Today is my 25th birthday. And for some reason 25 seems a whole lot older than 24! For the most part, I enjoy low-key birthdays. Just a nice relaxing day with family and friends. But three years ago, I was surrounded by complete strangers and all of my friends and family were about 7,000 miles away. I was in China in the Zhejiang Province on the lake of a thousand islands. (I am still not 100% sure of our exact location.) I was there filming season 15 of CBS Survivor and was a member of the Zhan Hu tribe.
On my 22nd birthday, we had only been filming for a few days. The conditions were miserable, I was starving (literally) and having a big birthday bash was the last thing on my mind. But my sweet teammates insisted they would throw me a fun shindig. We were supposed to have a bond fire (if we could manage to start a fire), we were going to cook EXTRA molded rice, snails, and clams and Erik was providing the live entertainment (he was our human jukebox out there!) and Frosti, Sherea, Peih-Gee and I were supposed to have a dance party. So as bad as everything seemed, I was excited to celebrate with this crazy bunch of kids. But then my birthday dreams were shattered. We lost the challenge that day (as usual) and the Fei Long tribe was allowed to kidnap one member from our team and keep them at their campsite until the next immunity challenge. So who did they choose!? Yep, you guessed it... I was the first member of Survivor China kidnapped to the opposing team. And of course, it happened to be on my birthday. I was crushed.
Stolen by the Fei Long Tribe! (my tribe is on the left)
So I headed to the Fei Long camp. I quickly realized they had it made over there. They had lime trees and fish in their cove. Not fair at all! But they offered to feed me and give me a little extra lime rice on my birthday. So I thought that was sweet. But I still wanted to celebrate with my tribe. So I decided to try to escape and runaway back to my island. How this did not make television... I have no idea. Jean- Robert and I got in the canoe and started paddling. We saw smoke in the distance and figured it had to be my campsite. We paddled, paddled, paddled away! Told the members of Fei Long we were going on a fishing trip. Several hours later, we realized the smoke was not coming from my campsite and we had no idea where my campsite was. Major FAILURE! So we headed back and just blamed the lost time on the fish not biting. Looking back, it is pretty hysterical really. I bet the camera men got a good laugh at us! I spent the rest of my birthday with the "enemies!" Now those enemies are good friends and I wouldn't mind spending any birthday with them! haha!
Eating my 22nd birthday dinner with the "enemies!"
Reuniting with my tribe!!! I missed those crazy monkeys!
But this year proves to be much more relaxing. I spent the morning playing with the puppy, I think I am going to go get a pre-natal massage, then I am headed to a birthday dinner with my hubby, Kent, and Marisa! I am looking forward to it!
Here are some old photos from my 21st birthday (now that was an exciting and fun-filled night!)