Overall, I had an awesome college experience – I had great friends, interesting classes and more good times than I can count. But there were a few things that I always wanted to do but never got around to during my four years of college, which is why I’m glad I’ve had this last nutty hoorah before entering the “real world.” One thing I never had was a wild college Spring Break, but luckily for me, our program has a break in the spring that is traditionally used for a week-long vacation within our year-long vacation. And where better to take a week-long Spring Break with your fellow food-shaped truck drivers than the lovely Fort Lauderdale, Florida?
We were able to get 16 out of our 21 staff members down to Fort Littydale and packed ourselves into an airbnb that was just big enough to fit all of us, though barely. Although it was cramped and I hardly had a moment’s privacy all eight days, I loved our house. It was actually two small houses that were filled with as many beds and futons that could feasibly fit. In between the houses was our very own inground pool (which Liam “King of the Pool” Sullivan ceremoniously jumped into each night), a hammock, and a grill. Our house also came with a pet – a stray cat who, no matter how much we yelled and shooed, refused to leave and ended up winning us over by the end of the week.
The majority of our days were spent on the beach, which, as you all know, is my favorite place to hang out. From long walks on the beach to jumping the waves to destroying college amateurs in sand volleyball, I love the lazy and carefree vibes of beach days. We also had a beach photoshoot where all the girls wore yellow swimsuits (the mutual color in Planters and Oscar Mayer) and the boys wore Hawaiian shirts and cyclops sunglasses. Another thing I wasn’t part of in college was a sorority, but doing cute matchy things with the Peaners feels like the closest to greek life that I’ve ever been.
While Fort Lauderdale was a good time, some of us also spent a day in neighboring Miami. There are certain cities in the U.S. that stand out as being truly unique (NOLA, San Antonio and San Diego for example) and Miami is definitely one of them. We spent the day exploring the streets, the famous Miami South Beach and the Versace mansion (Conner, Tanaja and I have been watching American Crime Story so we were really excited about this). At night, we went to the Demi Lovato concert, where my Hotdogger pal Connor Gray and I befriended a ticket lady and upgraded our seats from the last row of the nosebleeds to the 11th row from the stage. It was a finesse of legendary proportions, and on top of that, Demi was amazing and even brought out Luis Fonsi to sing Despacito.
It wouldn’t be your typical Spring Break without some partying, and we did plenty of that too. Most of our nights started with playing drinking games out by our pool and then moved to Capone’s – we quickly discovered this was the most fun bar – where we consistently had the best dance circle. One night we stayed in and held a beer olympics where we were assigned to teams to compete in drinking games such as beer pong and boom cup. I happened to be on the winning team, Rosie and the Rippers, with my fellow Badger Dom and the Black&Mild-ripping Rosie, and taking the beer olympics gold is one of my proudest accomplishments to date. We also had a Peanutter outing and did a cycle party, which if you’re unfamiliar, is a pub on wheels that you pedal from bar to bar. The biking was honestly pretty tough – especially the more we drank – but it was a fun way to do a bar crawl and definitely something to check off my bucket list.
Other than that, we were honestly all just happy to have so many free days to spend together and we filled them with random activities. We had several family meals including brunch and a sushi buffet – which I previously didn’t know existed but was life-changing – and we also took turns cooking big breakfasts and dinners for the whole group. We also spent a lot of time at an outdoor coffee shop called The Alchemist that was in a neat area with cool shops and murals. Our airbnb conveniently provided us with a bunch of bikes, which we made great use of as we explored the city and went on grocery or alcohol runs. Spring Break was also over Easter, and though I was sad to miss a holiday with my family, but I got to shellebrate with my Peans and Wiens family by dying Easter eggs.
For a huge group of people who have only ever spent a few weeks in person together, us Peanutters and Hotdoggers are actually very well-connected. Because we are the only people who truly understand the day-to-day life of each other, we communicate a lot via text, GroupMe and Snapchat, and we’re always aware of where each team is and what cool things they’re up to. Still, we rarely get to all be together, and when we are, we typically are racing from meeting to meeting, struggling to keep up with our bosses’ rigorous itinerary. After ten months of watching each others’ adventures from afar, it was awesome to get to have eight whole days to travel and make our own experiences with each other. I’m so grateful for so much about this job, but the people it’s allowed me to surround myself with definitely take the cake.
Nuttin’ but more wild adventures from the fa-nut-astic final stretch coming your way. Cashew soon!