Hi everyone,

Thought some of you might be interested to know what Halloween and Thanksgiving are like on the island, since neither is a traditional Bonaire or Dutch holiday.

Halloween is starting to catch on. In 2015, when we first bought our house, it was hard to find any Halloween decor. Now, most of the stores carry some sort of decorations and the children trick or treat in the afternoon on the main street in town. The storefronts buy candy to hand out and we enjoy seeing the kids in costumes.

Van Den Tweel sells pumpkins. We had a big one in our cart a couple of years ago and a family stopped us and asked us what it was, and how we cooked it. When we explained we didn't eat it, we cut a face in it and lit it up, I realized what a weird tradition that must sound like to someone not familiar with it.

We have an annual Halloween party at our home and each year it grows a bit more in decor and guests. Last year we had a lifesize jointed skeleton floating on a raft in the pool, this year a 9 foot inflatable dragon with glowing eyes, belly and huge flapping wings. People were driving down our street and taking selfies with it.

Thanksgiving is not a holiday here, so I have to remember to block it off on my calendar at work so that I'm not booked with appointments. Some of the hotel restaurants advertise a "traditional" Thanksgiving dinner, and a couple of times we've gone and it was good. We enjoyed the interpretation of some dishes. "Cranberry Sauce" at one resort was actually hot cranberry juice that they tried to ladle over the turkey and mashed potatoes. When I asked where the gravy was, they pointed to a thick white sauce with sausage bits like we'd put over biscuits. All good stuff, just a little different.

This year we decided to cook our own Thanksgiving dinner, and have had fun (think scavenger hunt) rounding up ingredients. Van Den Tweel did have Ocean Spray cranberry sauce and we brought back Pepperidge Farm herb stuffing mix from our trip to NY in September. The big question is always the turkey. We went shopping at the supermarket last week and asked about it, they assured us it would come in this week. We began popping in almost day, since they don't get alot, and everyone wants one.

Yesterday my husband Ian texted me with the picture of the frozen turkey he had just bought, one of only six available. We were so excited. The things we take for granted in our home countries make us very grateful here!

We will have company for Thanksgiving, and will actually turn on the Airco in our living area for the day as we watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, and eat inside for maybe the first time since we've lived here, so our napkins are not blowing all over. The nice island twist to this holiday? We'll go diving while the turkey is in the oven!

Wishing and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving!

All the best,