Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Baby girl, I'm a blur...

Days 4-6- Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Minneapolis

So today was the day when I realized I was traveling across country, often alone, for 8 weeks. It happened as I walked through Loring Park in Minneapolis, a charming, if entirely anonymous city. How much will I miss not being egged on by a better half? How much will I miss because I'm not quite ready to stick myself too far out in these new places?

But then I found a sculpture garden. And like that, I found peace.

I left Chicago on Saturday morning after reading for a few hours in Wicker Park. I'm not so sure about Chicago. I think I may need more visits with friends to really understand the magic. In the meantime, I'm glad I've been there...not in a hurry to get back.

I spend Saturday evening through this morning in Milwaukee with the one and only Katie Brandes. She is ever a hoot. We participated in the worlds largest music festival, Summerfest where we enjoyed Our Lady Peace (yessss), wandered the streets of Milwaukee's Third Ward, read the hours away on the beaches of Lake Michigan, grad partied it up...it was a good time. It is such good news that she will be moving to NYC in a few weeks...mostly for her sanity.

Today, her pal Joe and she took me up to Madison to wander around UW and the town. It is lovely...extremely cute...a little Burlington-esque despite being much larger. I think it might just be too small and too far upper midwest to warrant an application, though the vibe was excellent.

Henceforth, I moved on to the Twin Cities to take in UM. The most attractive campus of the 3 Big 10 schools I've visited this week, but I think I'm least attracted to the city. Uptown is a hoot, and I give them props for their value of public art. But it is too sterile of a city with not enough of a vibe. And even farther up and west.

But as I said, I found a very nice peace wandering the sculpture garden at dusk, looking at the skyline and continuing to clarify my goals to the future. Tomorrow marks a huge push west...as far as I can make it, and likely an end to regular beds and showers at least for a week or two. It'll be a cool change to get out of the city hopping pattern. We'll see how it goes when things get more rural.

It won't be until I get back around to Austin in 4 weeks that I return to a familiar place, although many old faces will be popping up along the way, which brings great comfort and excitement. In the meantime, the many new places and faces have been great, and I look forward to meeting many more.

Next time you will hear from me will likely be from Portland next week...crazy.

Be well.

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