It's Memory Lane Monday!
It's the first day of Spring break and even though I am horrified at the trailer of the new movie Spring Breakers (proof that I am old), I still wish I had the chance to go on one crazy and wild trip with my friends. Got me thinking back to the first time I spent a week of Spring break all by myself. Pure heaven. This post first appeared on The Star's mom2mom site in March, 2009.
The countdown begins right after New Year’s. The bleak, dark, cold winter has gone on long enough. The few warm days that telegraph the coming of spring give everyone the fever. Daylight Savings has thrown off our clocks. The kids are tired from school and activities and need some time away. It’s the week of basketball craziness and St. Patrick’s Day fun. We need sun, relaxation and warm weather. Spring Break is here!! Everyone’s excited, except for me….
In grade school, my family never went further than the two and-a-half hour drive to Chicago for vacation. My Mom hated to ride in the car and in the 70’s, flying Ozark Airlines (the only airline to fly out of Peoria, IL), was a little scary. You had to walk on the tarmac, climb the stairs to the plane and the ride was always a little bumpy.
The planes were so small that there was a curtain separating the cockpit and seating area. Once, we heard everything during a tricky landing, including the “I hope we make it” from the pilot as our knuckles turned white from gripping the arm rests. Unless we could drive, there was no Spring Break trip. And face it, who wants to go where it’s colder for vacation? The whole point is to go somewhere sunny and warm.
In high school, my friends flocked to Panama City, Florida for a week of “chaperoned” fun. While I, and all my teenage angst, stayed home in the snow, they frolicked, half naked on the beach and played quarters at top-secret motel parties.
My parents wouldn’t let me go. They thought the trip would be too wild, so I thought I’d punish them with my sassy attitude and a little high-powered pouting. Life was not fair. I sat in front of the TV the entire week. I watched the MTV Spring Break Show and between my heavy sighs dreamed of a sunburned nose and a can of Milwaukee's Best.
Upon everyone’s return, I had to feign interest in their vacation pics, which looked a lot like what I saw on MTV. Maybe my parents were right….
My senior year, my Dad decided that my sister and I deserved to finally go on Spring Break. We loaded up the car with a couple of friends and drove to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for five days at the beach. Our condo was gorgeous, the beach close and a pool within walking distance. Finally, it was going to be the vacation of my dreams.
It was short lived. The second day I got sun poisoning (which if you’ve ever seen my dark skin is something of a miracle. I rarely burn) and I couldn’t go back in the sun. I sat in the condo, wallowing in my misery. On night, my Dad thought he’d cut through my boredom with a little conversation. He broke down sobbing and revealed that he and my Mom were going to get a divorce.
That was the end of my vacation. My Spring Break was broken. I never went on another March trip again.
This year, my hubby announced that he wanted to take Rosie to see his family out West for Spring Break. I gave him my blessing and they booked tickets to Denver. Buried at work, I needed to stay here. Plus, how could I abandon my twenty year Spring Break Boycott now?
The winter was crazy. Twenty degrees one day followed by eighty the next giving me Spring Fever. Daylight savings arrived making me crazy, crabby and late for a week. Rosie was tired of school and activities and needed a break. Basketball madness was off to a great start with the Tigers winning the Big Twelve and St. Patrick’s Day arrived.
That’s when it hit me! I’d have five, full days to myself.
I could get up in the morning and take time to read the paper, not having to worry about getting Rosie ready for school. There’d be no carpools, no dance and no homework. I wouldn’t have to cook. I could play tennis one night after work and go to happy hour with a trusted friend another. Take a hot bath every night and read the stack of books by my bed. Sounds like a vacation….
Spring Break is finally here!! Everyone’s excited! And, for the first time since high school, that includes me.