My mom and grandma drove back to Adopted Home State yesterday and I spent some time with my sister-in-law (my brother's wife) and our daughters. My niece is three and absolutely adorable. She and D had lots of fun together. It's so cute how smaller kids are just mesmerized by "big kids". It was really fun to see them together, too since we don't see my brother very often. We're working on getting them to come all the way to Small College Town to visit. My SIL is up for it, but my brother is a harder sell. He is rather high strung and I think that being a father really stresses him out. He also doesn't have a whole lot of vacation time, so I can understand not wanting to use it up on coming to see us. I really hope they will do it, though. It would be a lot of fun to have them. My grandma sounds like she might be willing to make the trip, too. I've invited her lots of times, but I don't think she really seriously considered it until now.
On Saturday and Sunday, we visited a couple of the tourist-type places (that are also popular among locals), but did the trips early enough to avoid the worst of the heat. We also had good Mexican food (with live music!) and saw H's PhD advisor (who was also on my diss committee, let's call him Dr. Nice) and their family. They are such great people. We hadn't seen their daughter since she was 12 (she's now finished her third year of college) and D was a little baby. They took us to dinner to celebrate us getting tenure. Dr. Nice was really helpful to H as a grad student and they were nice to us as a family when D showed up unexpectedly. We still have a lot of furniture that they gave us! It's always great to see them and share our good news.
I only got to see my good friend, S, very briefly. Between my family visiting and her work schedule, we didn't coordinate very well on this trip. She and her boyfriend just bought a house, so I got to see it, at least. I don't really have any other friends or family here, but H was here a lot longer and still has a couple of friends, who he saw yesterday.
We've had such a nice time that we're considering doing a road trip next month and coming back! We haven't done a cross-country trek since H moved to Bible Belt State and I was six months pregnant with D. We'll see if works out or not- we do have the conference trip in August, so we'll have to see if we can figure out a way to do it or not.
One issue I want to leave out for discussion is this: those of you in academia, or with advanced degrees- do you have any relatives that seem uncomfortable about it? I feel like there is a distance between me and a family member with whom I used to be very close and I suspect that is the reason- that this family member thinks I am more successful or something and is self-conscious about it. Has anyone else experienced this? If so, have you tried to address it? I wish s/he would see that I am same person I always was and don't really care who has what degree.