As we drove down to our vacation house in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, we were stuck in the infamous traffic that so many of our friends had warned us about, and I felt like Peter Gibbons in Office Space during his daily commute from hell, as if the fates were intentionally playing games with me -- slow bumper-to-bumper vehicular chess -- every move I made seemed to be countered by ever slower traffic patterns.
Once we arrived at our beautiful temporary home, the stress of travel was forgotten and I enjoyed the pool on the backyard deck -- with thoughts of Phoebe Cates from Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Christie Brinkley from National Lampoon's Vacation popping into my head. (It's a curse that every cinephile must endure when swimming in a pool.)
We could see the 11th hole of a golf course only a few yards away from our back porch, so as we watched golfers do their thing, I thought of Caddyshack and Happy Gilmore.
On the beach, my nephews wore shark tee-shirts and delighted in reminding me that a lady had been attacked by a sharp-toothed fish in those same waters only a week ago, which instantly made me think of that eternal summer classic, Jaws.
While sitting in the outdoor Jacuzzi®, I thought of Hot Tub Time Machine (and tried to ignore my friends references to the loathsome TV show Jersey Shore.) When we went on a tour to see the famous wild horses of Corolla, my mind was flooded with all those movie versions of wild equine tales, such as Flicka, The Horse Whisperer, Black Stallion, and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.
One of the most surprising examples of movies enveloping my day-to-day life unbeckoned was when we stopped for a bite to eat on the last legs of our trip to North Carolina. It was an unassuming place called Wiseguys Pies, but we were delighted to discover that it served some of the best pizza ever made -- and that's high praise coming from a guy like me who was born and raised in New York City. In addition to the great food, the place was decorated with movie posters of some of the finest gangster motion pictures ever produced: The Godfather, Goodfellas, Scarface, etc. My wife and I loved it so much (and so did the greatest food critic of them all, my two-year-old daughter) that we stopped by again on our way home and tried their delicious sweet potato buiscuit sandwiches. If you're ever in the neighborhood, treat yourself to some excellent food, friendly service, and laid-back ambience at Wiseguys Pies, located at 6614 Caratoke Highway, Grandy, North Carolina 27939. Believe me, it's the best pizza you'll find down there.
The great thing about movies is that they will ingrain themselves into your mind long after you've seen them on the big screen, making viewers like me enjoy them again and again at the most unexpected times.