Her visit went great. Tiring, but great. Somehow we ended up staying up late most nights, and we all got a bit tired. (Did I say that already?) That made it all the harder to wake up at 4:00 am this morning to get her to the airport for her flight (I know, airlines do schedule flights at much more civilized times of the day, but you know how it is).
The peak of the visit was the Cake Contest. This is a mostly-annual event to celebrate the birthday of Dr. M (who is married to M (one of the Dudes, naturally)), and is frightfully competitive. There are three standard categories; Best Looking, Best Tasting, and Most Creative. Some years a fourth theme category is added, and a Best Theme is awarded. This year the theme was "Endings & Beginnings," to celebrate Dr. M's completion of her residency requirement.
Quick history: I've won something every year I've entered a cake. From the Camouflage Cake (entered with M (the other Dude M, that is)), to the Surgery Patient Cake (a personal favorite: A human figure with a lift-off segment on the chest, which revealed marzipan lungs, heart, and liver. It was stunning, and won Best Theme (Medical)), to the Hamburger Cake (it appeared to be a 9" hamburger with cheese, lettuce, tomato and condiments with a side of fries, but the burger was cake and marzipan, and the fries were puff-pastry). At that time we retired undefeated from active competition. This didn't stop us from entering again this year:
Our cookie-winged butterfly bursts from a banana-cake chyrsalis. Edible flower petals were used to decorate the wings. His body is butter-cream frosting and the two antenna are flower parts (pistils or stamens, but it's been a long time since biology class). He came out quite well (if not scientifically accurate), if I do say so myself. We won, and I'm not gloating here, the "Best Looking" category this year. We keep the travelling trophy for a year, but get to keep the decorated plate that commemorates our win as a prize. We left the party a bit dazed from all the sugar, since everybody samples a bit of each cake once they've been judged, but delighted by our victory.