I'm back visiting my parents right now in the midwest - always a surreal experience. The first few times I came back, during college especially, I found myself looking at everything like an outsider.
One example? I noticed for the first time when I came home from freshman year that the toilet was pink. Now, I'm not an observant person apparently, but I think it is safe to chalk that 'revelation' up to the way we tend to overlook and accept whatever is familiar. Now of course I know the drill and I expect it. It's even kind of fun to play the 'what changed while I was away' game.
But it still makes me a little uncomfortable when they change things back home. I usually love new and different, hence my love of travel, but I like knowing that when I return things will be familiar. Of course, most of the changes lately have been for the better; a new high school, a mexican restaurant, tennis courts at the park. Still...
Even more jarring than the physical differences are the changes in people back home. My mother pointed me to the website of a little girl I used to babysit for. She is now a professional photographer. (Which is funny, because I thought she was 8 years old still...) My 'little' cousins are all grown up too, two of them have joined the military. Even weirder is that my friends have started getting married. (And some have even started having babies!)
So wish me luck as I reacquaint myself with my old life, and of course, enjoy a little down time.