We are back in Maryland with our very relieved cats who nearly starved in our absence -- we know because they yowled extensively about it, particularly Cinnamon -- after a very full day which began in New York, where we checked out of our hotel and went to brunch at my sister's house along with her family, my parents and uncle, my brother-in-law's parents, and their older daughter's family. It was lovely and there was lots of food (bagels, omelets, waffles, salads) but we couldn't stay long because we were afraid of hitting traffic like we'd had while driving up that would make our drive home take 6-7 hours. So we stayed long enough to visit with the cousins, who were rather tired after being up till 3 a.m. at the Bat Mitzvah, then we made our farewells.
Fortunately we had an easy drive to Maryland, where we went to the annual Super Bowl party at the home of my good friend from elementary school and her family. There is always a tremendous amount of food there as well, particularly a variety of desserts, and I got to catch up with my high school friend who is always there with her family. We left at the end of the third quarter to drive Daniel back to College Park (there was no one on the Beltway during the last quarter of the close game) and got home just as the Giants knocked Brady's last pass away from the Patriots. I'd been rooting for New England but I've said all season that whoever knocked Michael Vick out of playoff contention could win the Super Bowl as far as I was concerned, so I don't begrudge New York the title. I confess that I adore Madonna, and I loved the halftime show, too. Here are annual photos of the Super Bowl shoe pile and the Super Bowl house cat: