I have applied to five schools so far: Schools A thru E. Yesterday, my husband and I strolled around in the neighborhood where we'd live if I got hired by School D, which is a short drive from where I live now and closer to his work. Today, since we had no major plans, we took a two-hour drive to see School A, since neither of us had ever been there or knew much about it other than what we've read on the web. The university is nice, and though the town is a little run-down, it has some nice historic homes and a great little downtown district and we could see ourselves living there. We had coffee and bagels in a cozy little shop across from campus. Then we drove to a state park that is within an easy drive of School A. We had a fun time hiking in the woods and up and down hills. We ended up hiking around for about an hour. We ate lunch near the park and then headed for home, a little muddier but happy that we got out in what might be the last warm and sunny day of the year. We stopped on the way home to pick up falafel sandwiches for dinner -- one of the saddest prospects of relocating is that if we move far from Toledo, Lebanese food might be harder to find. So we had a nice adventure and got home before dark, hopefully working off a little bit of pie in the process.
So far School D still has a bit of an edge in the imaginary horse race, though of course we have to see what all these hiring committees think of me before making any real decisions, don't we? And you never know what charms yet-as-unknown Schools F through Z might hold.