I was struck by how similar the area where my parents live now is to the area of town where they lived here in Texas. I think this is mostly because both places are a) flat and with deciduous trees and grass and whatnot (my mind is still reeling from how DIFFERENT New Mexico and Utah were, I think) and b) suburbs built up in the 1980s or so. They live sort of between Wheaton and Schaumburg, for those with a smidge of familiarity with the area. And their new house reminded me so much of the one they most recently left here in Texas, which I'm sure can be attributed to the fact that they are both houses of the same era and, of course, the same people are living there with the same furniture and painted in the same kinds of colors. I wonder if people would be able to tell that the houses I have lived in were decorated by the same person... It is an interesting question at the forefront of my mind, since our house is currently on the market and we just did some real estate hunting on our trips to Santa Fe and Salt Lake City. It is funny how big of a glimpse into people's lives you can get from their houses.
Anyway, we did some really fun things while we were there-- an AWESOME children's museum, a little zoo in Wheaton, a working 1890s-style farm, the big Legoland place full of amazing stuff built out of Legos and fun things to do. The girls and I didn't make it downtown this trip (it's about an hour by train and even longer by car what with traffic and parking) but I hope to another visit. Rob said he really liked downtown Chicago and enjoyed his days there before finishing up his review course and heading out west to spend a few days with the rest of us before our return home.
It was so nice to see my parents settled into their new home. This move has been a hard transition for them, and one they are not entirely through with yet, but I was glad to get to spend some time with them and see how many good things are in their lives. The sun shone brilliantly in a bright springtime sky the whole time we were there, and my parents have made it through the long cold winter to emerge into a green, blooming Midwestern spring.