Then a party for my baby cousin (there are now 19 first cousins on that side of the family, and I don't think they're done yet...), during which my mom arrived and was most surprised. :-) Shocked, is I think more the word. Lots of good catch-up with sisters and cousins and second-cousins. Lots of grown-ups and babies I had trouble keeping track of. (At these things, I somehow revert to being one of 'the kids' despite being thirty now...it's a generational thing.) The party went 'til about midnight and then we went to my second-cousin Elaine's for girl talk and eventual sleep. Around two-ish maybe?
In the morning, Sharmi (baby sister) and I woke up early and had some breakfast at a local diner; she used to live in Boston when she was in college (at Tufts) and knows the area well. Yummy and cheap. (That's a picture of her from the party, btw -- she's looking so cute these days; I mean, she was always cute, but now it's like a grown-up cute.) By the time we came back to Elaine's, the others were staggering out of bed, and we spent about three more hours hanging and chatting and drinking more tea; Elaine made a lovely pot of it, plus tiny banana muffins which were all devoured. It was especially nice talking to Elaine; she studied lit! I had sort of lost track of her and hadn't realized that I had a cousin who also did English lit. She's working in PR now, but still has a yen for Victoriana; we had a delightful chat about Charlotte Bronte's Villette. :-)
Then back to my aunt's house to pick everyone up and go out to lunch at Panang, a really good Malaysian restaurant. Mirna (middle sister) spent some time doing medical research in Malaysia, and she says the food at this restaurant chain (they're in Chicago too, and I think in New York) is pretty authentic. My favorite part was one of the appetizers; roti, a kind of stretchy crepe bread, served with tasty curry. So good! I didn't think I'd be hungry again, after all the food my aunt served at her party (all delicious and delectable), but amazingly, my stomach was ready for more today.
And then they dropped me at the train, and I'm back on it, pulling into Penn Station in New York. Spent much of the ride editing photos from the visit; I love my camera. Did you know that? I adore it. It's especially fun being able to hand it to the younger cousins and say, "Go -- take as many photos as you like. It won't cost me anything!" Sometimes, they take pretty decent ones. Sometimes not.
Anyway -- had a great time in Boston; am utterly exhausted now. Maybe I can persuade Alex to go grab me some takeout for dinner when I get to his place; I'm about ready to crash, despite napping some on the train. But a good trip, and well worth it, I think. My folks were really glad I came, and I owe them *something* after all the trouble I've caused them. Poor things...
As I get older, dealing with my (extended) family gets easier and easier. That's lovely. Despite being somewhat estranged from them for years, I can't imagine what it would be like *not* having a passel of cousins whom you saw at least occasional Christmases and birthdays. It's nice. It's more than nice, really.