I haven't spent a lot of time outside Rochester since I came to US (August 2002). just a weekend in Boston, 3-4 days in Chicago, and a few hours each in Amherst, Buffalo, Corning and Detroit (just the airport). And maybe 7-8 trips to Niagara. But I'll probably be setting that right soon. I have just returned from a trip to Chicago. Mathur is there in Northwestern Univ and i went to spend the weekend there.
Last time I went there, I was with AS, SS and AC and we drove there in my car. Its about a 10-hour drive which, even though it was pretty enjoyable that time, takes 2 complete days from your schedule. So, I decided to take Amtrak this time around (a long-distance train service here in US). The plan was to sleep in the train (an overnight, 11 hour long, journey) so that I have three full days to spend there. But.... regardless of how impressed Mathur was with Amtrak, I personally found it VERY uncomfortable. The train was only about 50% full, so that almost everyone had two seats to try and sleep on but I still found it very difficult to sleep. Could sleep for only about 2 hours while going there (however, I guess I got the hang of it after that... had a good 4-4.5 hour sleep while coming back).
However, I guess the trip was worth all this. Even though we didnt really do much (we didnt intend to), it was a pretty enjoyable time. Mathur had rented a car and most of the time we were just driving around Chicago listening to some good music (Kangalal Kaithu Sei, Enakku 20 Unakke 18, Minnale, Kaakha Kaakha). We also went to see Black ( I intend to write a review later) and spent some time roaming around a mall. Most of the time we were just laughing away talking about IITB anecdotes. Nice time overall..
Also, there are at least two more places I have to visit in next few months. First, I have to attend a conference in Detroit during the last week of June. Not really decided yet, but very likely. Second, and most important, I am going to India on July 4 to celebrate my one month of independence! :) As you might've guessed, the dilemma I was referring to in a recent post has been resolved. So, July it is.