Christmas December ’09 and New Year’s 2010 in NYC

This Christmas holiday, Ray’s parents and brother, Eugene, visited us in NYC.  They arrived a couple of days before Christmas and it was a wonderful time together. We walked around the city, hung out at Rockefeller Center, saw the big Christmas tree, and the everything was very festive.  Many buildings in the Midtown area, especially on 5th Avenue, were well-decorated and it was just a delight to be here this time of the year.

On Christmas morning, we opened presents. In the past years spending with the Pengs, Eugene would normally be the designated person  to facilitate the gift-opening process; he would hand the gifts to each of us to open and we took turns.  This year, we decided to do things a little differently.  Ray and I have a little basketball hoop in our apartment and all of us took turns shooting the basket. We could only open one of presents each time we get a basket in.  It was a lot of fun and we got some great laughs. The gift-opening process took a big longer than previous years… 😉

Below… Ray opening one of his gifts…

Of course, our dogs were never ever left out of a Christmas.  They always had their own gifts! 🙂 We learned our lesson from past years to never leave dog treats wrapped up under the tree because Pok’e and Cappy have very keen noses and they could sniff through the gifts and knew which ones were treats.  Last year, they opened their gift days before Christmas arrived when Ray and I left our apartment and came back an hour later to find both of them eating the treats.  This year, we hid the treats wrapped and kept it in the closet until Christmas morning.  It’s always a lot of fun to watch them unwrap their gift…. below, they wait patiently for their gift.  They just knew it was for them.

They went through the wrap pretty quickly and had a blast eating their treats…

One of my friends, Lisa, gave our soon-to-be daughter a gift a few weeks prior. This is our baby’s first gift from a friend… a very cute monster stuff animal.

After a wonderful fun morning, we all relaxed and just hung out for the rest of the day. That night, after dinner, we walked around Times Square.

Ray’s family went back to Boston for a couple of days before coming back to celebrate New Year’s with us.  On New Year’s Eve, we had a couple of people over also.  My sister Audrey, my friend Valeria and her boyfriend, Walid, came over to see the ball drop at Times Square outside of our apartment.  Times Square was packed with people by the late afternoon and streets were getting closed off for the celebration by 6 p.m.  We were fortunate that we didn’t have to wait outside for hours before midnight to watch the ball drop.  We hung out at the apartment and had some food and drinks and went out to the sidewalk 15 minutes before midnight for the big hoorah!

It’s amazing how people come from all over the world to see the ball
drop every year and what they would do to get up as close to the ball as
possible.  There was a crowd in Times Square by 3 pm that day! That
means standing around for 9 hours in the rain and cold before

There is a terrace on the 4th floor of our building and we just hung out there for a while to see the craze and frenzy that was going on downstairs.  We could see snipers across the street on top of the Hershey’s store… security was definitely very tight. This crowd was downstairs of our apartment by 6 pm… the bathroom situation must’ve been tough. They had to stay in this blocked off area until midnight. We did see some people being escorted in and out of the area by cops… probably to and from the bathroom. It was also cold and drizzly outside so we felt really bad for the crowd.

New Year’s Eve also happens to be Ray’s mom’s birthday.  We had a cake for Mr. Peng and it was so nice to be able to celebrate her birthday with her.

We all went downstairs to the outside of the building 15 minutes before midnight for the ball drop.  The elevators in the building were jammed with people and it felt like forever before we got downstairs… Whew!

When midnight stroke, the ball dropped and people were throwing things everywhere and just celebrated and welcomed 2010!!! There was so much energy in the air and everyone was just so happy and … drunk! 🙂 It was definitely a night to remember. Ray and I have never been in Times Square for New Year’s before and this was such a fun and memorable experience.  Who knows where we will be for New Year’s 2011…