It’s three days before spring break. The countdown app on my sleek iPhone is sure to remind me each day that I’m just one step closer to being parked in the sand with a Corona. I just have to make it through midterms week … but that wasn’t too hard seeing as how I didn’t actually have any midterms.
Reservations at a Timeshare had been made in November (confirmation e-mail safely saved in my inbox), flights had been booked in January and the rental car was reserved. It was about to be the greatest, and though hard to believe, best bargain Spring Break EVER. 72 hours out… what could go wrong.
Little did I know it was just the beginning.
Here I am, packing up my clothes. Picking out all the summer items tucked in the back of my dresser that haven’t seen the light of day since September (THANKS NY WINTERS). That’s when my dad texted me wondering if I had gotten an e-mail from the resort with more details, you know the one I’m supposed to get according to my confirmation of reservation email. Nope. No new messages. Okay no biggie. Dad said he would call and see what time check-in is for us (us being me, my perfect big and little and one of my pledge sisters).
There was no reservation at the resort.
Excuse me. I have the confirmation uhm *Picks up phone* right here. Many hours later, Dad figures it out, gets our money for the exchange fee back, and makes a new reservation.
Better location. Deep breathe. Right on the beach. Deep breathe. Google says 1 out of 5 stars. Big deep breathe. You’re not going on spring break to sit in the hotel. It’ll be okay. Just BREATHE.
Fast-forward a few days. Saturday morning.
Big ensures during breakfast that I check the flight departure time – I open my e-mail account to pull up the flight itinerary – flight confirmed departure for 2 p.m. and everything is on time. It’s about an hours drive to the airport and my dad has offered to take us. We load up our bags, hit the road and arrive in a timely fashion.
Goodbyes are said, bags are unloaded and into the airport we waltz.
“Ladies your flight is boarded and is departing in ten minutes. There was a time change for departure listed earlier this week.” Excuse me insert airline here but no, as of this morning your flight was still listed online with its original departure time.
This woman felt like an angel though as she offered to hold the plane for us and said they could check our bags at the gate, just get through security she said.
We begin to sprint like crazy girls out of a movie scene. Big tosses brand new bottles of shampoo, lotion, sunscreen. Into the trash at security it all goes. Hustle ladies we have a flight to paradise to catch.
Big makes it through first and books it to the gate. The plane has already departed.
In that moment I have never felt more frustrated. New flights were booked, dad returned to the airport and out of the kindness of his heart drives us two hours to a different airport to catch our new flight.
FINALLY. Many hours later we arrive in Ft. Lauderdale, keys to the rental car in hand, all is well. First stop – the liquor store for the much needed necessities of spring break and eventually a stop for some food.
A few wrong turns and a lot of help from the trustee iPhone and we finally find our hotel’s check-in office.
I’m going to fast-forward here a little bit though – you can insert the typical spring break party scene for 11pm on a Saturday night at the pool – but our room really did fit the 1 star rating. Dirty sheets, no clean towels, a fridge and stove that don’t actually work. If you can think of it then chances are it was going wrong in our room too.
It wasn’t turning out to be the perfect spring break we had envisioned and been planning for the last few months. The next few days went by without any cleaning service – though according to the front desk was supposed to be provided – and still no clean towels. Thank goodness for beach towels I guess.
We trudged on. I had all the Coronas I needed, the sunshine and my sisters. Then someone smashed our kitchen window at 2 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, startling us all awake. Glass was everywhere and no culprit in sight. 911 was called and the hotel security was notified.
In that moment, I lost it. Hotel security didn’t care. We waited 20 minutes for the Ft. Lauderdale police, who were extremely gracious and kind, but the hotel just didn’t care. There was no offer to board up this now gaping hole that gave any drunken spring breaker access to our room, no offer to switch rooms, no safety felt at all.
It wasn’t something I had considered before when booking the spring break extravaganza. Would I feel safe? The next morning was spent between me and Big fighting the manager to provide us a new room and reimburse our night. First room we switched to was trashed – used condoms on the floor, funnel in the closet, beer cans in the shower – next one had a gas leek, but finally the third times a charm.
Though everything seemed to be going wrong and during that week I felt some of the greatest frustrations I had ever felt before, I look back on that week and fondly remember the snorkel trip Big booked us, and the group of cute scuba instructors we befriended. I think of the Everglades tour my pledge sister picked out and watching Little try hush puppies for the first time.
So as you plan your big spring break extravaganza – expect something to go wrong, or all of it, but know that looking back it’s the good memories that you remember if you make a point to enjoy the small stuff. Happy planning!! 🙂