Summer Adventure Series (Second Edition)

via flickr ~ Celeste Photography Amber's back with a new post about her Summer Adventure!

When we last heard from Amber, she was leaving her job for several weeks of down-time before jet-setting around the country (well, low-budget jet-setting) and returning in the fall to a new job working with pre-teen girls. She wrote this on her plane ride to Chicago...


I find myself this morning on a flight to Chicago. I say that I “find myself” here, because the morning started at 5 am after a restless night, and I basically sleepwalked through security.

With adventure ahead, I reflect on my several weeks of “freedom” after leaving my job in May. My friend called it “funemployment.” I enjoyed sleeping in, baking, and not commuting on public transportation. I loved having little obligation besides showering, and tipping my barista. Oh, and the dreaded GRE. I loathed the GRE, but felt very accomplished on the other end of hours of study and a decent score. I climbed a serious mountain, and at the end I could calculate the angle of said mountain or describe it with multi-syllabic words (bucolic, say, or intractable.)

I had lofty goals about my time off, from learning to make sourdough to learning how to tango. I procrastinated a little on some of my agenda, but my budget was also slashed when my time off from work paid-out significantly less than anticipated. (When a well-meaning but misguided manager says vacation and sick time are the same, don’t listen. Use that sick time, because you can’t take it with you!) A few items on the agenda had to go.

Accordingly, I postponed weekend trips and went into the city less. I was most disappointed to forgo dance classes. I braved one ballet class and one beginning tango class and was enthusiastic to continue. Then my docked check came, and I pulled out my ballet workout DVD to plie in my living room.

Now I’m on the second leg of my summer – the big East Coast tour. The main objective is to enjoy the company of friends, but I also have a unique expectation for each city. For Chicago, it’s the food. I’ve already been promised a “Chicago Dog,” deep dish pizza and cheesecake, in addition to the wares at the Taste of Chicago festival. In NYC, it’s all about culture – the sites, museums and lifestyle of our largest, most trend-setting city. I’m anticipating my Fourth of July weekend in Boston to be full of Americana – in addition to the festivities, I’ll catch a baseball game at Fenway, visit Paul Revere’s house, and drink Sam Adams. Then on to Philadelphia, where the operative term is, um, Benjamin Franklin, I guess. I’m having my one night in a private B&B room there between hostels and futons. I end in D.C. where I’ve been to before, and I am eager to revisit some of the amazing museums and monuments, a wellspring of patriotism and perspective. Since I’ll be seeing three friends there, the D.C. theme is revisiting.

I’m anxious to lug my single carry on (thanks for the tips, Maggie!) out of the airport and into the summer heat of Chicago. As I embark, I have a Simon & Garfunkel refrain playing in my head; “I’ve gone to look for America.”


Read more about Amber's adventure on her blog, Let Us Go Then, You and I.  Any travel or tourist tips for Amber?