Halloween on a budget: Border crossers highway sign

Border Crossing costume

Since stores have been selling Halloween candy, decorations and costumes for a few weeks now, I figured it was time to bring back the Halloween on a budget series. I usually start this in October, but more time to get things together and make your costume can’t hurt, right?

First up: highway border crossers sign.

If you’ve driven on any of the freeways north of the California/Mexico border, you’ve noticed the sign. I was a kid when I first saw it on a trip to Tijuana to visit the grandparents. Not long after I saw the sign, I saw a small group of immigrants running across the freeway. Later, I remember my aunt talking about an accident. In suggesting this as a costume, I don’t mean to make light of the struggle of those who cross the border on foot or those who have lost their lives in the process.

For this costume, you can go with the original sign, a silhouette of a man, woman and little girl rushing across the freeway or make a sociopolitical statement about manifest destiny with the image re-imagined by a Chicano artist of a pilgrim family running across the freeway.

How to do it:

  1. Buy bright yellow poster board and black butcher paper or poster board
  2. Buy letter stickers or make your own spelling CAUTION
  3. If needed, cut poster board in rectangular shape
  4. Draw your silhouette on the black paper or poster board and cut out with an x-acto knife or scissors. Glue/tape with your choice of adhesive.
  5. Make a border for the sign with leftover black paper or black tape.
  6. Cut out holes over the faces of the father, mother and child
  7. Wear all-black and go trick-or-treating and be ready to defend yourself if someone starts talking smack about immigrants

If you have a group of three people, you can do this with just a yellow poster board with CAUTION and a black border around the sign. Your group, dressed all in black, can pose in front of it and make it somewhat of a performance art piece/costume.


The mouse and the butterfly

Mom should get all the credit on my birthday

I had a pretty low key 31st birthday followed with a long weekend in Napa and San Francisco for a wedding.

Sean and I spent the day at Disneyland & California Adventures. We’ve had annual passes since the beginning of the year, but have only used them twice since they’re weekday only passes and we’ve been blocked out for most of the summer. Yeah, I bought the cheapest pass.

Loved the upgrades to Star Tours

We arrived at Disneyland around 11 and made a beeline to Indiana Jones for fast passes and then got in line for Star Tours. I’ve never been a Star Wars fan. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the trilogy all the way through. I’ve never seen the prequels. Still, Star Tours has always been one of my Disneyland favorites. Prior to the renovation, the lines were always short and it was a nice respite from hot summer days. With the renovation, we waited 20-30 minutes, but it was still worth it. I missed the familiarity of the old story line, but seeing the new scenes they generated was pretty cool.


We spent the next three hours going on rides new to Sean (it’s only his second trip) like Indiana Jones, Splash Mountain, Autopia and Big Thunder Mountain. Most of the summer crowds were gone, so lines were pretty short. After lunch at ESPN Zone, we went to California Adventures and went on a few rides including the Toy Story-themed Midway Mania.

Trying on some new Mickey ears

We left Disneyland a little after 6. On the way out we stopped by the store at Downtown Disney and found some interesting hats.

We met up with my mom, Adrian and his girlfriend Alexis in Hacienda Heights. Dad, Danny and Lori were all working so they couldn’t make it. We went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant, Mariposa Inn in Covina. I’ve had many birthday dinners and brunches there. My mom requested we sit in Nacho’s section. We’ve been sitting in Nacho’s section for 20-something years. Even though my mom hadn’t been to the restaurant in a while, they caught up like old friends and talked about the changes at the restaurant since the longtime owner, Raudel, passed away a few years ago. Naturally, Mariposa felt different without him.

Some Birthday Flan

I came home to the last of my presents from Sean, a shiny new iPad. He spoils me.

It was a good birthday. Now I just need to get things ready for the birthday party.