I finally got to visit my parents at their weekend house on Sunday. The significant other unit, Benny, and I squeezed into my silver bullet and prepared for the long, three hour each way drive.
The significant other unit brought a couple of books he's studying and a quiz on his laptop, which, together with his cell phone kept him plenty busy. I was enjoying the scenery, revisiting long-ago memories of driving through this seemingly interminable stretch of highway past my old alma mater and into my old home grounds.
Benny didn't enjoy the drive at all, like most car rides, and spent the entire time panting all over his blanket. The doggie safety belt helps him stay snuggled good and tight so he doesn't get overly excited and hurt himself around the car. He definitely enjoyed the car stops way more than the car ride. He smelled new doggie emails and caught some of that lovely river breeze that flopped his long ears on that unusually hot Sunday afternoon.
I had fun driving through downtown Moline and parts of downtown Rock Island (thought traffic detours abounded and limited our navigation) and then seeing my old workplace (where I left because the owner kept bouncing my paycheck!). Finally our tour ended at my parents house, which was recently remodeled with new overhangs, gutters, electrical system, and siding. The new landscaping was smart looking as well, and the significant other unit, Benny, and I enjoyed sitting under the front tree for a while. I almost forgot we needed to wave as people drove by, I must have seemed so antisocial (who me?!). Go figure.
So much is the same, and yet so much has changed. Me included.
It was a short visit, but we capped it off in a most excellent way, with an early supper at one of our all-time favorite restaurants in the area, The Cellar in nearby Geneseo. Delicious, charbroiled specialties and unique, reliable service. Gotta love it! I even got to take home the leftover sweet buns that no one touched. YUM!
I miss not living in that side of the state anymore. There's something absolutely charming about the greenery, the breeze, the hot sun, and the rivers (Mississippi River and Rock River). Some call it a lazy river type of town, but there's plenty of activity year-round.
What I don't don't miss is the quirky people, economically depressed area, and lack of jobs. And the three hour drive of course, that's a lot of ga$oline. I guess I wouldn't mind going back more often if we happen to coincide with my parents being there again, and during one of the major seasonal festivals. Or to visit that awesome art museum, The Figge, in nearby Davenport.
Then again, there's so much to do, see, and experience right where I have been living for the past 12 years, that I really don't need to tear up all that asphalt to have a good time. It was a good trip, but it's nice to be home again.