I know that pointing out what's so awesome about the suburbs may be laughable to some. City-dwellers often see the burbs as lacking originality, a sea of endless Chili's and Applebees, with identical houses and landscaping and horrendous traffic.
Well, sure, there are plenty of chains out here; drive down any major retail thoroughfare and you will see Starbucks after TGIFriday's after Target. But there's plenty to love too. What makes some of the Chicago suburbs so great is that they were towns in their own right, first. Take most of the Fox Valley. Crystal Lake, Algonquin, St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia -- all have their own character that was formed separately from their proximity to Chicago. They have cute downtowns, lush parks, recreation areas and great restaurants -- great restaurants that AREN'T chains.
I'm looking forward to exploring more of DuPage County. In some ways, DuPage exemplifies stereotypical whitebread suburbia, but I have a very distinct feeling that if I peel back the layers, and look a little deeper, I will find a rich and unique culture just beneath the surface.