When I say “Northeast,” I mean Virginia and beyond – not really, sure that is the official Northeastern US.
When I saw “Midwest,” I really mean Illinois and Wisconsin. I never think of Wisconsin as being in the Midwest. It seems too far north for that, as if it should really be in the Northern-Middle-West or something. At least I’m positive Chicago is in the Midwest and that is where my journey will begin.
For many years, traveling has been a huge priority for me. Anyone who knows me is aware of that fact. I prioritize travel beyond shopping for new clothes, going to the movie theater, going out to fancy restaurants, and many other forms of entertainment that most people enjoy. I save my money to go traveling.
This summer is a perfect time for me to travel. Being a teacher…it’s summer break! Enough said. Additionally, I have had a very tough last year – emotionally, in relationships with people I care about, in job searching, in many aspects. I have generally been a budget traveler, not just in the sense of skipping the high-priced museums and one-of-a-kind restaurants, but also in the sense that I plan my itinerary to take advantage of flight deals, I check car rental prices carefully to take advantage of price fluctuations, and I route accordingly so that I am in more expensive cities (re: hotels) on the cheaper days of the week. That kind of thing.
This summer I am keeping to a low budget, partly because it’s what I’m used to, but also because of necessity. My income in this last year since returning from Hungary was significantly lower that what it has traditionally been (we’re talking at least 80% lower!) so being thrifty is sort of the responsible thing to do.
But that will be no problem because, as many of my closest friends and family know, I must have been a travel planner in a previous life. [note: I don’t really believe in previous lives, but if I did have previous lives, I was a travel planner, an airplane pilot, or a mutual fund manager in them!]
Here are some basics details of my travels, inasmuch as I have made definite plans:
When: July 11-August 6
Who: Me, myself, and I. Also my camera, who I haven’t named yet. My brother will get to join me for about 8 days in the middle. Very excited about that! Any friends or family who are reading this are welcome to join me as well! Just let me know. A few friends have graciously offered me a room to stay in for a few nights, and I am looking forward to seeing them again! That said, I will certainly enjoy the moments of solitude in an unknown place, the exploring on my own, the places where I will wander, and the new people I will hopefully meet. I will also enjoy the moments that non-photographers find difficult to understand – like when the light outdoors is not quite right, and you’ve got to wait a half hour to see if/how it changes. All you photographers know what I mean!
How: Traveling by plane and by car. Staying with friends, in private rooms found on Airbnb.com, some hotels found on hotwire.com, and I also plan to sleep in my car a few nights. Partly for the adventure, partly for the cost savings, and partly for the flexibility in itinerary it allows. My “car nights” have been strategically scheduled into my itinerary.
Where: Arriving in Chicago ( 5 nights), then visiting southern and eastern Wisconsin by car (4 days). I will fly to Baltimore and collect a rental car. From there I will see some new places but also see some sights that Kellie and I have traveled to in the past. This 17-day leg includes:
- Baltimore and a bit of Washington D.C. (I have spent several days in D.C. in the past)
- Civil War Locations: Bull Run, Antietam, Harper’s Ferry (WV), Gettysburg (a repeat)
- Covered Bridges of the PA Amish area (a repeat)
- Philadelphia (a repeat)
- NYC (there’s a LOT I didn’t get a chance to see last time)
- Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame on Induction Weekend
- Boston (a repeat)
- Newport, RI (I have been to Providence and thought it sucked. I’m excited about Newport, though)
Then back south through coastal CT, NYC, NJ, and PA to Delaware
- Delaware, in all its tiny glory
- Annapolis, MD
- and finally an extra day or two which aren’t planned yet. Probably either more of Baltimore, D.C., or something else nearby. Returning the car to Baltimore, taking the train back down to D.C and flying out from there. Trust me, it was far cheaper that way.
I hope to travel light, though I will be carrying camera gear and my laptop. You better believe I will be blogging about the trip and taking massive quantities of photos, though I realize that quality > quantity. I will also get to attend 5 baseball games: Cardinals vs. Cubs, Marlins vs. Brewers, Dodgers vs. Nationals, Rays vs. Yankees, and Mariners vs. Red Sox. I also plan to visit a substantial quantity of breweries, brew-tastings, and brewpubs.
What and Why: Those were covered in the opening paragraphs, above.
Can anyone point out something I should do in New Jersey? Seriously, I looked at the travel guide, I looked on Wikitravel and Tripadvisor. I can’t find a single reason I shouldn’t just drive straight through the state. That’s how I felt last time, too, and that’s what I did. Drove straight through. So please give me an idea. No, I’m not interested in Atlantic City. Please leave some comments and help me out. Maybe Chris Christie will call me with some ideas.