Phillip and I agreed to kept up our tradition of seeing a movie on Christmas Day. When Phillip and Karen started this tradition, long before they met me, nobody went to the movies on Christmas, Phillip tells me, and they had the theaters to themselves. These days, it seems that half the city goes to a movie on Christmas.
Phillip wanted to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. I wanted to see The Shape of Water. They were both playing at Thornton Place Cinemas, in Northgate. So we bought tickets to both. We figured we could make it a double feature if we dashed between theaters, and missed the previews during the second show. We bought our tickets in advance, with reserved seats, so we wouldn’t have to hunt for seats.
Then it snowed on Christmas Eve.
The snow was still there on Christmas Morning. We don’t have great tires on our car, we don’t have chains, and we live on a hill. With Seattle snow, there’s always the danger of it melting and freezing. What looks like snow could very well be a layer of snow over a sheet of ice. Plus, we have a lot of steep hills. Phillip and I just don’t drive in the snow, unless we absolutely have to.
Unfortunately, we’d bought four tickets to shows way up at Northgate.
Fortunately, route 41 runs directly from Downtown Seattle to Northgate Transit Center (right next to Thornton Place Cinemas), every half-hour, even on a holiday schedule.
Text alerts warned us of possible snow delays in the Metro service area. Of course, the Metro service area is all of King County, and King County is roughly the same size as Rhode Island.
We left our apartment with our traveling-in-the-snow-by-bus mindset: Ignore the schedule, and allow a whole lot more time than you think you’ll need. The streets in our neighborhood were bare. The sidewalks were slushy. We could drive, we agreed. We also agreed that we were better off taking the bus.
With Seattle’s microclimates, it could be snowing at Northgate and clear on Capitol Hill. Or, we could drive to Northgate on clear streets, spend six hours in the theater, and find our car in three feet of snow. We agreed to play it safe on the bus.
We got to the stop on Olive Way just as a 10 was pulling in. We got to the platform at Westlake Station just as a 41 was pulling in. Despite the 41 going 40 mph up the freeway (chains on dry pavement) we got to the theater two hours before Jumanji, our first movie, started.
Fortunately, Thornton Place Cinemas has plenty of places to sit and talk and read and play on our phones.
Even with bathroom breaks, and a refill on Phillip’s Diet Coke, between shows, we made it to The Shape of Water just as the previews had started.
Jumanji and The Shape of Water were two different movies, and both enjoyable. Jumanji was silly and fun. The Shape of Water was beautiful and moving.
After the movies, we walked over to the Northgate Transit Center, and got there moments before a 41 left. We rode as far as Convention Place Station and had a 10-minute wait for a 49 up to Capitol Hill. It was the first time we had to wait for a bus today.
We had dinner at La Cocina, and then walked home.
It was a perfect day.