Friday, October 31, 2014

A Visit to WNY and a Halloween Parade (oh, and a Waterfall too)

Last week we made a flying visit to see a favourite niece and her family in West New York. Our visit happened to coincide with the neighbourhood Halloween party, so L and I had the fun of making costumes for her two girls. After a few days of intense planning and sketching and snipping and sewing, the costumes were finished.

Little E was a gumball machine (her idea, and it took a bit of doing):

And yes, those are real gumballs. :)

Small C was a ladybug (with boughten wings, though we did make the skirt and headpiece):

Littlest A wore a hand-me-down Elmo costume which required no work at all (whew!). Together they made a cheery trio in red:

In addition to the annual party, L's neighbourhood has a charming decades-old tradition of a Halloween parade.

At 4:00 in the afternoon, after a few streets have been blocked off (with the city's permission), the families walk up to the end of the neighbourhood.

The children gather in the road, while the parents greet each other and admire each others' kids' costumes. (Wow - two plural possessives in a row. Or do I mean possessive plurals?)

The parade is a very casual affair - everyone just walks back down the street to wherever the host house may be, while non-parading neighbours look out of their front doors to enjoy the spectacle.

Each year a different family hosts the party and takes charge of the arrangements, but all the participating families contribute towards the food and merriment.This year the party happened to be at L and M's house. No photos I'm afraid - but there were plenty of games and snacks and pizza. And candy, of course.

A good time was had by all.

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The afternoon before the party, L took us to see a waterfall.

First we drove to an historic city with a famous name.

There we parked, and walked along a leafy trail. There were frequent pauses to pick up fascinating things:

...and to admire the wildly rushing river.

Downriver there seemed to be a good deal of mist, then the river itself disappeared abruptly. We followed the trail to where the river disappeared....

...and found Niagara Falls.

This is the view from the American side. In the foreground are the American falls; the Horseshoe Falls can be glimpsed in the upper left center (looking like a misty white wall). Those buildings in the background are in Canada - if we'd brought passports we'd have been able to cross over and take photos from there. We didn't bring passports. :)

After gazing our fill at one of North America's great wonders, we headed back up the leafy trail...

Mr. M and the little ones

...then hit the road for home.

Bridge over the Niagara River

Many thanks to L and her family for a wonderful visit.

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