What: Senior Spring Break
Where: The Barceló, Riviera Maya
I don’t even know where to begin. This trip was one to remember, vastly different from my weeks off of school in the past. On the day of departure my tummy was full of nerves, squishing every which way. I usually freak out in the line for security, but this time I wasn’t scared of being patted down and deemed as a criminal, I was worried about fifty kids from my High School trapped in one large Mexican resort. At the gate I was “welcomed” by kids from my class, and one female in particular who I wasn’t thrilled to see. The plane ride was extremely hot and I shed clothes faster than ever before, four hours slowly ticked by and the anticipation still lingered underneath excitement. After customs and the baggage claim wait we hopped on a bus with some fellow Minnesotans and cheersed our, rather disgusting, Coronas together. The ride from the airport to the hotel was unnecessarily long, full of whines from immature passengers and whistles from a group of soccer boys. Once we arrived jaws dropped as our glassy eyes took in entirety of the Palace hotel. Curtains blew in the wind and the view appealed to every one of my senses. The salty air was crisp, the mosaic dragon on the front desk wall spoke to me, the ocean waves calmed every anxious bone in my body, and the grand staircase sent Princess thoughts running through my mind. I felt at home, until we headed to the prestige premium office. You would think the staff would be all over these members, succumbing to their every need. Wrong, that was not the case. My family and I waited for quite some time before an inexperienced individual came to give us the 411. He failed to inform us of benefits and he explained everything from the comfort of a small wooden desk home to a guest computer, off to the side, cramped near an office door. Nothing us Zentner’s can’t handle, but my un-sober self turned to tears and let out an impatient, emotional roar. I wanted my friends, I wanted to see what spring break life was all about. We finally made it to the room- quite nice might I add- without any bags and I was in a funk, trying my very best to make plans using the sluggish Verizon service. Ben, a very important member of my spring break, agreed to meet my family and I at the beach in order to, so gentlemanly, walk me to the party and watch over me. As soon as I arrived to the Theater Bar I was bombarded with hugs and screams of joy that MEGAN HAS ARRIVED FINALLY OMG YES MEG’S HERE! Tequila shots were passed my way and I was in pure heaven, taking in the love from my peers whom I thought hated me, sad I know. Those who had been in Mexico for a few days led me to the plaza and the club and all of the cool spots. We walked the beach, laughed at things we probably shouldn’t have laughed at, and craved baguettes. The night was coming to a close, that is until Ben and I received a text from my dad asking if we wanted food. Stupid question dad, of course we wanted food, we’re teenagers. We picked him up and ventured out into the latin land with a mission for food and fun. We stopped at the lounge and snacked on pizza and hotdogs, then made our way to Strikers (the 24/7 bar). Canadians and Northern Minnesotans who had a little to much to drink occupied our conversations, engaging with Ben and my dad in a little late night drinking sesh. Three o’clock rolled around and texts from moms were popping up frequently. Leaving Strikers we had a little run in with the cops, questioning the underage drinker and ensuring that dad was really dad. The next day, after a less than healthy amount of sleep, I woke up ready for what Mexico had to offer. I annoyed my parents with teenager squeals stating that everyone loved me. I set out to work on my tan and doused my body in tanning oil SPF 15. Hungry after a night out, I attempted to make my way to one of the dozens of buffets found on the resort’s property. I kid you not my directionally challenged self spent hours walking around. Phone directions from a twelve year old smarter than me didn’t even help. I finally found a hungover Ben and sat in his hotel room until he had to go fight sea sickness on a Booze Cruise. I spent the day basking in the sun with friends, frolicking in the water with girls who reminded me I need to get out more, laughing at the stupidity of certain boys. I was happy. Dinner was full of tears from my emotional self, and private thoughts streamed from my mouth. Two hours at a seafood restaurant and you can share a lot more than annticipated. I chowed on coconut shrimp, taking deep breathes. The night ended with some much needed sleep and a bright and early wake up call from the sun. I spent the next day in a less than appropriate swimsuit on the volleyball courts, well the sidelines. Everything seemed perfect, that is until I came face to face with a ball. Literally smacked in the nose by one of my worst enemies, and I wasn’t even playing. I brushed it off and ran to the the shore to help burry a friend in the sand. Italian was for dinner and I ate way to much gnocchi and spaghetti carbonara- heaven compared to the cardboard chicken nuggets and array of seafood (with heads attached). I somehow ended up on the roof of the 18+ club and I was dazzled by the view. Stars above with the ocean in the distance, nothing but good company and happiness. After everything: intense socialization, drinking, and some PL drama I needed some me time. I spent the afternoon tanning and taking group pictures, casually sauntering away from the rest of the spring breakers. I saw a dolphin show that failed to rival places like Sea World, and I finally found myself sipping cocktails with my family, something a little more comfortable to me. Now here comes the climax of my story, the tale of all tales. This night I decided to break away from my family and I attended an all boy group dinner at the hibachi restaurant. A) I am allergic to hibachi, and communicating ingredients with native Spanish speakers is not my strong suit. B) It’s not like I can’t have a conversation with boys, but a table with 17 of them is kind of intimidating. I had a plan. I wasn’t going to eat and I was going to be a bro, one of the guys if you will. If I were to be graded on the execution of that proposal I would have received an F. I ended up eating something that may of may not have contained soy, and I grew wide eyed and red faced as the boys chanted inappropriate things. FAIL. I failed. I took a Benadryl shot after spotting hives and headed to the room party which quickly made its way to Strikers. A few drinks in, after lots of selfies were captured and new friends made, everyone started to get a little hungry. We grabbed plates of chocolate cake and chips, queso, and guacamole. All normal foods, I thought I was fine. After countless face fulls of these items my lips and chin started to swell. I didn’t think anything was wrong at first, and then I could feel less and less air. It was almost as if a panic mode button was pushed and Ben piggy backed me home through the sand. A dramatic Maddie dragged behind stressing about my life. I reached hotel room 8044 and drunkenly woke my parents up, “whispering” that I needed Benadryl. We downed two tablespoons of a pink evil liquid and nothing got better. I was sitting 1/2 naked begging for a shot, that is how you know I was really in danger. My parents, in awe of what was happening, spent (in my opinion) to much time reading the directions on the EpiPen. My dad sauntered over calm and collected, in a sleepy state might I add, and stabbed the needle into my leg. 10/10 execution if I do say so myself. The medicine quickly worked its magic, but the drowsiness soon set in. I immediately rushed to bed and my mom spent the night checking my breathing, with a hand on my back or wrist at all times. In the morning I awoke to a worried mother, full of googled knowledge on allergic reactions. My fingers were numb, a side effect of the epinephrine, and we decided to head to the hotel’s clinic. The predominately Spanish speaking doctor rushed through a consultation, but prescribed me with steroids. The following hours were consumed with sleepiness and me telling the story countless times to countless people. My fellow travelers were shocked and the adults were full of worry. I was kind of in a daze the entire day, beaten down from the medication and the sun. To top things off, I stepped on a bee. Stinger in foot and all, I limped to my parents who where thankful flying yellow and black insects were not one of my allergens. The night was low key, lots of people were leaving the next day, so I was preparing to say my temporary goodbyes from paradise. Strikers was the place to be and the beach was the final destination of the night. The waves soothed the soul and people I have come to cherish and love took in the beauty of this gem of the world with me. The following day my family and I explored the streets of Playa del Carmen. The raunchy vendors offered drugs and overpriced goods, plus inappropriate comments were thrown around like candy. We ate at Señor Frogs, avoiding the party crowd by eating around one. The cab drive was bumpy, but I loved taking in the real city. Not just the five star room service carts, towel boys, and complimentary booze. I ended the day with a nice nap in the sun and buffet dinner. Our final day was reserved for me to burn, and that I did. My skin took in every ray possible and baked in the warmth. My freckles popped and my body glistened with sweat. I do, hypocritically, recommend an SPF higher than 15. An Italian dinner, laughs, and reminiscing summed up the end of the trip. Saturday was the travel day, also known as the dreaded day. I have to say I was ready for a twin size bed, coated in flannel sheets, to myself. The hour bus ride was a burden and the hotel goodbyes were hard and the memories urged to be relived. Overall my trip was amazing. I met some wonderful people whom I will cherish forever. I did things that I didn’t know I was capale of doing, and I stepped out of my comfort zone. I am extremely thankful for this trip and the people who where with me every step of the way. Mom and dad- thank you for saving my life, I am already looking forward to laughing about this trip and my younger years when I am married and content. Benjamin- thank you for also aiding in the fight to save my life, and never leaving my side this trip, together we are better. Mexico you will be missed, but life goes on. Prom dresses and graduation caps will fill my future. College decisions have been made, butterflies are fluttering, and roommates are being found. I am excited for all that is to come and grateful for all that has passed. I will never forget this week in paradise.