This past Spring Break, ranging from 4/3/10 to 4/10/10, I had the pleasure of visiting Panama City Beach with five of my closest friends. We stayed on a beautiful resort equipped with three pools, an extravagant view of both the strip and the beach, and many other “eye candies”, which will remain nameless. Unfortunately, I got more than I bargained for with this newfound independence, learned lifelong lessons, and experienced a precursor of what is to come upon entering college this fall.
With Panama City Beach being the small, but very busy teen attraction that has made it so infamous, it was obvious that bringing a car on this vacation would be useless, the downside of that being that someone’s parents would have to drop us off and pick us up again after seven days. Surprisingly enough the parent chosen was my very own mother. However, by the time we reached PCB, we didn’t even realize her presence. What we did realize was the fact that she left at exactly 3:15 pm that Sunday, prompting us to throw our first, but certainly not our last condo party at 3:17 pm that exact same afternoon. Drop dead wasted, we were involved in several altercations which none of us remembered the next morning. We awoke to a trashed condo and an earful of stories from sober onlookers. Many of these stories were interesting, some were scary, and others were unforgettable. One of the six girls I was rooming with in the condo had been attacked by one of our unwelcomed guests as a result of our neglectfulness, resulting in numerous scars on her face and body, and the termination of any further fun she may have had that week in Panama. Speaking for myself, I watched one of my best friends deteriorate in seeing us have the time of our lives while she sat in awe of what her spring break could have been like had we cared enough to look out for her as she would have for us, and thought nothing of it.
Panama was mesmerizing; it took our thoughts away from everything but what was right in front of our faces, which was a high energy city that was more alive than any place we had ever experienced. There was never a boring moment in Panama City. The four girls I came with and I spent much of our time just walking the beach and strip, enjoying the city and the company it offered, and not spending a dime. We learned quickly that money was irrelevant to those who had great amounts of it to blow, a fact we took advantage of every chance we got.
At the latter end of our trip, I noticed but took no consideration of the rift that had developed between me and my isolated friend. She no longer felt pity for herself, but disappointment in us. Panama had proved a fit distraction from the rest of the world, but reality struck hard and very quickly. We had to pay a $300 dollar deposit fee for the damage done to the condo, had unexplainable stomach and headaches from long overdue hangovers, and though our pockets were full, our minds were empty. I lost one of the best friends I’ve ever had and did nothing to prevent it. If I got anything out of this trip besides blank memories and finite pleasure, it was the knowledge of what is really important and the lifelong lesson of how a good time can only go so far before it becomes hypnosis.
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