The Drive-In! The Wellfleet Drive-In!
We usually do this once every few years, and every time we go, we swear we a) want to come back again that summer and b) have to do this more often. Then, life picks back up to one hundred miles an hour, and before we know it, another summer has past.
That's ok though, because the Drive-In is an experience and one that shouldn't be overdone. It's almost magical.
We take a trip to the store to pick out candy. "No big bags," I warn, as my husband and kids walk in, looking back with a grin that leads me to believe I might be alone in that boat. Only later when I go for my 'small' pack of Swedish Fish do I see it's actually a huge bag, and so is the Skittles and Sour Patch Kids that my kids are asking for. And let's not forget the mini-huge Snickers Bars bag as well. (yeah, those are chilling in my fridge right now screaming my name.) No worries.. I was secretly glad they went off on candy.
Everyone is friendly. It's like the excitement of the people going to the Drive-In spills over onto the employees. They were right there, telling us to pull as close as possible to the poles that still have the microphones you hook onto your window, just in case you don't want to tune to the radio station that will now broadcast the movie over the airwaves. (SO cool). The up and down slant of the parking lot with the huge screen at the front, whose stark whiteness looks breathtaking against any skyline always makes me feel warm inside. The speakers softly play music from the fifties, and you can feel the excitement as we set up our beach chairs at the back of our car. The kids have the best seats in the house; both rows of seats in our car folded down with their pillows and blankets ready for the grabbing once the show starts.
Of course, a stop to the playground is a must. A metal slide ...you know, the kind that takes the first two layers of skin off when you go down it after it's been in the hot sun, swings, and the 'spinning circle of death' is the extent of the playground. But the spinning circle is all they need, as that's where all the kids go. The parents stay back, leaning on the split-rail fence with those frozen smiles of fear on their faces, praying it won't be THEIR kid that gets whipped off when it goes too fast, or falls flat on the sand while everyone else that's running with it tries to avoid tripping over the kid that fell. I've seen that kid, and I've been that kid - that ride is the ONLY thing they need at a fair - there's something about it that kids just LOVE. Maybe it's the no-seat-belts, no-parents-allowed, I'm-staying-on-this-until-I-almost-throw-up, mentality of it. My kids don't walk that straight when they come off it, but always go back for more.
Coolers packed with our favorite libations still yielded a trip to the snack bar for medium sodas for the kids (I was feeling generous and it's about the experience, people!), and an absolutely ginormous popcorn with butter. I can eat a twenty-course meal and literally be rolled into a movie theater, I will A-L-W-A-Y-S. buy movie theater popcorn - that stuff is the shit. We put a good sized dent in it, too, but couldn't finish it. (Is it wrong I actually winced as I was stuffing the container into the trash because I wanted to bring it home and eat more?)
Minions was the first show. The kids in their seats, B and I in our lawn chairs, the wind blowing on our faces as we snuggled up under a blanket of clouds above us and a warm quilt on us, our dog at our feet, was such a great way to spend a summer night.
While we didn't make it for the second show, we all agreed we were leaving at the right time. And that we had a great time. If you haven't been to the Drive-In yet this summer, you should find the time to go. Pack the cooler, buy the largest packs of candy you can, get the biggest popcorn and pile on the butter, snuggle under the beach chairs or in the back of you car, and drink it all in. It's what makes summer, summer.
Til next time,
Love, Happiness & Coffee,