I’m not a fan of breakfast in bed. I like to fix my own breakfast just the way I like it, and I don’t think food and bedsheets really belong in the same room together. What I do love is walking woodsy trails, so the first stop on our Mother’s Day outing was to meet up with some people from our hiking group at the Santa Margarita River Trailhead in Fallbrook. The weather was lovely, the trail was shady, and I was prepared this time for the fact that I would not be able to keep Luke and Elizabeth out of the water, so they had clean clothes in the car to change into. We got back to the trailhead pleasantly tired and, in the kids’ case, wet and muddy. No problem. Our next stop was the Temecula Public Library, which has restrooms right at the main entry that you can get to without taking your damp self anywhere near the books, patrons or librarians. They also have handicapped stalls big enough to stable horses in. The kids changed into clean clothes, put their wet ones into the plastic bag we’d brought, put the bag back in the car, and then we spent another hour or so pursuing our various interests in the library itself.
The Temecula Library (the big new on on Pauba Rd, not the little old one on Ynez) has a wonderful children’s area, but Luke has mostly exhausted its nonfiction section in his ceaseless quest for knowledge. Yesterday I introduced him to the Adult Nonfiction section, which he vanished into with great enthusiasm while I plugged my flash drive into a library computer and worked on my book. Sunday is usually a no-computer day in our family, but Luke rarely gets to go to the Temec library during the school year, and working on my book allowed me to let him stay longer than I otherwise would have had patience for. By the same token I allowed Elizabeth to bring her laptop and enjoy the library’s free wi-fi at connection speeds that are orders of magnitude faster than anything she can get at home. Like drinking from a garden hose when you’re used to sucking on a straw.
Luke had won two free movie passes in a school raffle, so our next destination was the Edward Cinema at the Promenade. Our plan was to confirm showtimes and to secure three tickets for The Avengers and then go get some lunch, but holy crap, everyone in the world was apparently taking their mom to the movies yesterday. Several screenings of The Avengers were already sold out, including the one we wanted. No problem. We got tickets for a showtime that was two and a half hours later and not in 3D, and then traded one throng for another at Souplantation. I was beginning to remember why I don’t normally venture out into civilization on Mother’s Day.
Lunch was nice though. Souplantation is my favorite place for a casual meal out, especially if the kids are with me. After that we still had lots of time to kill, so we did some grocery shopping at Sprouts (I had our cooler and ice packs in the trunk) and then we decided to wander the mall for a while. We headed back to find a spot in the parking garage nearest the theater.
In the past the kids have asked about what the top of a parking garage looks like, and yesterday seemed like the perfect time to find out. We drove all the way up to the roof level, which is apparently where all the vanpools and such park out of the way, and walked around the edges to look at the mall from a new angle. From up there we saw the Apple Store, and that reminded me that I’ve been wanting to talk to a Mac expert about a tech issue, so we headed in that direction next.
The kids scampered into the Apple Store like cats into a catnip garden, and I found the nearest Mac Guy and explained what I wanted to know. He spent at least fifteen or twenty minutes earnestly and thoroughly answering my questions, delightfully mixing in the sort of friendly conversation that not enough men bother with these days, and then said he would like to see me again, and if he’d been just a little older I would have taken him up on it. My ex-marriage seems to have flatlined my capacity to take chances on younger men. Even so, being flirted with by a charming male is an undeniable mood-booster, and I left the Apple store feeling positively exuberant.
It seemed to be a day for trying things we’d never had time for before, so Elizabeth said she’d like to check out the view from the veranda above the fountain courtyard between the cinema and the main structure of the mall, and so we did. By then it was a little over half an hour before the movie was due to start, and we wanted to get there early to be sure we got good seats, so we headed down.
Yeah. Apparently years of catching Tuesday morning matinees had left us unprepared for certain modern realities. The theater was freaking packed, and the ONLY place we found three seats together was up in the nosebleed section, unless you count the area directly in front of the screen where you’re looking up the actors’ pant legs. Nosebleed section it was. Luckily it’s a stadium cinema, so we didn’t have any trouble seeing the action.
Even if I hadn’t already known that “The Avengers” was a Joss Whedon project, I would have realized it fairly early on. Joss’ fingerprints are all over this movie, from the clever dialog and the constant little unexpected twists to the painfully detailed fight scenes and the wonderful combination of the familiar and the bizarrely original. This was a terrific movie.
On the way home I remembered that I hadn’t checked the mail Saturday, so I stopped at our mailbox and discovered that my oldest friend hand sent me a beautiful handmade Mother’s Day card, in which she’d written a lovely small poem describing a mother’s comforting whispers and lullabies as the music that soothes the world’s ills. I spent the rest of the drive home contemplating the incalculable worth of old friends and poetry and beauty and life in general.
It was after 11pm when we got to bed, unheard of on a school night for us. Totally worth it. I think this was the most enjoyable Mother’s Day I’ve ever spent.
TL;DR: Go see The Avengers.