Okay, so I know this is waaaaay late, but I still need to commit it to my journal or else I'll forget!
Halloween Part 2
On Halloween night itself, we decided to switch up our costumes a bit because we were traveling to LA and riding trains and I just didn't want to deal with all those tentacles in a bustling public. Instead, Ryan and I painted our faces something like sugar skulls (we're not experts, so it's... um... well, we tried) to celebrate Dia de los Muertos.
I bought this neat-o fiber optic barrette that had a bright white light that I put in my hair, as a sort of strange homage to the Bride of Frankenstein. I also pulled my hair up into a sort of beehive type of 'do that was 5% styrofoam block & bobby pins and 95% hairspray.
We met up with Kate at Union Station, because we'd heard there was a big Halloween party there, so we planned to check it out. We sat in the chairs, waiting and couldn't stop from giggling as she panned the faces looking for us - and didn't recognize us at first!
Kate was, as ever, adorable in her Mary Poppins costume! [photograph not found! fail for giddy girlie!]
After laughing for a good long time at what nerds Ryan and I are, we headed across the street to Olvera Street where the Dia de los Muertos celebration was in full swing. There were ofrendas all around the street and Aztec dancers and church processions and smudgings with sage. It was really kind of overwhelming. In fact, while we were browsing through one of the little shops, the incense hit me kind of hard and got my head aching, which made my stomach hurt, so I stepped outside to get some fresh air... but because of the smudgings, it smelled like sage everywhere. So I went to the end of the street, where the stores end and took a few deep breaths and then I noticed balloons on the corner across the street. Okay, THIS is going to sound hokey and dumb, but I swear it's true.
So there's this bouquet of balloons across the street at the gas station on the corner - one of those pillars, made of orange and black balloons - and its being weighed down by a bottle of water. I am just looking at it for a minute and it starts crossing the street toward me, dragging the water bottle on the ground. Which, okay, is wind patterns and whatnot, so I'm not scared or really impressed or anything. Until the cars come roaring down the street, some nearly clipping the balloons, others slowing to let it pass by -- but the balloons keep in a perfectly straight line, coming toward me. And when the bouquet reaches the gutter directly in front of me, it rolls down a few feet to my right and then lifts up just enough to "step" over the curb. At this point, another lady sees what is happening and she goes to grab the balloons and just then, they float up directly into the air, high above her head and float over the buildings. It was kind of neat. Like a little magic trick meant only for me.
After this, we watched the Aztec dancers performing their tribal dances, welcoming the spirits of their ancestors. It was really interesting to see. And, of course, all during the demonstration, people kept whispering "Mary Poppins" and a couple of people tapped Kate to ask to have their picture taken with her. My camera battery died right after I snapped a picture of Poppins, so it was my last one of the evening.
After that, we crossed back over to the Union Station and as we're walking, a man starts serenading Kate and explains (mostly in Spanish) that he hopes that he didn't cause any offense, it was just that she is so beautiful and Mary Poppins reminds him of all the good times that he had with his children and that on All Saint's Day the spirits of our families surround us and she was filling his heart with happiness, thinking of his daughter who is studying in college far away. It was incredibly sweet.
In front of Union Station, Poppins got stopped again by a man named Chicago who was seemingly homeless, and he too wanted to tell her all about how much Mary Poppins meant to him and the fond memories of being a child and watching it and the memory of watching his children watch it and the happiness of them all together. Another nice moment.
At Union Station, we grabbed a train over to Hollywood to see the street parade over there. We went up toward Hollywood and Highland and it was CRAY-ZEE. The streets in that area are open, so everyone has to huddle up on the sidewalks and there are maybe 50,000 people going up and down the few blocks in the area... it was insane! We could barely see what the costumes were on the people going by because it was so crowded, but sure enough no one ever missed sighting the Poppins! We regretted not keeping better count of how many times people yelled out specifically to her to get her attention, but it was somewhere in the hundreds. And there were easily thousands of "did you see Mary Poppins?" or "ooh! Look John! It's Mary Poppins!" And, of course, there were lots and lots of photos taken. There was an unofficial jury of homeless dudes sitting on the sidewalk, judging the costumes as they came by and the jury foreman ran up to say that he wanted to give her a perfect 10, but could only give her a 9 because something was missing... the umbrella! "If you had the umbrella, I could give you a perfect 10. You look JUST like her!"
We made our way down the boulevard and stopped in to the Snow White Cafe to have a soda. The Snow White Cafe was opened in the 40's as a place for the Disney animators (back when the studio was nearby) and is decorated with interesting Snow White art and includes murals that were done by the original Disney animators. It was a neat piece of ambience and the caffeine fueled our return trip, which was a long haul back down Hollywood Blvd. because the sheriffs had closed the Hollywood/Highland metro station, so we had to walk a couple of miles to the next train. It was fun to see all the costumes and stuff, but best of all, it was exciting to spend the evening with Mary Poppins. It's amazing the happiness that Kate brought everyone that night. It kept us all smiling the whole night.
Ryan says that I am just a bratty kid that is excited to have my own living doll that I can dress up and parade around town. That I was more excited than everyone else because while they love Mary Poppins, I get to take her home. Which might be true. Sort of.