There's this one episode of Sex and the City in which Carrie talks about Secret Single Behaviors, or the things you do alone and in the privacy of your own home because you'd be too embarrassed if people found out just how weird you are. Carrie's is something like spreading jelly on saltines and eating them while standing up in her kitchen. I know...IS THAT SERIOUSLY ALL THAT SHE WILL ADMIT TO?
I could tell you about my Secret Single Behavior...but I won't ;). Instead I'm going to tell you about my Secret Nerd Behavior (SNB), a distant cousin to the Secret Single Behavior. The SNB is a nerdy hobby that you keep secret because someone has already labeled you as a "cool kid" and you don't want to ruin your street cred. I'm 99% certain that I have never been labeled a "cool kids", but I still have a SNB that I've kept to myself. Until now.
When my brothers and I were young, my parents instituted a 3-night summer event that I'll call "Star Wars Trilogy Nights". We did this every year, and attendance was not optional. I remember my mom calling the payphone at the neighborhood pool (yes, I'm ancient), to summon me for Star Wars Trilogy Nights, after which I would speed home on my bike to catch Han Solo. Even my 12-year-old self knew he was a total babe. Plus, you know, light saber battles.
The Star Wars factoids I retained from all those years of Trilogy Nights have been locked away in my memory, only to be resurfaced 15 years later on a misty afternoon in Mount Rainier National Park. Upon arriving at the park, my mom and I didn't have much time, so we decided on walking an easy 1-mile loop known as the Grove of the Patriarchs. The hike takes you across a suspension bridge to an island sanctuary where ancient trees ~1000 years old continue to grow, protected from forest fires.
If you only have an afternoon in Mount Rainier National Park, I highly recommend that you spend it hiking the Grove of the Patriarchs, just as my mom and I did. For the small amount of effort required (this trail is perfect for small children or anyone elderly), it delivers a satisfying level of adventure. Plus, there's the added bonus that it is basically Endor, a moon in the Star Wars universe covered by giant trees and inhabited by lovable Ewoks. Any Star Wars enthusiast spending at least 2 seconds in the Grove of the Patriarchs will be imagining scenes from the Battle of Endor, aka the battle where Princess Leia rocked camo and a bunch of glorified teddy bears took out a band of Vadar's storm troopers.
Although the Star Wars Trilogy Nights are a thing of the past, they've been replaced by something exponentially better. I'm dating someone who has introduced me to the Lord of the Rings films and insists that periodically, we watch the extended editions in chunks throughout the week. Thank God he has a Secret Nerd Behavior to rival my own. Also, thank God he's way more handsome than Han Solo. ;)