One of the hardest parts of college, I think, is the distance between you and your family and friends. In my case, my family lives in Virginia and most of my friends live in Tampa, so it's a little difficult .
Last week was the first time I got to see my mother in three months. This Saturday, I fly to Virginia to spend Thanksgiving Break with my family, and I'm very excited.
Because of the distance between us, my mom decides to send me stuff from time to time. In October, she sent me this package, complete with 30+ cookies.
Parents, please take note. This is definitely something your kids want. It lasted for a very long time, and there was more than enough to share with my friends.
Really, when you send care packages, make sure to include food. Even though the dorm food is not too bad, food from "home" will give us that bit of comfort we need. Also, handwritten notes telling us how much you are proud of us and how much you miss us wouldn't hurt either. :)
As for places to go eat when parents come to Bloomington, I would definitely recommend Bucceto's. My grandma has visited twice and both times we have gone to Bucceto's. It's relatively fast service, good food, and it's not on Kirkwood so you don't have to be bothered with impossible parking spots along with globs of people.
If you are into more popular restaurants, there's always Olive Garden, O'Charley's, Bob Evans, and the like by North Jacob Dr. These are away from campus, which provide a relaxing escape for a few hours.