Today was playgroup day. Our hostess was S. and her darling redheads L. and E. They all moved to Italy two years ago with S.'s husband, but are in town for the summer and staying at S.'s mother's condo in Palos. We all piled in The Great White Moose and headed south/southwest to have lunch, listen to the cicadas and hang out. I haven't been to the southwest suburbs in years -- not since I lived in the south suburbs -- and despite the huge area that remains preserved forest, the southwest 'burbs have experienced a huge population/development explosion. S.'s mom's condo was huge -- arguably bigger than our SFH in the city -- and the kids had fun playing while S. and I chatted. Before her expatriate days, S. worked as a chef at The Peninsula Hotel here; I have always enjoyed going to her house because she serves great food. Lunch today was no exception.
After lunch, we all piled in our respective cars and drove about 2 miles away to a local playground, which had a large cicada population and no other child visitors in the 45 minutes that we were there. S. says she has seen other people at that playground exactly twice in the month that she's been here already.
Around 3, L. and The Boy were having more scuffles than peaceful playing, so we packed it in. S. went back to her mom's condo, and the kids and I headed SE toward Homewood, to visit a friend of my mom's. As I told The Boy, she has known me since I was his age. The Boy and The Girl played with her vintage 1970s toys and we chatted. The Baby nursed. Then it was time for us to go home. We stopped at a local fast food joint called Pop's to have dinner before we hit the Ryan. By the time we got on the highway, traffic had cleared -- even at the nearly-always-hairy Circle -- and we made it home in 40 minutes.