I get a rude awakening when I try to become part of the fun at Spring Break.
Imagine this: a lakeside town in the desert. Temperatures around 80°F every day, sunny every day. Lots of hotels, restaurants, bars, boat rental places. An airport with flights from Phoenix.
Now add several thousand college students, off for a week for spring break.
You’d think that these kids would be interested in doing fun stuff, right? That they’d want their spring break to be memorable. That they’d want to have stories to tell their less fortunate friends, the friends who don’t get all-expenses-paid-by-dad trips to one of the Spring Break capitals of the southwest.
I’ll tell you what they want to do. They want to get up late (because they’re hung over) and start the day by filling the cooler with ice and beer. (Or taking that keg out of their hotel room and getting it refilled.) They want to be loud and obnoxious, so all their friends who are still sleeping will soon be awake. The girls want to dress in clothes that are so skimpy, their grandmothers would keel over and drop dead from shock if they saw them. Everyone wants to makes sure that every single tattoo they have is visible — or at least partially visible. As they walk around, getting themselves together for the day, they have their cell phones up against their heads, trying to coordinate the day’s big event. And that event? Well, it’s the same as the day before: hop in a boat with beer and junk food and cruise about five miles down the lake to a place called Copper Canyon. The canyon is tiny and features a rock formation jutting out of the water. Once there, they cram their boat in with the scores of others, fastening them together with ropes to make them into one big floating platform. Let the drinking begin! They spend the day out there in the sun, drinking beer, jumping into the water, listening to loud music. Then, when the keg is empty or most of the group is unconscious, the designated boat driver makes his way back to home base. They hit the bar at the hotel to start their serious drinking. Somewhere along the line, they get a bit cleaned up and dressed. Then they hit the fast food joints or pizza place or corn dog stand for dinner. More drinking follows, with loud music now provided by a DJ at the popular hot spot, which, on occasion, dumps foam onto the intoxicated dancers to make things just a little more interesting. When the bars shut down around 2 or 3 AM, it’s back to the hotel where they spend an hour or so yelling back and forth to each other before finally passing out.
The next day, it starts all over again.
Silly me. I thought young people would enjoy helicopter rides. I thought they’d enjoy seeing their beloved Copper Canyon from the air. That it would give them an experience that they’d remember and want to tell their friends about. Something they could even tell their parents about.