I moved from my parents' house almost 16 years ago. That was my childhood home, where I knew every nook and cranny. I still have dreams where I wake up convinced I'm back in that house and I'm late for school.
They moved from there a few years after I did. So I've had a strange definition of what "home" means when I visit them. They're in a completely different house, different state, different dogs...it's not bad just different.
It's reassuring to see the same furniture I'm used to. The weird doll "collection" we had growing up...you know, the kind of dolls you couldn't play with so they just stare at you with blank eyes from the glass-front hutch. The sleeper-couch that must be over 40 years old. The odd nesting tables that have a combination of sharp corners and round edges. The Lenox bird collection that was my grandma's. A closet full of Christmas decorations and my old prom dress. (It doesn't fit). The Iron City beer cans featuring the 70s-era Steelers. A kitchen that was more than double the size of the one in my childhood home; it took me 20 minutes to find a plate. The fridge which had no less than 4 different open tubs of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. And, sadly, the room reserved for Pap when he would live with my parents in the winter time.
The rooms are different. But the smell was the same. It's a combination of dog, Tide, Paul Sebastian cologne, and Carpet-Fresh. Not a bad smell by any means; it's a smell of home.
L.E. had a slew of new toys to play with. I half-expected a lot of my old toys to resurface but they all seem to have mysteriously disappeared. I bet they're "somewhere upstate" where they have lots of room to run and get played with. (You got rid of EVERYTHING, Mom? Even my Cabbage Patch Kids?) Her room was strategically placed far away from where I slept so that Mom could take care of her in the middle of the night. It was nice to get some sleep.
The guest bedrooms both have full-size beds in them. So T and I each got our own room. I remember being all pissy when we lived together before we were married but had to sleep in separate rooms when we went home. Now, I welcomed it, I love to sprawl. T snores. It was win-win!
Dad made us breakfast every morning. I make sausage and eggs all the time but it doesn't taste anywhere near as good as his. We ate dinner out almost every night except for when we had the world-famous chicken romano. (Food post will follow)
I still can't figure out my way around there. It takes 30 minutes to go 7 miles. When Google Maps says head East, there's no landmark to base the direction off of. Sure there's the ocean, but there's also the sound and tributaries. Water is not a good focal point because it's everywhere. Like the traffic lights. And it's not even tourist season!
Overall, it was a great visit. L.E. got quality time with her grandparents. T and I enjoyed some alone-time. We went to the beach. We ate seafood and fried-goodness. We hung out with my sister and her husband.
We were home.