Thanks smax. Drugstores aren't an option...anything of that sorts is over an hour away, but you're right that they are an option for the "special" photos.
I kind of figured this might be the case...you get into small enough towns and they will not have major drug stores.
But, do keep in mind that many online photo services (including drug stores) will ship to your home. So, they may not get instant gratification, but they also would not need to drive an hour.
However, while digging into the cloud print option I did find Kodak Email Print Service, which claims to print any .jpgs to the photo tray as opposed to the paper tray. I'll have to look into that service, as my parents would be able to just forward an email with the photo to their printer.
There are a number of options out there. HP has an ePrint service that is on some of their network connected printers. I played with it a little bit on a friend's printer when helping them set it up.https://h30495.www3.hp.com/help/about
I am sure other brands of printers have similar services.
Also, take a look at the Google Cloud Print that I linked to. I would assume you would be able to print both "regular" documents as well as photos with that.
The other option is a dedicated little photo printer. My mom has one. She ONLY uses it with a memory card from her traditional digital camera...it is NOT hooked to her computer at all. You can get them with larger LCD displays for viewing the photos and other controls. My mom is able to use it just fine and she is rather far from being "tech literate". The only wrinkle these days is that she is starting to use her iPhone for pictures (we finally convinced her to go to a smartphone in the last year).
And by Chromebook (or similar), I was refering to a relatively basic system that won't require a lot of maintenance to keep it running quickly. My poor mother says booting her computer takes 10 minutes, so we started talking about a new computer which led me down the path of how to avoid this same problem in a few years.
We have basically covered Chromebooks in terms of printing (you can also do printing to a non-Google Cloud Printing ready printer if you also have a "traditional" computer hooked to that printer). I will certainly agree that the major advantage of dealing with a Chromebook is that there is less chance of "things" (i.e. malware, bloatware, etc) happening to a Chromebook. Thus, for less "technically inclined" people, they can be a good choice to help them minimize their hassle factor. This, of course, assumes you can live with the shortcomings of a Chromebook (i.e. less local storage, less options for programs/applications, more of a hassle for printing, etc).
Going to a Windows computer (or maybe a Mac) will make printing easier overall, but then you have the issues associated with a "full blown" computer (i.e. need anti-virus, higher chance of something getting borked in the OS, etc). Of course, since your parent's are likely familiar with Windows, that would be an advantage to just getting another Windows computer (unless that computer has Windows 8 on it, of course :D ).
Using some sort of tablet is basically in the same general ballpark as a Chromebook in terms of printing. For an Android tablet, you would want a Google Cloud Printing ready printer, while for an iPad you would want an AirPrint compatible printer. I honestly don't know how well either will work for printing photos (i.e. can you select a photo paper tray rather than the "regular" paper tray).