After my post yesterday, this email almost feels like an answer to an unspoken prayer. I got an email inviting me to visit one of the schools. In fact, it was from the school that hasn't actually closed their application process yet, which I take as a strong indication that they want to accept me. The actual phrase used was "like to invite you to spend a day with us to consider being a... PhD student" (I omitted the name of the school only).
I almost feel like a kid at camp who just got a letter from home. I would really love to go to the school, so this trip might well be to our future home. Maybe we'll know by the time we make it (we have to wait until the baby is six weeks old). It falls right in line with our plan with each child: long road trip early in life to instill "road readiness". We have done that with our daughter and with our first son, and they are very good travelers. We love taking trips as a family, in fact. If other schools invite me, then we might have to arrange to see some of those as well. For now, though, this trip will work out nicely because we were already planning to go see my wife's parents in a few weeks.