Tuesday, February 22, 2011
This is where my wife, son and I spent our Friday and Saturday nights.
Jealous? You should be. It was awesome.
It's a little getaway called Green Acres Ranch in Joshua Tree. This building and one other are the only two on the site, and there ain't nothing else around but the joshua trees and the scorpions. (Of which we saw none, but we knew they were there.)
We were getting away for my wife's birthday, which fell on Saturday this year. We might have been inclined to stay three nights instead of two, only my company doesn't give us President's Day as a paid holiday (or Martin Luther King Day, or the day after Thanksgiving -- I'm getting used to it).
Because this is a movie blog and not a "how I spent my shortened Presidents' Day weekend" blog, I'll talk about how our weekend relates to movies.
Usually in situations like this, we want to watch a movie each night. There's plenty to do in a place like this -- it has an outdoor fire pit, a hammock, a garden fountain with a fish pond, a horseshoe pit, even an outdoor shower, which I tried to use on the assumption that it would eventually warm up. (It did not.) But my wife and I love movies, so we generally want to wind down the evening with a good flick once all the daytime activities had been exhausted. (And it was too windy/rainy to use the outdoor fire pit anyway.)
We might have watched a movie both nights, but after a five-and-a-half hour drive out from Los Angeles on Friday afternoon/evening -- the deadly combination of rain, a Friday night, and a holiday weekend making it especially long and frustrating -- it was all we could do to make ourselves dinner and get our son situated. A week away from six months old, he was finally spending his first night under a different roof, and let's just say he was not particularly happy about it. We did enjoy some cocktails, but the episode of Twin Peaks we thought we might watch -- our compromise when a movie seemed too daunting -- never did get watched.
Saturday night was different. After a day of yummy meals (all of which we made in the kitchen there), a couple short walks away from the cabin, some reading, and various other birthday-related fun, we got our son settled enough to watch Galaxy Quest for the night of my wife's birthday. Even on the small screen of my portable DVD player, we were reminded just what a joy this movie is. Check out our setup: The house has an attached indoor/outdoor space that's about as big as the living area, and has the benefit of being far enough away from our son that we could make noise without him hearing it. We dragged in two chaise lounges from outside, got ourselves all "rugged up" (my wife's Australian term, that I'd never heard, for bundling up in cold weather), and watched most of the movie out there. After several breaks to go comfort him, we eventually had to come inside and finish up in the bed, with her holding him in her arms. At least he slept well after that -- we all did, on both nights, after the initial fussiness. As good a reason as any other to wish we could stay out there.
But I didn't really just want to write about watching Galaxy Quest. Because this cabin was outfitted with just about everything else -- done in a very rustic style, mind you -- it should be no surprise that it also had its own TV and DVD player on the premises. (We just couldn't use them, because it would have kept our son up.) There were a handful of DVDs available as well. Surely they're just things that have accumulated over time, one way or another, but I thought the list of available movies/watching material was rather odd. Check it out:
The Amityville Horror (the original)
Planet of the Apes (the original)
Wendy & Lucy
A Showtime Emmy screener pack
A USA Network Emmy screener pack
Sure glad we brought Galaxy Quest from home, because not a single other of these would have been what you would consider "light birthday viewing." The Amityville Horror might have been especially creepy, given that we were out in the middle of the desert with basically no one else around. (Or so we hoped, I guess you would say.) Perhaps that's why it's there as an option.
Now, back at work, but still on a high from our weekend in the high desert. Here's hoping you're reading this from home, even if I'm not writing it from there. (Though I guess that would be pretty weird if I were writing my blog from your home.)