"My mom would like a glass of water," my little cousin (a few times removed) said to me, standing on the steps of my parents' massive trailer.

"Tell her I said, 'tough shit.'"

He stared at me blankly for a minute before I finally told him I was just kidding.

"Megan!" my mother exclaimed at some point in time as this was all going on.

"What is the matter?" my cousin (slightly fewer times removed) called from outside.

"Your son just asked me to get you a glass of water," I paused, "and I told him to tell you that I said, 'tough shit.'"

Naturally, everyone present threw their heads back and laughed in a jovial manner. It was a Hallmark moment. My family only ever experiences Hallmark moments while *camping.

Hallmark moments were slightly more challenging to come by this time though as there is currently a fire ban in Algonquin Park. Instead of experiencing our normal family bonding around an open flame, we were forced to sit in camp chairs and stare blankly at one another for several hours while consuming alcohol. Not the minors though. They had to do it all sober.

I quizzed them (them being the minors) on the typical things you quiz kids that age about: Career choices. "You are thirteen now," I said sternly, "What are you planning to do with your life? Have you started saving for retirement yet?" The answer to most every question seemed to involve wizards, Nascar or space. Usually all three.

Things I learned while on this trip: the puppy does not like staying still while in canoes. He'll do it, but only for brief periods of time in between trying to stick his whole head in the water, trying to eat various aquatic plants, trying to wrestle with any people or other animals (mainly my other dog) in the canoe, peeing (in the canoe) and contemplating jumping out of the canoe in the middle of whatever body of water we are on. On the plus side, he doesn't bark at wildlife.

Both dogs spent several hours each day frolicking in the water and rolling around in the dirt. Soon, I will go back to work and it will be another year before I have a good excuse not to change my underwear daily or shower.

*My parents have a 38' trailer that they use to "camp" in. The trailer is equipped with a queen size bed, a fold out couch, a shower, a bathroom, a bathroom sink, a fridge, a stove, a stove top, a microwave, a kitchen sink, a 32" TV, a desk for a computer.. You get the idea. I sleep in a two person tent with my dogs. All of my camping equipment, clothes for a week and dog paraphernalia weigh in at under 30 pounds. 

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