Tomorrow we set off for New York city.
I have "done" New York in several different ways. My first trip was the real tourist thing. You know, guide book in hand, trying not to look as if my eyes were popping out, head always tilting upwards. My first visit to the Twin Towers.
And then there were the more erudite and leisurely trips, when my daughter was doing her post-grad in Manhattan - museum visits, shows, weekends in Central Park; even birdwatching - and in case you didn't know, Central Park is a great place for birds. Another trip to the Twin Towers.
Then a trip where I bypassed the city, but had great views as we flew in and out of Newark airport. On the way home, the plane banked at just the right moment to show the whole of Manhattan basking in a late summer evening sun. I remember thinking how the World Trade Centre dwarfed everything else...
Three months later my daughter rang me from Virginia. 'Mum, turn on the TV,' she said. Just that. I did - and from Kuala Lumpur, on the other side of the world, I watched the towers fall as it happened.
My last trip was somewhat lonelier - merely passing through with an overnight stopover, just long enough to fulfil a dream. I stayed in an amazing Manhattan hotel (supposedly cheap, but for that price back in K.L you could just about have got the presidential suite in a five star hotel) that had "themed" rooms. Mine was the Salvador Dali room. Imaging waking up to find yourself staring at a rather amateurish reproduction of a Dali painting covering the walls and ceiling... Ok, that really was surreal.
So what was the writer's dream?
To have lunch with my New York editor. It does have a certain ring to it, you've got to admit...
I told her that she might not have known it, but she was the answer to someone's fantasy! On this visit, I have another appointment with her, which I am looking forward to with almost as much anticipation. Meeting one's NY editor still has that ring to it even second time around... ok, I'm a sucker for symbols or something. I'll admit it.
Most of this visit, though, is going to be 'New York with a stroller' and that's a two-year-old's mode of conveyance I'm talking about.
Oh, and I doubt that I will be online again till I get back to K.L. in about five days.