Written by Abby Adams-Gopsill
I’m writing this article while sitting in a small cafe in a Florida beach town. This week is Spring Break, and as anyone might guess, a beach town such as this is packed with Spring Breakers.
I’ve never gone away for March Break before, so this ordeal is something I’ve only ever seen in movies. Police are a frequent sight, sitting sunburnt Spring Breakers down as they drunkenly walk almost into traffic. When we first arrived, a group of firefighters from Cincinnati did a tamer version of a Magic Mike style dance routine on the beach, gold g-strings and all.
The Lani Kai is centre of the Spring Break culture here. Even the staff participates in the parties, and you can often hear them arranging to meet up with college kids after they get off work. Everyone is immensely friendly, talking to anyone who seems up for a conversation. People picked up conversation with us on the streets, telling us which bars and restaurants to go to and avoid, complaining about the police, inviting us to parties, asking about where we’re from. Practically everyone is wearing a jersey or sweater advertising either their state or their school. There are towels and flags with the names of different frats strung across the balconies of the massive hotel. Outside they have a volleyball court and a stage, along with a children’s playground.
In recent years, the Lani Kai has begun trying to advertise itself as a family hotel, which is honestly ridiculous. I can’t imagine staying there with a child, surrounded by a party that never stops, yet children are everywhere. All hours of the day, the Lani Kai is lit up. People have travelled from all over for the vacation. Just a couple minutes ago, a British girl ordered a smoothie from the cafe I’m in, asking the baristas for whatever would best help a hangover. The Cincinnati firefighters gave a warning before their dance that they’d been up all night drinking, so they apologized if their dancing wasn’t as good as it could have been. It’s insane down here – even the old people are partying hard.