to the show. We debated for a moment, but then decided to trust this man and buy the tickets. They all turned out great, and I have never seen a more upbeat show in my life. I really just wanted to get up and start singing and dancing along with Mary. The whole cast was very talented.
After a couple days spent in the city, we decided to lay low for a day and just hang out at the house.
Fortunately for us, it snowed over five inches the day we decided to stay home! I have only seen snow a few times in my life, but every time it has been a fun experience. Erin's family house is set on a big hill so after the snow fell, sledding seemed like a fun idea. Corey, Kelly and I geared up and headed out in the freezing cold and prepared for the worst. I had never been sledding before, but I will never forget my first time! After going down the steep hill many times, Corey had this wonderful idea of standing on the sleds and riding it like a surfboard. So we all tried that a couple times until Corey went flying and crashed head first into a ditch and cracked the plastic in his goggles. Thankfully I caught it all on tape, plus him screaming like a girl :).
When all the fun was over, we tried another new activity - shoveling the driveway. That was my toughest workout over the offseason, but it was well worth it. Lets just say I'm happy that I live in Melbourne, Florida, where the only thing I have to do is chase the mosquitoes out of the house.
Finally the last day of the trip arrived - the climax of the season vacation.
While trying to make our way into Times Square, we learned that following the crowd is not always the best thing to do. When it was obvious that the crowd had no idea how to get into the Square, we chose a different route to take. We headed out to the Square about three hours before ball drop and it was extremely packed. Luckily, we found a break in the fence as we walked parallel to 7th street and decided to get in that way. Once we found a decent spot after dealing with some rambunctious crowd members, we cooled down and waited for the start of 2009! That was probably the coldest my body had ever been. The temperature got to a low of five below zero with wind chill, and standing in between those tall buildings its like one big wind tunnel of fun.
But the fun did not stop there. I was so surprised to see that, literally, ten seconds into 2009, everyone in the Square sprints to Grand Central Station to catch their train home. We did exactly the same. Once we were safe and sound at home, I realized how crazy we were to be out there on New Year's Eve, but I am also proud to say that I did it.
I had an amazing time in NYC and I have Corey, Erin, Wendy, Kelly, and Hyewon to thank for it. I will always remember this fun vacation and just in case my memory fails me, I have hundreds of pictures to remind me of the experience.
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