Wednesday, November 2, 2016

And it all comes tumbling down...

My sad sad lawn.
I had left the dino display up for an extra night in case anyone wanted to come back one last time.  But it's just going to get colder and I figured it was better to take everything before I got too deep into NaNoWriMo.  The vaguely depressing part is that it always takes far less time than one would expect.  Several weeks spent modifying, adding touches, getting everything just so.  And then maybe 2-3 hours to tear it all down.  Well.  Not quite everything.  I still have the JP gate up.  I'd prefer to have a second person with me, as I'd like to save the column base, and they're a little awkward.  I also need a spot of help putting away Suzie back up into the rafters.  I'm not quite ready to let her go give how cool she turned out.  That'll be a decision for next year maybe.  And I have a pile of fake rocks, but I need to slowly feed those into the recycle week by week so we have room for the usual recycle.  But I'm feeling good in general about how everything came down, and it wasn't as much of a pang to take it down, which is always helpful.  It was such a blast on Halloween that I didn't even mind.  Plus, a lot of stuff is weather worn and clearly starting to fall apart--that also makes it much easier to pull up and throw out.  The only bummer spot was when I pulled everything up from the lawn and saw how much my grass had suffered in the wake of having been covered up for a solid month.  There are pretty large brown patches kind of everywhere.  Not sure if they'll be time for it to heal a bit before the snows fall, but I think it'll bounce back okay.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween Night 2016

Dino food ala papa murphy's
My view from the porch
The big night.  It was finally here.  So I had two people I had convinced (with not too much arm twisting--and mostly gleeful acceptance) to be dinosaurs for my inflatable dino costume Sam had gotten me.  And while my original vision had been to have the dino pose and be kind of alone out there, it worked out SO much better with both Natalie and Hannah out there as when one wasn't a dino, the other had a labcoat on and dressed/acted like a lab tech/jp staff.  It was really great.  They worked out a few skits together--they would spot a trick or treater(s) coming close to the house, then the lab tech would start running down the sidewalk/driveway screaming that the t-rex had gotten loose.  A few beats later, the dino would come up running behind her.  They'd end the chase on the lawn once the lab tech had been knocked to the ground and the t-rex made a kill blow.  All the while kids screamed/squealed.  For the little kids there were high fives and a dancing dino.  For the slightly more brave there was chasing to the end of the driveway.  Some kids even got a little scared away from the house because they were that terrified--which I think is a first. They were super amazing.  And they kept it up til our last trick-or-treater around 9:30 when we finally shut everything down.

So total count was about 160 trick-or-treaters.  It never quite feels like that in the moment--my actors had estimated more like 50.  But we were down to our last 30/40 kits.  And the trick or treaters usually come in waves of small groups that have like 8-10 kids all at once.  It's much more rare to get the lone trick or treater.

A few reactions from the kids that I overheard--though I think my actors heard a lot more.

  • (kid on the porch, gawking) "I want to stay in here daddy!"
  • (after I had explained that they were getting a dino digging kit) "So it's not candy?  Thanks...anyway" (he was the only real twit about the non-candy)
  • "Best. House. EVER!!!!"
  • (screamed) "Mommy!  Daddy! LOOOOOK!"
  • (overheard, not sure if at another house) "Give me 1000 pieces of candy.  I'll haunt you if you don't!"
  • (another skit where the dino laid down on the ground pretending to be asleep, then jumped up) "Called it!  Somebody is IN the suit!  Called it!"
  • (then slightly later from the same group)  "Can you get up for photos?"
  • (after gasps) "It's a DINOSAUR!"
  • "TOLD you it was worth it!" (they came from a distant neighborhood)
  • Had a couple of Harry Potter boys pull out their wands from 2 years ago when I handed them out--still had them, and were in full HP gear.  I may have teared up a bit. 
  • Mother laughing as she's chased down.  Apparently a lot of adults like to be chased and/or laughed as their children were chased.
  • "Amazing guys!"
  • I had a few adults that actually took the time to mention how much they appreciate the work and effort that went into creating a cool Halloween each year and how they look forward to it as everything starts to go up.  Which was *sniff* very sweet to hear.

By the end of the night we were all a little frozen as we had been outside (or lingering in the doorway) pretty much the whole night, which was a bit of a new one.  But definitely worth it I think.  I unfortunately didn't get tooo many videos/pictures when it was still light enough to see everyone.  But I'm hoping maybe a few people will add the #kenwoodhalloween hashtag to their photos so maybe we can see some of the ones they caught.  Here's hoping anyway.

All in all, a super lovely Halloween and filled with lots of screams and squeals and good times.  Happy Halloween to all!