Last year, Beatrix began having very firm opinions on Halloween — on decorations, her costume, preferred candy, etc. Last year was also the first year she wanted to trick-or-treat with school friends, which was fine with us, because we had a blast going around to the neighborhoods around her school including the famous "Halloween Street."
This year, it multiplied. The kids formed a mini-pack, running from house to house as Dave coached them ("That one, there, with the orange lights on! Go!!") and the parents trailed behind, talking and laughing. Halloween Street was just as delightful as we remembered. Some houses gave out the coveted full-sized candy bars. And as we walked along in the late afternoon sun, kicking leaves, I was astounded how idyllic it was.
Later than night we hit a front-yard bonfire and told ghost stories, and then gathered at a house for delicious snacks and hot chocolate with horchata and more conversation. It was perfect!
(I have to say, though, my own personal Halloween horror was the infill housing going in in Macalester-Groveland. Each block seems to have some (often unsold), badly designed new construction that in my opinion is really harming the integrity and value of the neighborhood as a whole. I'm actually very worried about it).