Journey 304: Halloween Party

My niece Ashley and her husband Jon, and my sister Debbie really know how to throw a party! Halloween is their favorite holiday and they spend months transforming their lovely home into something decidedly other. Last year, we entered the Lauderdale Asylum. This year’s theme was a haunted hotel, the Thirestane Hotel, named after after the family castle in Scotland. 


What those three do for this party goes way beyond decorating. Almost every room in the house under goes renovation, even the bathrooms. Food is plentiful and wonderfully twisted to match the holiday. Everyone arrives in costume. And some of the props and framed art are clues. The game is to figure out what spooky show they are from. The children all went trick or treating, with a host of parents and adults as guardians. And because today was Aubrey’s 7th birthday, Ashley had a cake for her and we sang to this dear girl as she blew out the candles. 


In this case, pictures are worth so much more than words. Welcome to the Thirlestane Hotel. 


Ashley, Jon and Debbie built a check in desk, complete with a guest book to sign in with, using a quill pen. 


This very cool photo, inspired by The Shining, had all the adults in the family, and Dayan, photoshopped in. It was fun to find everyone and each family left with a copy. 



I’m Helen the tourist, separated from my tour group. 


Greg as “Ben Noah Ware”, part of my tour group. 



My kids: Elissa – Sims character. Nathanael – Storm Trooper. Adriel – Cruella DeVil 

Nathanael (he made his storm trooper costume, except for the helmet and boots), Megan, Joey, Oliver & Aubrey


Jonathan, Josh, Elissa & Dayan. They were all characters from video games. 

 Adriel & Nate. Looks like Cruella has her first puppy!


Ashley, Jon, Kaleb & Ethan

 Scott, Roy, Linda holding Lola, Nicole holding Weston


Christel & Bryan

 Debbie, Mom, Walter, Linda, me


Siblings – Debbie, Linda, Bryan, me




 The birthday girl…is she naughty or nice? 😉


This was so clever! A photo wall built so that the pictures could be removed and we could stand behind and become the photos. Ethan, Dayan, Jonathan, Oliver, Kaleb, Joey & Aubrey

What a fun night, spent with family. All of my children, their spouses or finance, and all five grandchildren were able to be present, which is a rarity with everyone’s schedules. My whole family was there except for my nephew Eric and his wife and daughters. He had to work this evening. 

A huge thank you to Debbie, Ashley and Jon. Their creativity, hard work and generosity make this yearly event one that we all look forward to. As we left, the theme for next year was already being discussed. We are all excited to see it unfold. 




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