Sunday, March 30, 2008

And This Year, I Was Sick and it Rained

"Spring Break" is one of those concepts that seemed foreign to me until fairly recently. As a kid, we didn't really travel much over spring break. Our big family vacations - and we took big family driving vacations every year - were usually in the summer and after Christmas.

Starting my sophomore year of high school, spring breaks were for researching colleges. This project also took up part of summer vacations and much of the floor of my bedroom. By the time I'd finally chosen a college and moved my Fisk guides to a communal bookshelf in the upstairs hallway, I had 3 huge black garbage bags of college brochures and mailings to, er, recycle. (I threw them away. While wearing my Earth Day t-shirt, probably.)

In college - oops! wrong choice despite all that research - after using my work study money (lifeguarding, baby! it sure beat food service) for textbooks and my phone bills, I usually went home for spring break. My parents sure as heck weren't going to give me money to go off on vacation with my friends, and they weren't too keen on me accepting gifts of large value (like trips) from friends or boyfriends, either.

So "spring break" was really a "break" for me, not so much fodder for future embarrassing anecdotes involving toplessness and beaches.

Except, sort of, my junior year. My boyfriend of nearly 3 years was going to Cancun with his family, where they had a very nice condo timeshare here. Inexplicably, my parents allowed me to go along. Perhaps because I was 21?

Anyway, it was an eye-opening experience for me. For one thing, the whole trip was very much a lap-of-luxury experience. Aside from the sumptuous accommodations, we sometimes had bars or restaurants all to ourselves, lots of personal attention from waitstaff, alcohol alcohol alcohol like I'd never seen it flow before, my boyfriend's family like I'd never seen them before, and never any obvious concern about what the cost of any of this might be (financial or otherwise).

In the end, this trip did help me decide what I did not want my future real life to be like, though I do still have a bit of a taste for luxury.

And a mere 8 months later, the string bikini I bought my first morning in Mexico, after realizing that my tank-style racing suits were just not going to cut it in Cancun, helped me attract the notice of my now-husband. So the moral is: spring break travel will have unforeseeable consequences for your future. Throw caution to the wind, judiciously.

St. Louis Blog Carnival #9: Spring Break Memories


Rob Monroe said...

We never did much spring break travel either. Once I started working Spring Break (and Beach Week) became my favorite weeks ever. I got to work unitl it hurt. I got a lot more money those weeks than any other time than the holidays.

I have gotten into the habit over the last couple of years of taking a couple of days off to hang out at home. We don't travel unless it's to see family, hence we don't really do a spring break vacation.

We did spend a wonderful afternoon during Annys spring break catching up over lunch with an old friend.

Sarahlynn said...

I think that days off at home, preferably including long lunches with friends, is the PERFECT way to spend a spring break.