Last weekend was a bit of a milestone for the Viertel family. My mom invited Harry (4) and Annie (2) to spend the night. This gave Alissa and me an unprecedented twenty-two hours without the kids. We love our kids dearly, but we had been looking forward to this for several weeks, calling it our stay-cation. Our initial plan was to clean for two solid hours without any “help” from the kids and get some of the stuff that was not daily maintenance taken care of. That would take up part of the afternoon. Then we’d go out for dinner and a movie.
Now don’t get me wrong. We have not gone over four years without a date. We trade date nights with another couple, so we would get at least one dinner out every other week without having to worry about a child experimenting with food, utensils, beverage containers and gravity, or simply melting down in the middle of a restaurant. Likewise, we’ve managed to get to a few movies since becoming parents. But this…this was going to be something different. We were going to get dinner and a movie. And afterward, we were not going to be faced with the prospect of transitioning two sleepy kids from Grandma’s house, to the car, to the house and into bed. So there was no curfew. Not only was there no curfew, but there would also be no alarm clock, artificial or living, so we could even stay out late if we wanted to!
Well, as it so often is with children, things did not go exactly as planned. Annie’s nap pushed our drop-off time from noon-ish to shortly before 3. Naturally, we did the responsible thing and dumped the cleaning. The hot weather made that a bit of a no-brainer. Instead, we opted for a planning session over a late lunch at El Taco Boom.
We were quite pleased with our plan. After a quick stop at Home Depot to pick up a couple of devices to keep Annie from walking out the door should she wake up and venture forth from her new toddler bed, we made our way to the theater. We’d catch a movie and then go down to Edmonds for dinner, after which, we’d walk onto the ferry and go over to a J’Aime les Crepes in Kingston for dessert. This would put us on the water after dark and we could scan the skies for remnants of the Perseid meteor shower. All in all, we thought it was a pretty good plan. There was one element that we were unsure of: the movie.
I could find no sign of The A-Team on Fandango, so my concern over whether or not B.A. Baracus’s back story was necessary will have to remain unresolved until the DVD comes out. But that left us with limited options. We didn’t want to work too hard. (This weighed against, but did not eliminate Inception.) We’re not deep enough into cop movies to have a great appreciation of The Other Guys. I wasn’t interested in The Expendables in any case, let alone as a date movie.
Anything animated was out. Period.
Alissa and I had seen and enjoyed Under the Tuscan Sun a few years ago. I even borrowed a scene from the movie for a role-playing game. As such, we considered Eat, Pray, Love, but I’d heard some reviews that suggested that it’s not a very good movie, but in a way that would make it good fodder for a blog post. Naturally, it stayed on the list, but we really weren’t sure what we would end up choosing.
So we saw Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Just kidding , Clint.
No, we didn’t see Avatar: TLA. What we did do was make our way to the theater to see what opportunities presented themselves. Now we’ve done this before, and always with the same result. Sure enough, we walked up to the box office to find that we were either way too late or way too early for all the movies that we considered serious possibilities.
Well, there was one movie that we had been considering, but for some reason I wasn’t terribly excited about it. That movie is Salt. We decided to give it a shot, and were very glad that we did. I’ll tell you all about it later.