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We don’t get many rainy days here in L.A., which is why, I think, they always remind me of being somewhere else. Today, my head is lost in visions of New York City, where I spent New Year’s Eve in 2008. That’s right, I was one of those crazy people who stood in Times Square for eight long hours in freezing temperatures to ring in the new year. It was quite the experience, one I’m glad I did but don’t think I could ever do again.

rockettes-nycOf course, watching the ball drop wasn’t the only festive thing to do in NYC during my trip. My family and I spent several days exploring the city and taking in the magic of the season. We saw the Rockettes perform at Radio City Music Hall and gazed at the gorgeous window decorations in the shops on 5th Avenue. Then we toured the New York Public Library, wandered through Central Park and channeled our inner child among the toys at FAO Schwarz.

We probably spent an entire day inside Macy’s Herald Square, THE Macy’s, of Miracle on 34th Street fame. I don’t normally consider Macy’s someplace special, but this one truly is. First of all, it’s ginormous! Ten and a half stories tall, and each one fully decorated for the holidays. There was even a restaurant and bar downstairs—the perfect place for lunch, and to leave my dad while my mom, sister and I shopped. I bought a pretty snowflake necklace that I wear every December to remind me of that day, and the entire trip, especially when it’s 70 degrees and sunny in L.A.

ice-skating-rock-centerOne of my favorite memories of our winter trip to NYC was ice skating with my sister at Rockefeller Center. It’s such an iconic New York attraction, one that becomes a symbol of the season with its giant Christmas tree. While my sis and I were out on the ice, it began to snow—light flakes that caught in our hair and made us feel as though we were inside a snow globe. It was a magical moment that I will never forget.

rock-center-christmastimeEven though this trip was nearly four years ago, I am transported back anytime I look through the photographs or wake up to a winter-like day.