Touchdown, finally.

We arrived in La Guardia butt-tired and sleep deficient. Fourteen hours on economy air with a two-hour stopover and two flight delays, New York welcomed us with its crisp winter breeze and familiar busy-ness. We tried to be as enthusiastic as our first time in Summer 2003 but the weary soul, the onset blow of jetlag, and the inviting bed at 329 Jericho Turnpike smogged whatever glimmer there was left. Still, New York, we have arrived!

Rewind September 2003.

We hoteled in Tokyo for 2 nights (and G had to grunt a tear or two) before we finally got on a Delta plane to Atlanta. Eleven hours later, we found ourselves stranded in Hartsfield: All flights to New York were booked. The travel pains on labor day weekend.

A weekend with the Bowers and the Nagaj's later, we took our overdue flight to NY.

Fast forward February 2005.

(In no particular order) Lost Green Card. Moved out from apartment. Packed late. Last airport bus. Midnight airport lockout. Ate Ning. Spaghetti dinner at JR Station. Lost in Fukuoka (heavy bags in tow). Airport hotel. 0745 Tokyo flight. Luggage Locker. Subway. More subway. Walk. More walk. US Embassy. Good news. US$300. Friday's lunch. Karaoke. Tokyo hotel. Jonathan's. McDee's Lunch. Counter D. Take off! (Whew!)

Ah, New York.

Perhaps because of the string of bad lucks we encountered just to get here, being in NY is a welcome treat by itself. G and I agree NY is a city that is easy to fall in love with (from a tourist's point of view, at least). It has a certain magnetism (okay, aura) that drives one into, like the forest house built of bread and covered with cakes where Hansel and Gretel were enticed in (Bad analogy, I know. Unless the Grimm brothers hinted on incest, I can never be Hansel and G can never be short for Gretel). From the bright lights of Times Square to the panoramic sights in Liberty to cheap delights in Canal and Chinatown, NY is just overwhelming (I haven't even mentioned Central Park, at that).

Then again, we haven't been to Paris or Florence. But for now, NY tops our fave spots list.