Back during college my buddies and I decided to go the beach during spring break. We’d heard a lot about spring break in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida so we packed up a couple of cars and took off.
We couldn’t believe our eyes when we arrived. There were wall-to-wall students from all over the country. The streets and sidewalks were littered with cars and people, and everybody looked like they were having a good time.
I must confess, however, that I felt a bit awkward. Besides the fact that my skin burned more easily than it tanned, I knew that I was going to have a hard time fitting in with the rhythm of this beach town in hyper-drive. And that first day proved me right.
Shortly after we arrived, we found a cheap hotel room; we put on our swim suits and headed for the beach. Using sunscreen lotion wasn’t’ “cool” in those days so we all prepared for a night of sizzling sunburn. But what did we care? We were in college.
After combing the beach and checking out the lay of the land, my buds and I decided to pick up a chili dog at nearby food stand. I followed my friends, stepped up to the crowded counter and ordered up a super-sized dog along with a beer. Waiting for my food I thought just how much hotter it’d be if not for the presence of a nice, strong ocean breeze.
My food was promptly served, and I picked up the flimsy paper plate weighted down by the big hot dog loaded with piping hot chili; it was a heartburn just waiting to happen. As I turned to walk towards my friends, a huge gust of wind suddenly came on the scene, and that’s when it happened.
The wind lifted the plate from my hand and blew it directly back on to my chest. Like hot tar the chili ran down my bare chest and stomach and then on to my bathing suit causing a pain that was the only thing to save me from feeling total embarrassment. To myself I repeated the theme of our trip: What do we care? We’re in college.
Well, Ft. Lauderdale was just too much for us — too many people, too crazy. We stayed that one night and all agreed that our best bet would be to drive to Disney World in Orlando for the remainder of the break. It was the right thing to do.
Day 12 Guide
Know your limits and trust your judgment. Put yourself in places and situations that give you the best opportunity for having great experiences.
© 2006, Levi Hill