Have you ever spent 15 hours in a small car with four guys and 30°C outside? No? Well, I have. Was it fun? No. Was it worth it? YAASSS!
What on earth can make such a horror drive (twice obviously, back and forth) worth it, you might think. Well, that’s easy: SPRING BREAK IN FLORIDA!
It was a nice day when my friends and I started our trip to Panama City Beach which lies in the north western part of Florida. We decided to drive because prices for flights had reached crazy levels. Flight
companies know exactly that at this special time of the year all the students want to escape from their home university and get loose and drunk somewhere where no one knows them. You know, what happens at Spring Break, stays at Spring Break.
A hundred hours (at least that’s what it felt like), some quarrels about who is the better DJ and the most amazing unhealthy road trip breakfast at iHop, later, we arrived at our destination.
Everything you could wish for was there: a huge pool, sea view from our balcony, a beautiful beach and a nice, warm Jacuzzi. The only thing missing was… the sun. No one of us had thought about the fact that in the north of Florida the hot summer weather isn’t guaranteed… in March. We didn’t let the weather ruin our mood though and so we went to beach on our first day.
The truth is, that was a little disappointing. Although there were a lot of people on the beach, it wasn’t as crazy as we expected it to be. Why? Because there was no alcohol ON THE WHOLE BEACH! We found out that last year a lot of bad stuff had happened here in PCB. During Spring Break there had been shootings, gang rapes and people even died. So they prohibited alcohol on the beach, which obviously meant a little less fun – but hey, no rapes and shootings are pretty good as well!
So there was no insane party out on the beach BUT there was a lot of stuff going on inside the beach clubs. The first thing we got to experience was an, of course very classy, Bikini Contest at a day party at La Vela, the largest night club in the USA and the trendiest one in PCB. So we started into the vacation with some half naked girls (some really pretty, some less, some really drunk, some nearly fainting) performing their Bootie shake. The guys were in a state of happiness, I was somewhere between disgusted, amused and fascinated.
At night we went to La Vela again and I was even more fascinated. Going out there was very different from home. The club was big and filled with (drunk) people, mostly guys, and it might sound weird but being a girl in there, especially a blonde one (naw, no one cares if they’re fake or not), was like being a freakin’ unicorn. I can definitely recommend going to La Vela around Spring Break to every girl who feels insecure or has a lack of self-confidence. You don’t just get an ego boost in there, you feel like Miss America when you leave the club. The price you pay for that are some really weird pick-up lines though, and some gross people who think that touching a strange girl when she walks by is a right that every man has. IT’S NOT!
One day later, something great happened. I met a bunch of really awesome people! It was a rather chilly day, so we were hanging out at the Jacuzzi when two guys joined us and we all started talking. It was a huge coincidence that I got to meet them again at the club later. I was thanking fate for it because it turned out that they and their group of friends were not only a lot of fun but extremely lovely as well. It was a crazy night, involving playing UNO for the first time since I was seven, earning $20 in ten seconds and learning a magic trick at 4 in the morning (Doesn’t sound so crazy? If only you knew!)
The next day, the weather gods finally had mercy with us and exchanged the grey clouds for the warm sun. When I was lying there at the beach, getting tanned (sunburned), digging my toes in the sand, listening to the sounds of the sea, I couldn’t have been much happier.
Later at the pool, something awkward happened which reminded me of how weird the U.S. and its laws sometimes are. I’m still not used to the whole drinking thing here in the States and, being allowed to drink since I’ve been 16, it always surprises me when someone asks me for my ID when I’m buying a beer (especially as there’s practically no alcohol in American beer anyway).
Therefore, I was really surprised when several Cops showed up at the pool of our hotel, in the middle of our day. I was hanging out in my Bikini with my new crazy but awesome friends, all of us relaxed, drinking a drink a sweet drink with like 3% alcohol in it. Suddenly the policeman asked us for our IDs and but my friend was only 20 and had therefore only taken one sip of the lemonadish drink. But exactly that sip they’ve seen and so she had to go with them and there was talking about going to jail (she only got a ticket in the end, though) and I was totally paralyzed, thinking that this must be a joke. To all my European friends: How crazy is that? Getting punished by the police because you were taking one sip of a sugary drink at a private pool with TWENTY! Isn’t that totally surreal?!
But alright, that’s just the way things are handled here. It’s normal in the States but it’s still awkward for someone who’s not used to it but has been able to drink alcohol whenever she wants, wherever she wants (yess, also on the street, crazy, right?) for five years already when people here who are nearly the same age have to use a fake ID (we all know it, it’s no secret) to get a watery beer.
The rest of the vacation was awesome. Playing Volleyball at the beach, swimming in the cooling water of the beautiful see, partying all night long at one of the clubs. One day we went to see Steve Aoki at the beach and there weren’t only good tunes, sweating bodies and a boiling atmosphere but there also was cake. On peoples bodies. What else do you need for a nice beach party?!
The days flew by and while I had a lot of fun, there was a sad part as well. The group of friends I’ve met had to leave and go back to Alabama. The chances that I would get there any time soon to party with them again were low and therefore, saying goodbye was hard. But you never know, maybe one day, I’ll see all of them again.
My time in PCB was over before I could realise it and sooner that I would have wanted I was stuck in the middle of the backseat of our rented car, heading back to the good old lone star state. It’s hard to describe the feeling when I got out of it again. It was a mixture of pure happiness because I was out of that damned vehicle. And soft melancholy for being back in my temporary home, left with only the vivid memories of my first and only Spring Break in Florida, it’s bright colours and great people.