Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaBloPoMo and All Saints Day


Just the motivation I need to get writing!  That crazy little thing up there stands for National Blog Posters Month.  November, we bloggers are challenged to write every day of November!  Hope you enjoy the ride!

Well, I posted the car woes last post.  This post is the Halloween insanity :)  We had lots of good Halloween fun and drama.  In Italy, Halloween is kind of celebrated.  Not really sure how much Trick Or Treating is done, but there are Halloween costumes for sale in the stores.  In the US, there are your fare share of goblins, ghosts, witches and skeletons, but especially among kids, many dress up as super heroes and princesses.  Here, the stores only sell scary costumes.  In the local stores I didn't find anything cute or sweet for kids.  The base did sell other costumes of course, but didn't have much selection.

Here, Halloween kind of goes back to a historical root.  It really is celebrated as the eve of All Saints Day.  On this day, the Italians go to their cemeteries and honor the dead.  Several flower stands are erected selling 20 roses for just €3 and other beautiful flowers to lay on the graves!  Everything is closed including schools and stores for 2 days this week for the festa.  We are enjoying some cold, rainy days indoors...

So last night was Halloween and we had quite a fright.  First it started gusting and storming.  I was going to take the kids Trick or Treating on the base, but the storm got too windy and wet and I decided I didn't want to even get in the car.  Driving in Naples is bad enough.  Driving in a storm is absolutely insane.  Driving in a storm, in the dark should be avoided at all costs!  I've had to do it quite a bit, but if it isn't essential, I don't go anymore.  I even kept the kids home from school one day this week because of the weather.  (Caution: About to go off track...)  Why is it so crazy?

Reason 1: Some cars drive half the speed limit, some drive double.
Reason 2: Pavement in the roads has ground marble in them.  Great because marble is dirt cheap here.  Bad because it is super slick.  So they build roads and stair cases indoors and out with marble - Unbelievable.
Reason 3: No one thinks it's important to replace burnt out bulbs in the car.  I don't know why, but 3/4 of the cars I see at night have bulbs burnt out.  MANY have both headlights out or both taillights out.  This makes them impossible to see in the dark.  I don't even know why this is.
Reason 4: It's Naples.  I think in the rain, they drive even more crazily!

Ok...back on track.  Halloween we snuggled in with blankets, popcorn and hot cocoa.  Then the power started going in and out.  This did not go well for our impromptu movie night.  Then the water went out.  About 9pm everything went back on and stayed on.  So we were back in business.  Chris had to work, so the kids and I enjoyed a quiet night with the puppies.

The night reminded me of a night when I was little and there was a bad storm on Halloween night.  I wanted to go trick or treating (I think I had a Bugs Bunny costume that year) but I couldn't.  My dad also had to work that night.  So my mom had gotten some of the big, giant iced cookies from SnoWhite bakery in Madera (Anyone remember that place?) They were like a thick, soft, gingerbread flavored cookie with sweet, sugary icing in the shape of pumpkins - I think I can still taste them from memory!  The power went out at home and we sat in front of the fireplace with candles drinking hot cocoa and just talking.  :)  A nice memory I had and I hope the kids have a similar memory of this Halloween. :) 

Ivan was a Pirate this year and Emily was Merida from Brave.  The movie here is called "Ribelle The Brave".  Emily decided she wanted to be Merida back in June and we put Grandpa Doug and Grandma Chrissie on the task to make a dress.  Emily has grown so much she didn't even fit into the Disney princess dresses anymore.  So just the day before the big festival on the base, the most beautiful gown showed up in the mail.  Emily was a perfect Merida.  She was entered into the local base photo contest for the best Halloween costume and we are awaiting the results!  :)  Here's how cute they both looked!

But all is not lost...even though the kids weren't able to go out Halloween night, they did have three other opportunities to celebrate and wear their costumes.  They went to Kids Karaoke, The Spooktacular on the base and AWANA club meeting in their costumes.  Also, in February, Italy celebrates Carnivale, and all the kids really dress up for this.  Another perfect opportunity for Emily to be Merida and Ivan to be whatever he wants to be.  This is the first year Ivan enjoyed dressing up.  So happy!  :)

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