I made a quick trip up to Chicago to see my Dad, sees-ter and best friend over the weekend. Dirt cheap airfare and I couldn't resist. I planned on visiting, shopping at "real" stores and eating at restaurants that didn't have every menu item deep-fried and slathered in pork gravy. You know, doing city kind'a stuff.
Paul complains that I go out too much (meaning to our "big" town). That we moved to the country to get away from the city. But I don't see why I can't still enjoy some of the city life. City folk go on vacation to enjoy the country, why can't I go on vacation to see the city? The main reason to leave the suburbs was to live in the country, not necessarily to forgo every single urban offering.
Now that I think about it, it wasn't really hard to give up most of those "conveniences" because honestly, I didn't really see them as a convenience anyhow. What good was it to have a million stores all around you when you couldn't safely walk to them? You still had to get in a car to get anywhere, even if it was a half-mile away. There were stores galore, but I was finding out that a lot of my purchases were out of boredom rather than necessity. The higher paying jobs were there, but we spent more money to live there.
As usual, I regress. Back to my weekend.......
I visited with family and friends, ate way too much processed foods, baked goods (from a real bakery, not the WM bakery) heavenly chocolates and drank an enormous amount of soda. And although it was wonderful as I crammed those forbidden goodies down my maw, I paid for it later. I don't recall having such an upset stomach or pounding headache in my life. It's amazing how much your digestive system changes once you make the move from processed foods to homemade cooking. But I'll probably end up doing the exact same thing when I visit again. I've already made notes for the next "Restaurant Crawl"; namely Sushi, Gyros and Thai food.
My sister and I also did a little bit of shopping. Not that I really needed or wanted anything, but just to get out for a while. Even with the opportunity to buy designer clothing at upscale department stores, I still couldn't bring myself to buy overpriced apparel, so we just window-shopped. Which was still fun. Mostly because we would snicker at the newest insane/wacko fashions or roll our eyes at the $65 price tag of a t-shirt (thinner than cheesecloth) made in China or a twenty dollar plastic bead bracelet. I did, however, find three beautiful tops and a belt at a thrift store near my sister's house. And I was a bit upset that one of the shirts put me back $7....but it was a beautiful dress shirt!
I also forgot about one of the little freedoms I have at home. Namely going outside in my skivvies without having to worry about anyone seeing me (other than the livestock, of course). I hand washed two of our new thrift-store finds and wanted to hang them outside to dry. As Christine doesn't have a clothes line, I figured I'd just lay them over the patio chairs. But I had momentarily forgotten about the fact that I cannot just go out the back door in my skivvies. The neighbor was outside watering his petunias and the community garden (which happens to back up to their yard) was full of mid-morning gardeners. Never thought that going out half-naked to hang up your britches would be a country-living advantage, did ya?
So even though I occasionally long for some of the suburban / city life, I don't regret our move to the country one bit. But I also don't regret making trips to the city. I'm sure that there are people that live in the most remote parts of the country and don't make a trip to the city for months or even years, and I admire the fact that they are self-sufficient enough to be able to do that. I see it that I have the best of both worlds. I live in the country but can still enjoy a little bit of the city life - it doesn't have to be "All or Nothing". Even though Paul has been making me feel badly for leaving him and Rhiannon alone (probably because he had to milk goats and clean out litter boxes), I don't feel guilty about enjoying my trip to the city.
And I'm looking forward to my next trip.