Sunday 30 October 2011

Halloween: where have you been all my life?

I knew I liked Halloween from the last time I was in the US, but this time around we were better prepared, and also had a child to inflict cute costumes on. I'm disappointed Australia doesn't do Halloween like the US, it would have been so much fun as a kid.

Here it was a multi-week extravaganza of visiting pumpkin patches and costume parties, but I'll sum it all up in the one post. We went to no fewer than 7 different events, so our costumes got a good workout. Work put on two separate events: one for kids and one for adults so as to separate the facepainting and candy from the slutty costumes and alcohol.

We carved two pumpkins

and saw lots more in 'pumpkin patches', which are basically fairs with rides, corn mazes etc. The one we went to would have had a few thousand people visiting on the weekends in October.

Work had a Halloween-style petting zoo complete with maggots eating a rotting pumpkin and tons of snakes

Cake played at the work Halloween party

We handed out a heap of candy to very cute kids in costume, who had been very well trained by their parents to only take one piece each(!) We went for a spin around the neighbourhood to see the ridiculous lengths people had gone to with decorations, including a haunted driveway horror house, a 'crashed' car with smoke pouring out of the bonnet, and all manner of inflatable skeletons, strobe lighting, graves etc.

see flickr for more photos. We won the costume competition at our parents group with our Incredible family, and had random people taking photos of us at the work party :)

Friday 14 October 2011

Sailing at Berkeley: boats are surprisingly responsive during turns...

Adam had a spare pass for an intro to sailing experience at the sailing school at Berkeley, so I got a guernsey and we went out on the water in our waterproof yellow gear.
It was good fun: we learnt about some sailing basics and I got a turn at steering the boat through a couple of tacks. I managed to put one side of the boat underwater by turning too far during one tack, which proved exciting for Adam since he almost got swamped. He also got better acquainted with the woman who was sitting opposite when she landed in his lap. Imagine this photo but with a more drastic slant...
It was good fun, although it was pretty much an ad for their sailing courses. I like the idea of sailing, and according to our instructor San Francisco Bay and Sydney Harbour are the two best places to sail in the world. Getting qualified through OCSC to take a boat out on your own costs on the order of $2k, but it sounds like you get a top notch education.

Afterwards we had lunch in Berkeley and took a stroll through the uni campus.

Saturday 8 October 2011

Biggest monopoly: just not that big

The biggest monopoly board in the world is in San Jose. Someone should really build a bigger one, this one isn't that impressive.