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After six months traveling in Latin America, I boarded a flight (well, three flights) back home to Chicago. It was a bittersweet journey. Sure, I was ready to eat familiar foods, see my friends and family, be back in a city I love. But I was enjoying Colombia. A lot. A month earlier I was very ready to return home. It was no secret that I just never got into Central America the way I got into Asia and I was just ready to be done with it. But then I arrived in Colombia, and all that turned around. And now...

It was one of those October days where you could still eat brunch al fresco. Carrot cake pancakes, a cup of coffee with cream, and a strawberry mimosa for good measure. Where you talk girl talk and boy talk and life talk and travel talk with a friend. Where you walk home, three miles, from Division to Roscoe because it is still sort of warm in that way Chicago weather seems warm when the day before was cold. Where the sky is blue. Where the leaves are orange. Where people you pass say "hello," because that is the kind of...

Have you ever been startled because you think you see a person, but it turns out that it's just a mannequin? Later do you ever realize, wait, no, that naked man in the corner in the cage is actually a real person? ...

1. SummerDance Tonight I went to SummerDance at Grant Park. It's totally awesome. An hour of dance lessons followed by 2 hours of a live swing back, all outdoors. Can't beat it. Tonight was East COast Swing and the Thomas Gunther Jazz Band. Sweetsweetsweet. Of course, I had to go all by myself because no one would go with me :( ...