The people in the neighborhood.
Halloween was a huge hit this year with Belle (Maddie), Cinderella (Rachel) and Lightning McQueen (Dale), what with all the kids being being able to walk the route and tote their own pumpkin pails.
What was especially pleasant was how neighborly everyone was. The party store/deli up the street passed out candy (our enthused offspring briefly thought the candy rack was fair game) and everyone who offered candy was delighted to do so and oohed and aahed over the costumes.
One place stands out in particular. A family moved into the neighborhood early this year, and with the help of friends, they set up an tarp-enclosed haunted maze in their front yard. This was a serious production number--about ten friends and family were involved in the set up. The kids were interested (they saw the strobe light flashing inside, but were otherwise dubious. The bearded proprietor (who said they did this sort of thing for money at a farm up north) offered to let the kids go through on a "scare free" tour. Sounded good. He marched in and barked "little kids--no scares" and then had his son usher us through. Dry ice, strobe lighting and a maze that would have done the Minotaur proud (I actually ran into a hiding denizen who gave a little wave and pointed the proper direction. We exited with little anxiety and went around to the back of the house. A masked figure approached with a "machete" but retreated with an apologetic wave and lowered "weapon" when I said "little kids--no scares." The kids were also treated to a friendly wave from the masked something tending to a steaming flourescent green bowl in the garage. We departed with many thanks--and the kids received extra candy for "braving" the maze.
Another fellow set up a large furry spider on a radio controlled car which appeared from under his SUV. Dale and Maddie were a little weirded out by this, but Rachel thought it was hilarious.
She's not right, when it comes down to it.
By this time I was carrying her (wrapped in my jacket) and her candy pail, and we staggered home with our loot.
The last candy dispenser? The suburb's Finest. Yep, the police were driving around distributing sweets to the kids. A nice touch, and a good way to end the evening.
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