Saturday, November 6, 2010


We are currently in Norfolk, VA, staying at a marina after a week of anchorges and not leaving the boat. This weekend should be a whirlwind of doing laundry and visiting kid-friendly locales.

There are many thorny questions a sailor must answer. Should I reef the sails? Will that anchor hold? Can I make port before the sun sets? And, most importantly, where should we spend Hallowe’en?

This issue dominated our planning in the week leading up to the 31st. Where could we find a likely town for trick-or-treating? Candidates were turned down for one reason or another. Too small. Too far. Local fish-packing industry too smelly. At last, we settled on Solomons, MD.

And, success! Despite arriving late to find the sun dying and the anchorage full, we found a good place to settle on Mill Creek. The weather was decent, and we spend some enjoyable days taking trips with the dinghy. A particular highlight was the Calvert Marine Museum. There is a big Miocene deposit near Solomons, and the museum had a great interactive display for the kids. Stylish netted a tiger fish tooth, and Indy a dolphin bone. There was a model of a giant shark that reportedly grew up to 52 feet. To help wrap your brain around a shark that large, our boat is 57 feet. (So now when the endless Duplo and puzzles on the floor get to me, I imagine we are living in a giant shark and I feel all badass.)  On the contemporary marine side, there were live horseshoe crabs, starfish, turtles, and otters. There was even an old-timey lighthouse for Erik to tour. A hit all around.

Anyway, back to Hallowe’en. Stylish settled on being a Ghost Pegasus Unicorn, and of course, Indy chose the same. Some artfully applied construction paper and yarn later, and kapow!

Quake before the nuclear-grade cuteness! Oh, my eyeballs are melting from the adorability! I mean, spookiness. Ooooh, spooky! Now, I have to tell you, none of the good people of Solomons were able to figure out their costumes. The most common guess was Skeleton Fairy. My favourite was Ghost Narwhal (the horns were listing by that point).

Erik had done a fair bit of recon, and heard from his sources (a cab driver and his barber) that a townhouse complex a couple of miles away would be a winner. We trooped out there, and sure enough, the sun went down and the kids came out.

Indy, at two somewhat new to the Hallowe’en scene, steadfastly refused to let anyone put candy directly into her bag. Little old ladies would bend down to drop in a Snickers, and she would quickly thrust the bag behind her back. She took the candy, eyed it carefully, then dropped it in the bag herself. I didn’t see her refuse anything, but she sure gave the impression that she might. For days afterward, all she would say about Hallowe’en was, “A bear gave me candy.” This appears to be in reference to a werewolf whose costume was so frightening (to everyone else) that Stylish had to help some smaller kids make it to the door.

Stylish, of course, is a pro. Trick-or-treat, thank you, check out the loot, move on. A military operation.

The girls got a good haul. However - and here we see cultural differences at play – they did not receive a single bag of chips. Not one. What is Hallowe’en, I ask you, without those tiny, overpuffed bags that only hold eight chips? Not to mention, those are my favourite things to liberate from the stash. Geez. In place of chips, they got a truckload of banana-flavoured Laffy Taffy, which is just as appalling as is sounds. Not an upgrade at all. Bleeh.

We have a rule around our house, reportedly originating with my dentist uncle. You have three days to eat your Hallowe’en candy. That’s it. Any extra gets thrown out on morning four. The idea is, your teeth have hit sugar saturation during this time, and the damage would actually be much worse if you only had a little each day over a longer period.

I’m pleased to report that, following in my footsteps, all of the candy was gone by sunset on Day Two.


Betsy said...

Hello to everyone from Aunt Dorothy and Betsy,
We are sitting here in Betsy's basement in Cayuga, enjoying a quick visit with all of you on the Papillon!
We loved the Hallowe'en costumes. Mom says "It's good to see the pictures, really good."
Last night we were out with Bert and Gudie to the turkey supper at Mom's church. A good meal was had by all. Bert and Gudie enjoyed cherry pie for dessert and one of them (any guesses?) may also have had a piece of apple pie!
Safe trip. We'll check in again next time Mom comes to visit.
XOXO to all,
Aunt Dorothy and the rest of us!

Little Red and the Wolf said...

We love the costumes. Little Red was a vampire for Halloween. We broke the halloween candy rules this year - still have candy...