Cousin’s Camping

Cousin’s Camping

For the last few years, I haven’t been able to attend my cousin’s weekend because I’ve stayed in Poland for the summer. When I found out I could to go this year, I was so excited. My sister and I booked a campsite and then realized neither of us had camped in years and we had no idea how to prepare! We packed up what we thought we might need and then made a pit stop at Walmart on the way to the campgrounds, where we roamed the camping section and grabbed other things we thought we might need. Then it was time to camp!

"I've Never Set UP a Tent"

Driving back to the site, my sister turned to me and said, “I’ve never set up a tent before. Do you know how to do it?” Thankfully I had set up a tent before, but it had been at least 6 years. Our dad said he “hoped we had all the pieces” to the tent we had. I was a bit nervous, but we managed to get our tent set up with no need to call someone over for assistance! I don’t even have a picture of the masterpiece that was our tent! What a shame! After the tent set up, it was time to chill and chat with our cousins. I hadn’t seen my cousins since the fall before I moved to Poland.

The thing about returning from overseas, at least when I returned from Spain in college and now from Poland, is that people want to know about your life and travels but not really. You’ve gone on this life-changing adventure, but no one else has. It can be awkward, and I’m never really sure how much detail people would like to hear when discussing my life abroad. I feel like maybe I didn’t share enough, but I didn’t want to be obnoxious about my life abroad.


Living in Poland for the summer, I really missed having a bonfire. There’s just something so great about sitting around the fire with a beer while hanging out with your friends and family. I really just love bonfires. Hanging out with my cousins around the campfire and telling stories was great. Although I was slightly concerned about our fire safety because I was a Girl Scout for almost all of my life! 😂Let’s just say it we built a massive fire that maybe wasn’t the safest!


At the end of July, I will turn 30! I have two other cousins who will turn 30 in July as well. Now, while sitting around chatting, I heard whispers of a surprise party for Ryan and Kyle. I felt relieved because surprise parties are not my thing. I had one surprise party in 5th grade, and I wasn’t all about the surprise part. I don’t like it- it makes me so uncomfortable. Then on Saturday, I was sitting around chatting with my cousins, and they slowly began to disappear. I didn’t think much of it and just kept talking with my sister. Until I realized it was only Ryan and his wife, Kyle and his girlfriend, and my sister and I left. I realized my worst fears (slightly dramatized) were coming true. I was included in the surprise party! 😱Josie asked if we all wanted to grab a quick drink at the bar, and we headed up. I noticed we walked in age order (I believe accidentally) on the way in, and thankfully I was last! I tried several times to pause so that I wasn’t there when people yelled surprise (my least favorite part of surprise parties), but my sister wasn’t having it. 

Me realising what was happening and trying to walk slowly behind everyone else!
Trying to pause and leave a large gap in between us but my sister didn't allow it!

Once everyone shouted at us, the party was great! It was so lovely and completely unexpected to be included in the celebration. My aunts, uncles, and parents were there for the party.

…then, and I’m not proud to admit this, I sang a karaoke song. Thanks to my Aunt and sister, who thought it would be a great idea if the birthday kids sang a song together. We sang Pontoon, and it was not pretty. If you’re my Facebook friends, one of my cousins has so wonderfully uploaded a video of it! I won’t put it here because I should never ever sing in public. Here is a photo of the incident!

Yes. Yes I am wearing a cow print cowboy hat!

Until Next Year!

Sunday morning, we woke up, rehashed our evening, packed up, and left. It was a great time, and I really hope I’m back in the US for next year’s cousins’ camping weekend!

Natasha Theodora written in caligraphy

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