Spring break snapshots

Students reflect on vacation adventures

Off the itinerary

It was the one thing the seniors had been looking forward to their entire high school career – their last spring break together.

“We booked our vacation to Spain about six months in advance,” Quirine Kolff, medical school residency student said. “It was a close group of friends – eight girls and 10 guys all together.”

The weeks prior to their trip, Kolff had everyone over for pre-Spain parties. They talked about what to bring, and where to go and with the girls, she discussed what type of boys they would go after.

“I had everything planned out,” Kolff said. “Sleep in every morning, tan in the afternoons and go out at night.”

Kolff was involved in a scooter accident two days before departure. She snapped her meniscus and spent spring break in the hospital.

“It was the most boring time ever,” she said. “All my friends were in Spain, and I was stuck in bed getting whiter by the day.”

– Charlotte Muller

Rico Suave?

Backpacking across Europe is like playing the lottery – many want to, but few actually grab life by the reins and do. Senior psychology major Chelsea Koenigseker found herself lucky enough to get away on a five-week European excursion.

She traveled across Europe, passing through Rome, Paris, Barcelona, Venice, Budapest and others.

Paris was not what Koenigseker thought it would be, she said. While photographing the Louvre, she and her traveling buddy found themselves surrounded by five thieves, who had emerged from nearby bushes.

“They were getting closer, and we finally broke off running until we were in a well-lit area,” she said.

When Koenigseker arrived at her hostel in Budapest, she found herself clashing face-first with the culture barrier.

“The first thing we saw was a computer in the lobby, and a Brazilian man sitting in his underwear,” she said.

And for the remainder of the trip, Koenigseker and her backpacking partner deemed the man “Rico Suave.”

– Ben Breier

Oh, Canada

It seems everyone has a spring break they’ll never forget, but justice studies major Kyle Etcher and communication studies major Eric Seigers have one they might not want to remember.

Both Etcher and Seigers, along with co-worker Will Miles, took a trip to Canada to relax and, above all, enjoy the benefits of a lower drinking age limit.

Miles was 18 at the time, while Etcher and Seigers were both 19, enabling them to get whatever drinks they wanted when they crossed the border. Once all of them got to their hotel in Windsor, they bought as much alcohol as they needed and indulged themselves.

“We had Goldschlager, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, some kind of vodka … basically everything,” Seigers said.

After their sobriety became non-existent, Seigers and Miles decided to roam around the province and ended up splitting up. Seigers, by this time drunk beyond comprehension, wasn’t far from his hotel but was so wasted he didn’t remember the way back. Miles, on the other hand, went to the local strip club, Cheetah’s, and spent $200 on strippers.

Meanwhile, Etcher, an inexperienced drinker, drank too much and was left in the hotel room lying on the bathroom floor, periodically throwing up in the toilet. When he heard a pounding on the door, he could tell through the slurred speech it was Seigers.

“Open up!” Seigers yelled.

“I can’t stand up,” Etcher replied.

Seigers was so inebriated, the hallway outside his hotel room started spinning. He decided the best thing to do was go to sleep in front of his room – eventually Etcher would be able to open the door.

“That is, by far, the drunkest I had ever been in my entire life,” Etcher said.

The rest of the trip, Seigers said, none of them even thought of drinking.

– Andrew Gaug

VIP Break

Nikole Keslar, sophomore biological chemistry major, spent her 2006 spring break as a VIP.

Keslar said she spent her seven-day trip to Panama City, Fla. with seven of her friends in one hotel room. Her favorite memory is the night she and her friends spent in the VIP lounge at a Ying Yang Twins concert.

“It was definitely the best $25 I spent that whole week,” Keslar said. “We went to that bar they were performing at the night before and we met the owners and had everything VIP.”

She said the concert the next night was a great experience.

“They invited us back for the concert in the VIP lounge, which was above the stage, and the artists would throw up CDs and stuff to us throughout the concert,” Keslar said. “We could overlook the whole crowd from there. They had a great concert and played every song they ever collaborated with.”

– Kali Price

“Fresh fruits?”

University of Toledo student Tara DeRita spent last year’s spring break in Negril, Jamaica. She remembered that it was “awesome” and “beautiful.”

She and her five girlfriends from school spent a week tanning, drinking and … drinking some more on white-sand beaches, contrasted by the crystal-blue Caribbean Sea. Just three days of the week were spent sober, DeRita said.

“It was crazy,” she said. “You could walk around and drink beer, and it was amazing. There were no rules.”

That is, of course, excluding the rules of private businesses. One bar named June, for instance, restricted gigolos, hoes and pimps from entering.

“It was pretty funny because they had rules outside the club that said that,” DeRita said.

DeRita and company arrived in Negril via Northwest Airlines. It was a short trip by bus to the hotel, which was awkwardly named Divine Destiny, DeRita recalled with a laugh.

She recalled most of the trip’s memories with a laugh, like when she spoke about the pestilential locals encountered daily when the girls sunbathed at a nearby beach. Locals sold what they called “fresh fruits.”

“They’d always be like, ‘Hey, we have fresh pineapple,’ then they’d get real close and say, ‘We’ve got shrooms, we’ve got ecstasy and marijuana,” DeRita explained.

“We were like, ‘No thank you!'”

The girls left the beach for their hotel room lavatory around 5 p.m. daily, where they spent up to five hours getting ready to go clubbing. The girls’ favorite club was Chances – which their hotel owned – because of its proximity and friendly staff.

They’d return usually by 2 a.m. and go for a dip in the pool before hitting their beds – hard.

– Steve Bushong

Surprise layover?

Jim Pettit, junior business management major, and his friend Joe Juchem boarded a plane in Cleveland that was bound for Orlando, Fla.

“We’re gonna meet people on this flight and talk to them for hours and then never see them again,” Pettit told Juchem, who was flying for the first time.

The plane took off smoothly and quietly, but they landed much sooner than expected, and a long way from Orlando – they were in Nashville, Tenn. Pettit was surprised and anxious, and he hadn’t had a cigarette in four hours, but he wouldn’t get one now.

The unexpected layover wasn’t one where they’d switch planes. But the two did get to move up toward the front of the plane. When they did, a twenty-something man who was completely hammered sat beside them in the three-wide row of seats.

Immediately, he began talking to them and ordering rum and Cokes, and proceeded to do both for the remainder of the flight.

Pettit and Juchem laughed; Pettit had been right about meeting random people on the flight.

They found out the guy attended Full Sail, the college they were going to visit. A friend of their’s from high school went there, so the duo was headed for three days of partying – total mind warp, he said.

The week went as spring breaks do, but with one oddity – Full Sail is a 24-hour school; their friend would have class from noon to 2 p.m. and again from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m., so there was a lot of drinking at odd times.

Going home there was no layover in Tennessee, so when they touched down in Cleveland Pettit was going on five hours without a cigarette. But his parents were there to pick him up, and they don’t approve of him smoking.

He’d have to wait a little longer.

– Tyrel Linkhorn

A penny saved

Instead of lying out in the sun or partying with friends, Jeff Ayers spent his spring break making sandwiches and cooking food at 6 a.m. daily.

“I couldn’t go anywhere exciting,” Ayers, senior sports administration major, said. “I stayed around campus and worked at my job at Acme in the deli.”

Ayers had to open up the store six out of the seven days during break, and his only day off was Sunday night before school re-opened. Every night, he slept at 10 p.m. and woke up as early as 5 a.m. in order to be in Kent by 5:45.

“The only thing I liked was I was getting overtime at work and not wasting any money at the bar,” he said. “Still, I wasn’t able to see my friends and do things I’d rather be doing. My boss was on vacation that week, so I got to take over her responsibilities.”

When work ended at 2 p.m., Ayers headed home to relax.

“I was always so tired that I would just take a nap until about 5 p.m.,” he said. “If it wouldn’t have been spring break, I wouldn’t have minded working so early because I am actually a morning person.”

– Nedda Pourahmady