During high school, there was not a lot of time for fun. I lived with my grandparents. They were quite strict, with old fashioned ideas about what I should be doing. While their rules and regulations were aggravating at times, I learned much more than I would have without them.
I was required to study and do my homework, for three hours every day. My study time was always to be followed with one hour of practice on my clarinet. Only after all this was I allowed to do anything recreational.
As my senior year of high school started, my grandparents sat me down in the living-room to have our annual discussion about how the rules would change for me. This year, to my shock and amazement, I would be allowed to go on a one week vacation with my friends for spring break. This would be the first time I would stay more than one night without supervision.
Our senior year seemed to pass slower than any other. My friends and I planned our trip almost constantly in our heads. As the week of spring break grew closer, we decided to take our trip to a beach side resort in the Florida Keys. We booked a suite with two bedrooms, a kitchen, and our own private dock over the water. My grandparents had agreed to pay for the hotel, being that this was my first real trip as an adult. Since we had the budget, we wanted everything over the top. Our room even had an extravagant Cedar Hot Tub right on the dock.
As our plane arrived and we boarded the taxi that would take us to our destination, our hearts began to race. The excitement seemed to build all the way until we reached the hotel. The reality of paying the taxi driver brought us down to earth, long enough to, at least, check into our suite.
The room was just as grand as it had looked when we reserved it, on my computer back home. There were chocolates on the pillows, even the toilet paper was folded on the end. As we explored all of the features of our home for the week, we conversed as to which of the many available activities to try first and we all agreed to try out the hot tub while we made our plans.
Throughout the week we indulged in some of the most exciting things we ever imagined. The view of hang-gliding over the clear blue ocean is something I will never forget. What a contrast from the mountains of the mid-west, where we are from.
Our trip seemed to come to an abrupt end, even more quickly than it began. The taxi trip back to the airport was almost silent, us each reveling in amazing memories of the week. After boarding the plane, it seemed finite, we felt that a week could never again be so fun as the one we had just experienced.
As I began to recount the trip to my grandparents, they understood. They knew beforehand how great this trip would be for me, a well deserved break. Now the daily routine is not so bad, knowing what rewards it can bring.