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Monday, March 11, 2024

Spring Broke by Bea Tifton

Ah, March. It's alternating between cool and hot in North Texas, confused trees and flowers are budding out, and it's spring break. Spring break doesn't affect me one way or another anymore, but that wasn't always the case. 

One memorable spring break was the year my roommate and I decided to go to the beach. My roommate's grandmother had recently moved to a little cottage by the beach, and she was going out of town so we could use it for free. We were very excited. Spring break beach trip with free lodging!

The first little hiccup was when we drove up to the cottage. It was actually pretty far from the tourist beaches, and it wasn't quite on the beach. But it was free and we were young and optimistic. When we went in, instead of one of those cute little beach cottages featured in magazines, it was rather shabby and not tremendously clean. We picked our respective sleeping spots; Jessica, my roommate, got the bedroom since it was her grandmother and I got a sagging, but still usable, sofa bed. 


Since we were visiting the beach, sort of, Jessica wanted sea food. This was before gps or the internet, so we just drove around until we found one. It was okay, and we went to bed fortified for a great day at the beach the following morning. It was raining when we woke up. When there was a break in the rain, we played on the beach. Not really many spring breakers, but that meant more room on the beach for us, right? But when the rain returned and we were driven back inside to the cottage, an odd thing happened as we sat on the couch, chatting. Jessica began to scratch and scratch. Then I felt this tiny little stinging sensation and began to itch. Soon, we were both feverishly scratching. The entire cottage was teaming with sand fleas. 

That night I tossed and turned. I must have gone to sleep because I had a horrible nightmare. I was looking at the door as I lay on the sofa bed, and a man came to the door and peeked into the room. He was scruffy and scary. He peered into the gloom right at me and said in a low voice, "I know you're in there. I see you." It was so real that I woke up with a scream. Jessica came running in. I told her about my nightmare, and it scared her, too. We were usually much tougher than that, but it was if he had really gotten into the cottage, and the nightmare definitely had gotten into our heads. Jessica even asked me if I needed to bunk in with her but I said I was okay. 

The next morning was gloomy outside and in. As we sat scratching and tried to figure out what we were going to do with our day, Jessica said, "This isn't quite the vacation I pictured." I agreed  and she said, "Want to just go?" 

We packed up and started on our way. As we drove away from the disappointing landscape, we turned on a local radio station. Turns out, a bad hurricane was coming and the officials were recommending evacuations. We hadn't watched TV or listened to the radio in the cottage so we had no idea. 

Do you have any vacations that didn't live up to your expectations?  Leave a comment below. 

Photo Credits:
Anelia "Pink Flowers"
Ben Mack "Terrace of Modern Villa Overlooking Ocean"
Scott Platt "Shell With Hole"
Donald Tong "Rear View of a Silhouette Man in Window"
Ogy Kovachev "A Volkswagen Type 2 (T3) Parked on Beach Sand"


  1. I remember one where we our daughters and I went on a business trip with my husband. It was supposed to be a vacation got our girls and me. We stayed at a motel we'd never visited before. There was a swimming pool--a small one--but there were no deck chairs. I hadn't brought a swim suit, so I had to sit on the concrete to watch our daughters swim. The television had a coin slot and we could watch 30 minutes for a quarter. This was the second worst place we ever stayed. My husband had the car so we were stuck at this crummy motel. There weren't even any shops or library or tourist places we could walk to.

  2. I don't think I've had a bad spring break. One year in Florida, though, at a very expensive beach condo, it did rain every day but one--which happened to be the day we drove up to Mississippi and went gambling. It was still a fun week.

  3. Haven't had a bad spring break, but a memorable one was when we rented a beach house on Galveston Island. Just me, my two daughters, their friends, and my sweet mother0in-law. A freak cold front blew in the night before. It was about 40 degrees when we reached the beach house, and a stiff wind was blowing the Gulf of Mexico up onto the beach. The first night we all discovered one of the friends was afraid of the dark. We'd all be falling asleep, and she'd turn on all the lights. The next day we walked on the beach, but it was too cold to stay outside. After another sleepless night, we all packed up and headed home. Daughters and I were talking about it and laughing just a couple of days ago.


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