Malta Drive-In to see Cars 2 with their little family. At first I thought to myself "No, I'm too tired, just want to stay home and relax" but then thought about what I'd be missing -- Henry's excitement at this rite-of-summer experience that we, in this part of the country, are still able to enjoy.
The preparations were mighty as Katie and Bill prepared for the evening. There was the transferring of car seats from the car to the truck. The kids were outfitted in pajamas. Pop corn was popped (the real deal, not microwave) and portioned into individual paper sacks with our names on them. Favorite blankets were gathered and we were on our way.
We arrived at the drive-in just as darkness fell, and the highway was illuminated by a procession of headlights making their way toward the entrance from north and south of Route 9. Seems a lot of people thought it was a good night for a night at the drive-in. We were too late for the dancing hot dogs and "10 minutes to show time" but we tuned the car radio to the designated station and could hear previews before we pulled in. At $8 an adult and $3 per child (Pete, at 8 months, was given a pass!), we paid for our tickets and pulled in, backwards, to our spot. As Adirondack chairs were arranged in the truck bed, blankets passed around, and pop corn bags doled out, we settled in to enjoy the show in the damp, cool night. The annoyance of mosquitos was balanced by the dance of fireflies in the night, and fireworks were visible in the distance, probably from the speedway down the highway. Pete was sound asleep in his car seat in the truck. Henry sat in his chair and from what I could tell never moved a muscle for the entire length of the movie. He was mesmerized! I thought of how lovely a night it was, how cool it was that Henry was experiencing something that I enjoyed as a young girl and teenager, that my own children remember so fondly that Katie wants this experience for her children, too. To top it all off, last night was the 60th birthday of the Malta Drive-In, such a milestone when so many drive-ins have disappeared.
Everything seemed different last night, as if we had traveled "Back to the Future," and for those couple of hours, all was just perfect with the world.