Neymar Jr. and a unicorn, holding hands
This year we decided to spend Halloween weekend with a group of close friends near the beach in Pacific Grove. In addition to the buzz that comes from staying in a new place, Ronan and Nieve were excited to be able to show off their costumes to more than just Mom and I.
"Tudo Passa" - Everything Passes
Ronan loved his diamond tattoo the most
Ronan decided to go as Neymar Jr., a popular (and very fun to watch) Brazilian footballer who plays for FC Barcelona. This made things easy for us parents, as getting a soccer kit is relatively easy (and cheaper than we expected). The only real effort went into the faux tattoos, which we applied using some of Mom's eyeliner.
Every detail on this unicorn was required to be exactly just so
Nieve's costume required a larger time investment. She was intent on being a unicorn, and was specific about the exact design details.
A very pleased (and colorful!) little unicorn
First, she wanted not just any horn, but a gold one. I'm surprised she did not demand platinum. Second, her mane and tail *must* be the colors of the rainbow. Thankfully Mom found yarn that fit the criteria.
Boots? Check. Rainbow mane & tail? Check, check. Nice purple bow tied in the tail? Check. Looks like we're good to go.
Third, boots were important, though this was a compromise as the hoof design she originally wanted was far too involved to do. Finally, she wanted a specific purple ribbon to tie into a bow onto her tail; it was of the utmost importance to look perfect.
Applying the final touches for the face paint
The costume and the costume's creator
Finally, she wanted to do face paint, and insisted on doing it herself. I'm not sure it came out exactly how she had envisioned it, but she was happy enough with it so in the end we were left with a small smiling unicorn.
Never have I seen someone so happy to find a pile of washed-up kelp
On Halloween night the steady rain and thunder, and very few people answering doors, made trick-or-treating a bust (except for a handful of homes). However the next day the clouds gave way to sunny skies and warm temperatures, so our group took to beach to explore the tide pools.
A flying Ronan. Not that atypical.
Nieve, showing off her pipes
As always, the kids had a blast climbing over the rocks, playing in the sand, and looking for anemones. Ronan convinced Auntie Alyshia to help him build a flotsam fort near a pile of old concrete. Nieve was being Nieve, telling other tourists what they should/should not be doing, and what they might expect to find in the tidepools if they, "look hard enough."
A happy Nieve, running down a path in the butterfly sanctuary
What all the fuss was about
We also had time to make a stop at the Monarch butterfly sanctuary; some docents were out with scopes and the kids were able to spot thousands of butterflies clumped together on the higher branches of some trees.
Kids in need of some downtime: I cannot overstate how unusual it is to find these two sitting quietly together (without a television being a part of the situation)
All the excitement and activities of the weekend made Ronan and Nieve want some downtime. One of my favorite moments was finding them quietly snuggled together on a small bed in the room they were sharing, reading a comic book in the afternoon sun. Neither looked up when I took a photo of them, and it was a good hour before they came down to the common area to socialize. It was a fitting end to a very fun weekend.