Trading up From Solo Cups
It was dusk when the sun slipped past the horizon as we entered South Beach, Florida. The “rent a wreck” 1996 Ford Taurus we leased in Boston was puttering along; we named him Barney as his seats were purple velvet. Palm trees reflected off of the windows reminiscent of old Hollywood films, and I couldn’t believe that this was my first spring break. Having just turned 21, Preston, Jane and I decided that it was high time to experience spontaneous travel, and three people as creative and money savvy as ourselves knew that we could have a legendary time on a very limited budget.
Two hours after we had checked into the Days Inn our suitcases seemed to have thrown up all over the floor. The night had slowly crept over the streets of South Beach as we hatched a plot to experience all that the town had to offer. The crammed double was now heavy with the smell of pizza and our breath laced with cheap vodka and Kool-Aid. While drunken spring breakers flooded Senor Frogs we drank in our room saving our money for after 11pm. We sat huddled around the hotel telephone as Jane dialed the number for Mansion, one of South Beach’s most exclusive clubs.
“Hello?” she cleared her throat “This is Sasha Michaels calling from BMG management services in Boston Massachusetts, how are you? Great, wonderful, listen. I have three up and coming models flying in tonight. They are very important clients of mine and I really need them taken care of. Great. What’s your name again? Okay Allison, the guests’ names are Alexandra Gury, Jane Collins, and Preston Konrad. They will arrive promptly at 11:45 pm. Thanks again Allison, you’re a doll.” As Jane slammed the phone down Preston and I smiled expectantly.
“What did she say!?” Preston asked, his mouth stained pink from a vodka-Kool-Aid cocktail.
“She said that she gets these phone calls all the time, and that “my clients” would be well looked after!”
In a flurry of glitter tops, hair spray, bronzer, strapless bras, curling irons and stilettos we got ourselves ready. We were dressed how we assumed models dressed and were standing outside of Mansion by 11:45. By 12:00 we were taking a tour of the club, 12:10 we were sat at a table, 12:30 given a complimentary bottle of champagne, 12:45 mingling with South Beach socialites.
We met Playboy, a promoter with gold teeth and glittery rings, at Mansion.
His teeth reflected light as the paparazzi snapped pictures and he offered us glasses of crisp Belvedere. Playboy opened doors to the most exclusive bars in town and was thrilled to put us on the list at his parties at Bed, Sushi Samba, Prive, and Opium.
By day we befriended the frat guys and sorority chicks staying at our hotel; by night we donned our new personas and jumped from club to club. We had pre-gaming parties in our room complete with Dominoes and well vodka. The three of us would then stumble out of the Best Western dressed to the nines and head to the Delano for drinks with Playboy.
“How did you pull this off?”
The other spring breakers at our hotel were in awe of us. “How did you pull this off?” They would ask as they nursed their Coyote Ugly Jell-o shot hangovers. “How are you sipping Champagne and eating Caviar? Shouldn’t you be out with us!? The bars are like all of the best frat parties you’ve ever been to rolled into one!”
We smiled slyly because we knew that frat parties are for school nights when we didn’t want to crack open our books. Spring break is meant for the spontaneous and the unexpected.
“The Ultimate High”
As the days wore on the nights began to feel just a sunny as the days. The warm night air coupled with the glow of streetlights and the smells of five star restaurants hugged our tan bodies as we took in the experience. Doors kept opening; velvet ropes came unhooked and we strutted passed bouncers pretending that the paparazzi cared about us. It was the final night when we were put in the VIP section at Mansion at the table next to Pharrell’s when we realized that our trip had reached it’s ultimate high. At that moment we were elated to return to school with our stories as souvenirs.
At the end of our trip Preston, Jane and I piled back into Barney the 1996 Ford Taurus with purple interior. We rolled down the sticky windows and allowed the warm air to give us one last hug as the ocean slipped out of view. We recounted stories and laughed wildly, all the while brainstorming the first line of a novel entitled How to Win Spring Break.
By Alexandra Gury