There is no doubt about it, Spring Break is here, in all it’s glory. This past weekend we had some very hot weather and the beach and parking lots were packed. Beach chairs and umbrellas were available for rent from the shacks on the beach that had previously been unoccupied. There is also a food truck parked near one of the beach access points and today, just down from us, a huge trailer with a smoker has moved in. We are still seeing the planes flying overhead dragging signs advertising the events going on at the local watering holes. The message changes daily.
Earlier in the week we had an RV move in, two stalls down from us, but there were no occupants, Hmm. Then Saturday, another RV pulled in next to us with about 10 young adults. It turns out these 10 ended up staying in the two RVs next to us. Of course we were thinking the worst, but things weren’t too bad with our new neighbours. But they did need to be reminded at 12:30 AM that quiet time starts at 10:00 The Sheriff was very quick to respond and things quieted down right smartly after his visit.
With all the extra people on the island having a good time, it is inevitable that things will go sideways. Sure enough, there was a report on the news of damage to a sand castle that sits outside the Tourist Welcome Centre. We had previously biked into town to see the new castle and were fortunate enough to speak with the artists. This is a huge and very intricate sand sculpture. After hearing the report we took our bikes out to see the damage. It is a tragedy that this type of vandalism has occurred after hours and hours of work. Here is a second report from the local TV station.
The Visitor Centre was about as far into town as we could take our bikes. The sidewalks were overcrowded with groups of young adults. As we approached a group they either didn’t hear our bike bell or didn’t care and we had to weave around them. Taking our bikes to the road was not a safe option either.
Today the weather didn’t get past 70℉ so the beach activity was very quiet. We decided to venture into town this afternoon for a coffee at McDonald’s. What a surprise. This is a very small restaurant with only 2 tills, only one normally open. In the past, there is rarely another car in the parking lot and there are normally only 3 or 4 workers behind the counter. Today the parking lot was near full and, upon entering, we were greeted by a Cameron County Sheriff. The place had many patrons, most of which looked like they had too much sun and/or had just woken up from a very late night. There still was only one till open but there was a serpentine lane to keep everyone in-line as they approached the counter. As we waited for our coffee to be delivered, yes, they brought our order to our table, I counted 14 staff working behind the counter.
There were many young adults as well as families eating inside. It was nice to see the young patrons, no matter how scantily they were dressed, or hung over they looked, as they acted very politely toward the staff. We chatted with the Sheriff before we left. He told us things get a lot crazier around 5:00 or 6:00 as the line goes out the door. I guess that is when people start to rise and get ready for the evenings activities.
While in town, we continued to see many people walking on the sidewalks. There were also many vans and busses on the street advertising free rides. These free rides were being used as we could see people flagging them down to get around town. We also learned at happy hour the other day that a religious group that is staying in the park is offering free breakfast to those on bring break.
It is nice to see the community getting together during this time when the population explodes to provide a safe and accommodating atmosphere for all.