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Re: Cousins: The Gathering
Posted By: Travholt, on host
Date: Monday, September 24, 2001, at 13:10:58
In Reply To: Cousins: The Gathering posted by Travholt on Friday, September 21, 2001, at 12:01:54:

Here's how the trip went:

I arrived at home just after eight o'clock Saturday morning, after being picked up by my father a road crossing a few miles from home. I had a little breakfast, and then I went straight to bed in my old bedroom. I had slept only about three hours out of a ten hour trip, so I was dead tired, and slept for four hours.

At 2 p.m. most of the cousins gathered for an initial meeting with lunch and a little walking around the town. Already there were many I didn't recognize, but the good thing was most of us felt the same way. That's one thing I didn't think of when I wrote the initial post here. Then, I had more of a "me vs them" attitude, when in fact it was a "we're all in the same boat" situation. Nevertheless, it felt a bit awkward. But that's to be expected, I guess.

Then we went to the hotel where the evening was to be spent, half an hour's drive away. First, we said hello to our grandmother, who is in a nursing home there. She's 89 years old, doesn't see much at all, but can hear well with hearing aid. We arrived a bit late, so she was on her way back to her quarters and was very tired. (I heard that when my aunts were getting her ready earlier, she said that she was entitled to be tired and worn out after giving birth to and raising twelve kids. :-)

Then, we took a group photo of all 40 of us (not bad attendance out of a total 45...) with spouses, so we were about 60 people in that picture. The picture was handed out later in the evening. It was a digital camera, and I suppose the photographer had a photo printer. The picture turned out very nice. I think only three of us didn't smile. I might scan it some day and put it on my site. If I do, I'll post a link here.

After the photo session, we all went to the hotel and had about an hour and a half of individual presentations. Very short, just where we live (and with whom, if applicable) and what we do, basically.

Dinner followed. A buffet with all sorts of sea food. The hotel isn't very exclusive, so the food was not much more than acceptable. I tried fried cod tongue, which wasn't a big hit, but I suspect that was mainly because it wasn't very well made. But the pollack with bacon was good, as was the smoked salmon.

The night was finished off with dancing in the hotel's attic. I'm not much of a dancer, so I spent the time talking and watching the dancers instead. My cousins are no better than most Norwegians, so many of them (especially the guys) got very drunk. When we went home a bit after 1 a.m., one of them was wobbling about outside without shoes on, talking completely gibberish. I had a few drinks myself, but not enough to get drunk at all, and I'd certainly not allow myself to get *that* drunk.

I discovered that one of my cousins who I used to play with a lot when I was little also lives here in Oslo, and he was going back Sunday evening, so I hitched with him. Very much preferable to taking the bus when it comes to travelling time, company, comfort and price. And I got to drive for a while, too, which was fun, because I almost never drive these days, since I don't have a car. (I don't want or need one, either.)

All in all, the weekend turned out much better than I feared before I went. I didn't get to talk to everyone, though, and talked mainly to the ones I know best from my childhood. And that was nice. I wonder when we'll all meet again next time...