Spending spring break at home in northern Ohio is great, but I discovered that relaxing for a week in sunny South Florida also has its benefits.
By South Florida, I do not mean Miami. I couldn’t stand being that close to LeBron James. My visit was to West Palm Beach, where my older brother and his girlfriend live. While the city might not equal Miami’s nightlife, it still includes in its name the words “palm” and “beach.” And that’s good enough for me.
As its name implies, the area enjoys a great deal of sunlight. The temperature reached at least the mid-80s every day, and the nights were never cold.
Since I was unaware that the sun even existed from November to April, my instincts were to bask in it for days at a time. That is not a good idea, as any Floridian will tell you.
Most of the natives there go to great lengths to avoid sunlight, because they say it can be harmful and can even cause skin cancer. But I wasn’t worried. The only fear I have ever had of the sun was that it might go away and never return.
The nearest beach was 10 minutes away, so much of my time was spent there, especially after a few of my roommates drove down a couple days later. This is where it is important to remind the reader that I was not in Miami.
You see, there were plenty of women on the beach. Unfortunately, most of them appeared to be between the ages of 65 and 120. Even more unfortunate was that many of those same women dressed like they were between 20 and 30. Some of them looked as though their skin had been exposed to the sun since World War (take your pick).
Remember being told as a kid that the most dangerous thing you could do to your eyes was to stare at the sun? Now I’m not so sure.
But not everyone looked like that; there was indeed some great scenery. Besides, simply sitting on the beach can trump any unpleasant sights one might encounter while being there. Once, I sat in my lawn chair for more than an hour, silent, and gazed at my surroundings without a single thought going through my head — much like freshman biology, only less boring.
For an entire week, my e-mails went unchecked, Facebook went unnoticed and my phone went nearly untouched. It is something everyone should be encouraged to do, regardless of the weather. But of course, 85 and sunny indeed makes the process much easier.
Another thing that made it easy to unwind, at least for me, was being able to watch spring training baseball. In the two games I attended, I saw both the Cardinals and Red Sox lose. Exhibition or not, that made me happy.
But all good things eventually come to an end. On the day I returned, the temperature in Florida was again expected to be in the high 80s. When the plane landed in Detroit, it was 24 degrees. Spring break was over.