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Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love the decorations, the spooks, and the chance to play dress-up and be someone different if only for a night.

Even when I was little, I was more interested in dressing up than going trick-or- treating in my neighborhood. I was content to dress up and hand out candy, but eventually my friends convinced me that I needed to give trick-or-treating a try.

The sugar soliciting became a tradition, but I always went out early so that I could be back in time to hand out candy at home. I retired from trick-or-treating when I was 12. It had been seven years. I had a good run.

I thought my trick-or-treating days were long gone. I hadn’t gone door to door in search of candy on All Hollow’s Eve in 20 years, but when you have the chance to go trick-or-treating at Disneyland, you go.

Chuck and I hadn’t been to Disneyland in a year, and my Disney cravings were becoming restless. I made sure to draw attention to every Disneyland commercial on TV this summer in a not-so-subtle attempt to hint-hint at my husband.

During one particularly Oscar-worthy performance, Chuck interrupted me: “I thought we were going in October.”

I whipped my head in his direction. “Seriously?”

Apparently, during one of my pitches, I’d mentioned that it would be fun to go to Disneyland for our anniversary. We spent part of our honeymoon there, so it seemed fitting. Chuck said the proposal was “something to think about.” He says this about a lot of things, so I invested no hope into the statement. His “something to think about” is equivalent to a “yes, dear” blowoff.

But Chuck also has a habit of thinking things over and then forgetting to tell me his conclusion. So, in this case, he did think about it and he decided we should go. He just forgot to tell me.

I decided to waste no time. I pulled out my planner and opened up my laptop. My friends were getting married in San Diego in October, so I figured we could piggyback a Disney visit onto that trip. As I mulled over a plan, something on the Disneyland website caught my eye: Mickey’s Halloween Party.

When we were on our honeymoon, we failed to take note of Disneyland’s Halloween festivities and were booted from the park early one day because we hadn’t procured tickets to the special event, which had been sold out for weeks. I put the Halloween party on my bucket list.

Employing my best puppy eyes, I asked Chuck if we could get tickets this year. I mentioned the special parade and fireworks, the decorations, the dressing up, and the characters dressed in their Halloween best, and I noted that there would be trick-or-treating. Not a priority to me, but still worth noting.

Chuck vetoed dressing up, but accepted my counter proposal to wear Halloween-themed Disney shirts. We were going to the party!

When we entered the park on the day of the party, we were each given a small plastic bag to collect candy. I shoved them into my purse. I wanted to go meet Mickey, catch the parade and take advantage of the significantly-shortened wait times for rides. Trick-or-treating? Not so much. Leave that to the little ones.

Chuck and I grabbed dinner at the Hungry Bear Restaurant, which happened to be located next to one of the “Trick-or-Treat Trails”. As we ate our burgers, we watched as families traveled the trail and collected goodies at multiple stations on the path. We watched a couple without children approach a candy station and hold out open backpacks to collect candy.

“Well since we’re here …” I said, “should we see what it’s all about?”

Chuck nodded.

I retrieved our modest trick-or-treating bags and we got in line. I’d read online that the candy lines could get brutally long, but that was not our experience. Not even a minute on the trail and we were at the first candy stop. “Trick or treat” I asked, holding out my bag.

“Nothing but treats here,” said the Disney cast member as he dropped a handful of candy into my bag. Chuck and I exchanged glances, which easily translated to: “This. Is. Awesome!”

At the end of the trail, we examined our haul. I was carefully taking inventory, but Chuck had already ripped open a bag of M&Ms. “That was fun,” I concluded and put my candy bag back into my purse.

Shortly after, while on our way to meet up with Winnie the Pooh and his friends, we passed another trail. “Shall we?” Chuck asked.

“That’s something to think about,” I said, grinning as I grabbed his hand and pulled him into the line.

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Samie Hartley is the Napa Valley Register online editor. Simple & Sassy runs every other Sunday. She can be reached at shartley@napanews.com.

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Online Editor/Calendar Editor

Samie Hartley is the Napa Valley Register online editor. Her column Simple & Sassy runs on alternating Sundays.