Spring Break for Old Dudes
Spring break means different things to different people in different stages of life. For me, as a middle-aged man, married with two young children, it meant a long weekend getaway for Easter break with family and friends.
Every January my friend Mike and I get both of our families together for a three night stay in a nice large cabin with a hot tub somewhere in Ohio. But for whatever reasons, this time January drifted into February and then March. So we decided since both of our wives were teachers, we’d book a place over their spring break. That way, the wives and kids all had time off. Perfect.
When we arrived, it was not what we had expected. First lesson; don’t trust what you see online. It was a mini cabin in the woods, located on a cul-de-sac road, and nearby a lake. The surrounding cabins were bursting at the seams with college kids on SPRING BREAK! That is, every cabin but ours and as I would later learn, one somewhere across the street.
Mike was unusually quiet as we drank some beer and fired up the grill. Bon Jovi music was bouncing off the trees all around us. I guess that’s what the “kids” considered classic rock these days. The only good thing was that these small cabins somehow had thick enough walls, soundproofed enough, to block out the noise from the all night partying going on next door. Fortunately there was a vacant, tree-filled lot separating us. We decided to brave the night and express our disappointment to management at the main lodge in the morning since it was already getting late and the kids were ready for sleep. Our kids that is!
Stepping out back, Mike and I drank beer a little faster than we had in a long time. That’s when “Mr. Buff” appeared. Buff had a chiseled …everything. I tried to stick out my chest but realized it was left behind in Germany when I was in the Army years ago. Either that or the good life had grown my stomach.
Anyway, Mr. Buff said, “We were talking over there and decided, ya know what? Let’s give these old-dudes our cell phone number so if they need us to pump down the volume, we’ll know.”
I was puzzled and looked around for these old dudes. It was like a truck hit me when I realized Buff was referring to us! He was so nice though, in that fake, but believing he was sincere, kind of way.
I kept having visions of us being in the middle of one of those insurance commercials – “LIFE! It Comes At You Fast!”
Well, inside the cabin, all things were quiet – proof that miracles do exist.
The next day, we did some sightseeing, ate lunch at a nice place and then someone suggested we go antiquing.
Although I wanted to, something inside me screamed, “Noooo!”
So after we spent two hours in the antique mall, we went to the lodge, swam, played games and had a fine time. On the way out, we stopped at the front desk and said we hoped there would be patrols to keep the college kids at bay, but that there were no complaints at this time.
We drove back to “cul-de-sac Ft. Lauderdale” to see nearly every rooftop shingled with girls in bikinis and guys with no shirts. Below, there was a wiffle-ball game going on at the end of the cul-de-sac. Our kids asked if they could play too. Yeah right.
At dusk, I had to take some trash to a nearby dumpster. There were raccoons. Yippee! So I got the kids, walked back and showed them “wildlife.” After the little scavengers entertained us, it grew darker so we headed back to the cabin.
Fortunately, only I saw the streaking from afar. At least this night, the party was at the cabin across the street instead of next door. Things were definitely getting wilder.
In the morning, we decided we’d had enough. After packing the van I had to make another walk to the dumpster. On my way back, I was startled to see a family of four emerge from a cabin kitty-corner from ours and next door to last night’s party.
Here’s their story:
“In the middle of the night, my worst fear came true,” said kitty-corner dad. “Someone was banging on the back door yelling, let me in. I yelled back, You better get out of here, this isn’t your cabin, now go away. To which the drunk on the other side pleaded, Come on dude, stop mess’n with my head and just let me in. This repeated a few times before the stranger at the door fell silent.”
And so it goes.
I could tell us “old dudes” had a new story to tell.
By Rocco Satullo, author of a memoir and novel