Spring Break in Clearwater Beach
Although I never intended to take part in the Floridan Spring Break at Panama City Beach, there are different locations along the coasts which are equally entertaining and relaxing, compared to the crowded party beaches of the Panhandle. Ruben, Mareike, Starlight, Julia and me head to Clearwater Beach, to find something in between, a mixture of good nightlife and a decent beach to hang out at daytime. And all of that is so much fun in a nice group, willing to experience a good life.
First of all we hit St. Petersburg Beach, which is obviously beautiful but mainly crowded with old people and families. It’s more the kind of beach you would have a look for attending as a couple or a family. Our way from there to Clearwater Beach in front of Tampa takes us another two hours, we have not been the only ones with the idea of a pristine day at the beach… But when we reach it finally we still hava a great day and of course, as it is gold standard at the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico, a great sunset.
As I find out at dinner pizza Chicago style is really enjoyable. We have to prolong our beach stay a bit since the street is totally blocked by cars, this time heading back to the mainland. Most of the more affordable hotels are on the mainland and a night directly at the beach is not affordable at all, prices start around $160 for a room per night in places you would normally pay $30 if they would be located elsewhere. Our program for the night: Attending the Shepard’s Beach Resort where Vanilla Ice gives a concert this night. Our way to celebrate Spring Break. On our way back to the car, a moving performance of The Wandering Madman really touches me – goosebumps! – check out all of his music on his website and on youtube for free! What a great voice and what a laid back dude – I already experienced so many great artists, free of cover, in bars, on the streets, in wagons like this time, everywhere and all over the USA. It is really awesome!
We reach our hotel and just have 45 min. to get done and back to the hotel, where Vanilla Ice performs this night. Ruben made a small mistake booking the hotel tho. Our reservation is for the upcoming weekend and so we are without a place for the night. Luckily the shabbier motel next door has a place left. We have a quick “shower race”, about 3 min. for everyone, to get prepared. We “succeed” in staying on time and head back to the show. And I promise you, this show was really great and it’s often like that, you don’t expect anything great, then it becomes great!
Vanilla Ice was born on Thangsgiving 1967 and loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles, that’s what we learn when he talks a bit about his songs he performs. He is in the mid fourties, his biggest hit Ice, Ice Baby is dated back to 1991, but he still is able to deliver a great show like that. Unexpected, great! Some party equipment is thrown into the crowd, some ladies enter the floor and soon afterwards the party really kicks off…
It lasts until 3 a.m., an hour longer than elsewhere. It’s fun and we return back to the hotel totally tired but satisfied. The next morning starts with a big breakfast at IHOP, the rest of the day we lie around at the beach, enjoy it and try to not eat too much sand, since the wind is strong and the fine, white sand is everywhere!
I have learned from my first beach days this year, use sunscreen LPF 50 now and enjoy the sun. But it’s still too much, after some hours I surrender and enjoy the show of some tourists, trying their best to stand up on the standing wave inside of one of the entertainment centers at the beach.
When we reach Gainesville at night, we have a decent BBQ. And on our way back we bought some cool $5 shirts at Walmart for the upcoming St. Paddy’s day the next day…
Spring Break in Daytona and Cocoa Beach – Surfing the tide of the Atlantic
Daytona Beach was once a popular location for Spring Break, this is long time ago. It is still a beautiful beach with very fine sand. I meet up early in the morning with my friends from the UF Navigators, Conny and Theresa from Austria, Nasa and Aicha from France. We take a rental car together and pick it up really early the morning. Gainesville really seems asleep at this time (7.30 a.m.).
Our ride to the beach takes a bit but we manage to get there before luchtime. It is a very beautiful day but the conditions on the water, the waves in Daytona, are tough to manage for a beginner like me. It was much easier to surf in the Pacific…
The day flies by in a second and I am eager to go to the beach again. After all it’s weekend and I like it more to go to the beach at daytime and skip the party at night in return. It’s so much more rewarding.
The next day I visit the beach with some other friends, Martin from Switzerland, Sharvari, Adriely, and Virat. They are colleagues of mine and we start again early in the morning to Cocoa Beach close to Cape Canaveral. The beach has not such fine white sand as many others I visited in Florida and California, but the swell is really good to surf! Stephan, my former instructor from my times as intern here, his little daughter, Ben, a former colleague of mine and his girlfriend already await us.
Martin and me borrow a board and start right away. We have to bring it back several times until I find the perfect size, 8’6″. I teach Martin a bit and he really does good standing up on a big board. I go to watch El Classico in the meanwhile. The end of the day I surf, when the others are for dinner and I stand up everytime now. Too sad I am too busy with surfing to take pictures… It was great and I am in a spree to learn it properly now – a worthy alternative to snowboarding I have to say and since the Atlantic is already quite warm and the sun does the best to impress, we had another great day at the beach! This is how Spring Break can look as well. Thanks to all of you guys for the great time, the funny conversations and all the action – Really enjoyed it and we should do more of such stuff in our limited time over here!