Monday, July 17, 2006

I guess the idea of the whole experience became so blown up in my mind, anything that was going to happen was bound to be some degree of letdown. But doesn't the concept seem sound? Taking my kids to their first real movie - a first run movie in theaters, and at the same time, it would be their first time in a movie drive-in. And the movie they'll be watching? Cars. The idea just oozes with cuteness, doesn't it?

And then there was the reality of it. Having blown speakers in the front and back of my car, and having a tape deck that didn't work meant that going to the drive-in would be a pretty quiet endeavor. Of course, now I realize that we could've just bought a portable radio, but it had been ages since I've been to one. Especially one here here in Seattle.

Having put in over 3 hundred bucks into the car's stereo system on Saturday, (it wasn't that much at first, but one problem begat the other and it was simply easier to just install new speakers) I was pretty keen on testing out my new Sony "EXPLODE" speakers, except it's spelled "EXPLOD" or something, because hip people don't spell things correctly. So I asked my wife if she wanted to go to the drive-in Saturday night, since it was the weekend and it didn't matter if we were out late. She said sure.

I checked the movie showtimes for the Auburn Drive-in, and Cars was indeed playing there, but it was the second half of the double feature, the first being "Pirates of the Caribbean." So I checked Kids-in-Mind, which is a handy and slightly over-detailed website that rates movies according to Violence/Gore, Sex, and Swearing, the three main reasons why I want to be a filmmaker. They not only rate but actually lists in detail the scene and its context, in a unintentionally amusing clinical manner.

After reading about an eye being plucked out by a bird, and a decapitated head looking for its body, I realized that PG-13 was pretty much dead on. In addition, by the time the second feature came on, it would probably be way too late for the kids to even enjoy the movie.

So my wife asks if there were any other Drive In theater showing Cars. And there was one.

Next thing, we're on the freeway with two groggy and slightly cranky kids who were just snatched from their naps, and we're on our way to Port Orchard. Finally now I have an answer to, "How far would you go to see a movie," and that answer would be "76 miles." We were running a little late but I managed to shave 20 minutes off the drive, down to an hour, and we still managed to snag a pretty good spot. Now since we left in a hurry, we hadn't had dinner or brought the right clothes, so we got a lackluster pizza from the concessions and had to pretty move around outside in the dark to stay warm, and to keep the kids entertained. The playground there was described by my wife as something they was build when the drive-in was first erected, and had not seen an upgrade since. There were boisterous and reckless kids that nearly mowed over my todds, and the playground was a little bit of a safety hazard.

For reasons unknown, the staff decided that it had to be absolutely pitch dark to start the movie, so it wasn't till 15 after 10pm until they started the movie. The movie was pretty good for the most part - there were parts when the movie was obscured by a Zoe climbing over the seat into the backseat, only to realize that nobody else was in the backseat, and the part when Zoe decided to honk the horn, and the part when Zoe decided to be tricky and place her blanket over the wheel, and then honk the horn, and the part when Zoe decided to kick the dashboard, the radio, change the channels, turn up the volume, and kick the shade off the radio display, blinding us with the luminous and beautiful new CD/MP3 player display. Alex was a little fidgety, but he was overall pretty easy to sit with. He would sometimes reach behind his head to grab my head, and drum his fingers on my head, before turning around and saying in a sweet voice, "Hi Daddy."

When Cars ended, we decided to skip Click, and headed home. It didn't take more than a couple minutes before they were pushing up Z's in the car. We didn't get home till almost one-thirty, and they went to bed with no problems.

Thus ended their first movie/theater slash drive-in experience.

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