I just finished up my last weekend in Southern Illinois — and it was a good one.
First, Alejandra took me to a drive-in movie theater. Yes, you read that right. A drive-in movie theater! Did you know that those still existed? They apparently still exist around here. We never went to any drive-ins when I was a kid, so I thought they were all gone. But there are still a couple dozen scattered across the country, mostly in rural areas where car culture hasn’t died out yet. More than half of the cars looked like old gas-guzzlers, which was very strange. It seemed like a place from the past.
Since it was an hour and a half away, we took Alejandra’s Tesla. Honestly, I would have turned her down if we were burning gas to get there. Expensive and wasteful. But it was her Tesla charged with solar power from Gaia House, so it was cheap and easy.
The drive-in was showing two movies for the price of one, so we spent about four hours out in a field watching movies and eating pizza and candy. It was great to just let go and eat junk food and watch movies for a while. The heat was intense even though it was after sunset. But there was a nice breeze sometimes, and we were in shorts and tank tops, so that helped. I miss the days when there used to be misting tents at outdoor events like that, but now water is too expensive to waste it on a misting tent.
The first movie was basically a superhero movie that took itself very seriously. It was about a woman whose family was killed in an earthquake caused by fracking, so she becomes a superhero and fights the evil corporation that killed her family. It was actually pretty good, but I wish they had cracked a few more jokes instead of playing it off as a serious action movie. You can only be so serious when your main character is wearing tight black body armor that makes her almost look naked.
The second movie was an independent film that was actually about global warming, at least in a roundabout way. It was about an environmental activist named Sarah whose life changes when she somehow stops a car crash with her mind. She realizes that something strange is happening and has to go on the run because she’s being chased by a big government conspiracy. Along the way, she meets some interesting friends, has a few more strange experiences, and tries to mobilize more action on global warming. It was a little random but I liked it anyway.
We had a good time in spite of the heat. And then on Sunday, we went to the beach! It wasn’t a real beach by the ocean, of course. We’re hours and hours away from the ocean. But it was a big lake with a small sandy area that was about as close to a beach as you can get in Southern Illinois. It was too hot to spend all day out there, but we went swimming, laid out on blankets drinking, watched all the people out on the water, and even played beach volleyball with some of the college students. When we were kids, I used to always be better at it because I was a few years older and went to the beach more often. But Alejandra must have been practicing! We decided to switch teams at one point, and there was just no stopping her spike. She was really good.
Anyway, I don’t know how exciting that is to most people, but that’s how I spent my last weekend in Southern Illinois. I already did the last of my packing on Friday. Everyone else who’s going with to Miami did their packing over the weekend as planned. We didn’t end up leaving today, and we probably won’t leave tomorrow since Jess and a couple of others won’t be available until the afternoon. But we should leave by Wednesday at the latest. I’ll try to post something on the day that we leave, but if not, I’ll post as soon as I can. We’ll be on the road for about a week, but I should have time to post as usual while we’re traveling. It’s a long trip to Miami, but I’m really looking forward to it. You have no idea. Wish me luck!