In the afternoon we returned to the hotel, where we got dressed, met up with my uncle from California, and went to my niece's Bat Mitzvah at a Reform synagogue with huge rear windows that overlooked the woods -- I had the sun in my eyes for part of the service but it was all worthwhile when a big wild turkey came out of the woods near the end and waddled around just outside. It was a lovely service; my niece is very bright and confident and she looked like she was having a very good time, as did my sister. Several of my parents' friends came from the DC area and some of their New York friends attended as well, so we sat with them.
The reception was at a country club just over the New York-Connecticut border, with an I Love New York theme and more food than I can possibly recollect -- dozens of appetizers including make your own nachos, spinach pastries, hummus and pita, a huge shrimp and oyster bar, virgin pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris for the kids which I drank too, then dinner was an enormous buffet -- design your own pasta with Little Italy decorations, design your own enchiladas with Mexican decorations, design your own noodle bowls with Chinatown decorations, a salad bar...plus dessert, a chocolate fountain and about 40 kinds of pastries and waffles. My brother-in-law had made a video montage and got some celebrities to say congratulations to my niece. My brother in law also requested that there be no photos of people posted, so here is one of our centerpiece -- all the tables were decorated to represent New York landmarks (the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, etc.) and ours was the Brooklyn Dodgers' erstwhile home.