Every once in a while you pop into a restaurant and there’s a tray of desserts - ice cream sundaes, rich chocolate cakes, flan – your favorites sitting right there waiting for you. But then as you sit and wait, those deserts sit and wait and the ice cream never melts. They’re plastic – and in a lot of cases, not dusted very often. They look great from a far, but are far from good close up. I thought about that while in Mexico covering Spring Break this week.
It is a legitimate story and there are legitimate travel concerns for Spring Breakers this year. But more than anything else what I hear from colleagues, my family and even a Spring Breaker or two is how lucky I am to be there. I am. The weather is certainly nicer in Cancun than it was in Houston this week and being at the beach is always better than being at the office. But it’s not a real dessert – it’s the dusty sundae.
If you ever want to feel old –I’m 36 – go to Spring Break as an adult. No matter how much I thought I could fit in, I think every college student figured I was an inch away from coating my nose with zinc oxide and hiking up the black knee socks. There were many students gracious enough to stop the party long enough to tell me how they were dealing with the travel warnings in Mexico and nervous parents back home. One guy even stopped me to tell me how much he wanted to be in TV – asked about an internship and just as I was about to feel valuable – he asked me if he could carry some of our gear in exchange for help getting past the nightclub’s doorman. I couldn’t help feeling a lot out of place. The next day a young woman was nice enough to ask if I was a pediatrician – don’t know why. She just knew I was way too old for to be here for fun.
I am not complaining. This is a great assignment and I hope the pieces we are sending back help put the Mexican travel warnings in some perspective. (You can see them here.)
But, as the father of 3 little girls, I never want to go back to Spring Break. I will happily send my daughters for their moment in the debaucherous sun – but the thought of one of them or their friends swilling cheap vodka from a bottle on the beach and spitting it into the mouth of a random young man (I saw someone's else sweet daughter do that on the beach in Cancun) is a little more than a daddy can bear.
No thanks. That really is the dusty sundae. When my kids are old enough - I’ll stay home and have a real sundae with my wife.