2016 is definitely the most I’ve ever celebrated Halloween. It’s just not a big deal in NZ – I’ve been trick-or-treating myself once, gave candy out to trick-or-treaters once, and dressed up maybe three times total. Canada is obviously a change of pace from NZ’s nbd attitude. This whole month I’ve been enthralled by pop-up halloween stores, the fact that people actually decorate their houses spookily, and the giant orange pumpkins everywhere.
PUMPKIN CARVING: As I keep mentioning, pumpkins are not big and orange in NZ – they look like this and you hardly ever see them whole (you usually buy them pre-cut in halves). Also our seasons are flipped, so pumpkins in October is just not a thing. So it was definitely a novel experience when my friend invited me over to her place so we could carve pumpkins (and play rock band, which wasn’t festive but it was fun). I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I’m pretty proud with how it turned out!
FRIGHT NIGHTS: On Sunday night, Lox & I went to Playland for the third time (!) for Fright Nights. There were some rides open, as well as shows and haunted houses. We headed straight towards the wooden rollercoaster (I’m convinced it’s the best rollercoaster to ever exist) and then checked out some of the haunted houses. Prior to then, I had never been to a haunted house. Even though it was spookily ridiculous (backstory example here!), I was still super anxious and maybe screamed a few times. Being at a theme park at night was a pretty cool experience and kept giving me vibes à la the classic choose-your-own-adventure, Escape from the Carnival of Horrors.
ACTUAL HALLOWEEN: Oct 31 was our final night in Vancouver, so our house had a potluck dinner as a final hurrah. I only realised 20 minutes beforehand that we were supposed to be dressing up, so I attempted to make myself a spooky ventriloquist doll with just makeup. I felt okay with the result, and in all honesty, I was more dressed up than a lot of the kids that rang our doorbell (I was still so excited every time it rang because it was so novel to me – I cannot stress enough how little my hometown cares about halloween). We made a pavlova to show off a classic NZ dessert (all were duly impressed) and we ended the night by telling our still-awake flatmates about NZ’s history. I couldn’t have picked a more perfect way to spend my final night in Vancouver.
CATS (not spooky): I finally got to experience my first cat cafe and it was the greatest hour of my life. The cats were all super friendly and adorable, and the food on offer was pretty amazing too. It’s also satisfying going somewhere like this where the cats are up for adoption, so it’s not exploitative and it’s helping them find their forever homes!
Now October is finished, Lox & I are starting the next part of our adventure – road-tripping across Canada. November is going to see us through a lot of the country – I’ll keep you posted!