Spring Break after College in Acapulco? Well, Sort of.

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During my college years, my friends and I were simply too cool for school for a typical spring break and consciously made it a point to ¨refuse¨ to play into the whole Spring Break mentality. If the majority of our class at Villanova University was going to Acapulco, we would go to Montreal- not only were we trying to escape the drunken debauchery and all of the gringo clichés that come with a spring break abroad, but I am almost certain that we were trying to tell everyone else, “Hey, instead of going to drink, hook up and tan in the sun, we are going to freeze our culitos off up north, be cultured, sophisticated and learn about Quebecois history.”  And so we did, (see spring break picture in Montreal with snow and ice that goes with this article.)
Fast forward a year. As a young public relations executive working with tourism accounts in New York, I was sent to Acapulco to represent one of my clients at Tianguis 2007- Mexico’s largest and most important domestic tourism conference. When I was told I was going to be going to Acapulco for business, I felt elated. But that feeling of enthusiasm was abruptly cut short when the travel agent on the other end of the line brought to my attention that I would be going to this tropical paradise in the midst of the American Spring Break. Was I really going to come face-to-face with what I had avoided for four years in college? Much to my surprise, I was, and indeed, I managed to end up in Acapulco during the chaos that is Spring Break.
I get into my dilapidated taxi cab at the Acapulco Airport and feel overwhelmed with joy as my body is, for the first time in months, experiencing heat that’s not coming from the noisy radiator in my studio. Te digo una cosa- si algun dia necesitas escaparte del frio, I recommend you take a flight to Acapulco and experience the blend of an air-conditionless cab’s red velvet upholstery, the Maya Riviera’s bright midday sun and a comfortable 92 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s simply magical. Bueno, I strike up a conversation with the cabbie and ask him if he thinks there will be a lot of spring breakers at my hotel. He laughs and pretty much informed me that my hotel was Spring Break central. Awesome. I couldn’t wait. I get to the hotel, and there are hoards of whores, I mean spring breakers, running around in their perfectly toned birthday suits full of tequila and the deliciously authentic ¨Mexican¨ cuisine meticulously prepared poolside at my hotel (hamburgers, hot dogs and fries) most of which will be inevitably be thrown up later that day. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at many of these “kids” running around. But at this point I didn’t care. I was in Acapulco, the weather sure beat Manhattan’s, and I had gotten a great room with an amazing view of Acapulco bay. The next couple of days are still kind of a blur. Throughout my stay, I was able to find some (ok, a lot) of free time from the conference and spent several hours conducting an ethnographic study of the spring breakers at the beach and at the pool of my hotel… Alright, so I just laid there. I still can’t get over how much fun I had at the expense of the drunken gringos at my hotel. I really loved being in the midst of, but not participating in, the drama that is the American Spring Break. Being surrounded by this hilariousness reassured me that my friends and I had made the right choice throughout our academic career to steer clear of these tropical destinations. What I witnessed in Acapulco reflected three major themes, which were visible throughout: blood, sweat and tears. Below are some ejemplos of these themes that provided me with countless and priceless hours of entertainment:
“I might have a sprained ankle, but damnit I will not stop drinking on my Spring Break!” Said an uncomfortably overweight Midwestern girl in a tiny turquoise bikini (wedgy and all) after hurting her ankle while doing God-knows what. This trooper refused to go to the doctor and clearly decided to use her friends as crutches, as they were forced to carry her around the property, while drunk. Hillariousness all around.
Dylan’s Candy Shop in the Upper East Side of Manhattan pales in comparison when juxtaposed against the selection of eye candy available in Acapulco during Spring Break. Indeed, bodies that have gone through months of starvation and endless hours at the gym in preparation for their spring debut are finally revealed during this week. This was certainly my favorite theme of Spring Break, and I can say without any hesitation that I spent countless hours looking at eye candy. Dylan’s- you got a lot of catching up to do!
“Oh my God, Trish- we called the police! We thought you had been kidnapped! You were missing for five hours!” Trish’s response: “I don’t know what happened. I woke up in some guy’s bed. I totally blacked out [laughs]… Let’s get a drink!”
No comment.
Total que mi viaje a Acapulco estuvo increíble. I really enjoyed my Spring Break and was able to relax like I hadn’t done in months. As for Tianguis, my boss and I rocked the cocktail we threw and also majorly rocked the press conference we held for our client. What was also great about Tianguis is that I was able to learn a lot about some of the less visited regions of Mexico. In fact, the hottie I was drooling over at the Sonora region’s booth totally sold me on taking a little vacay to Hermosillo… Even though I still don’t really know what there is to see or do there. Or exactly where it is on a map, for that matter… Maybe on next year’s Spring Break?
En resumen, I’ve compiled a short list of some noteworthy activities that might be helpful if you’re planning on taking a Spring Tianguis Break. Follow the appropriate itinerario according to your social status. I personally fall under the Naco-Fresa category (meaning, a fresa freeloader!)…
Itinerario Fresa
Hospedaje: Hotel Las Brisas. At this spectacular hotel, a measly 500-600 USD per night gets you a private villa along with your own pool overlooking Acapulco Bay in the posh neighborhood after which the hotel is named.
Comer y beber: Restaurante Kookaburra. With spectacular views of the Acapulco Bay, dining at this uber-fresa establishment will satisfy even the most discerning palate. The nouvelle-Mexican cuisine is mouthwatering. Make sure you have enough credit on your card, as you might run up a pretty hefty bill. But then again, si eres una fresa de verdad verdad, you wouldn’t need to worry about petty things like money.
Bailar: Baby Oh Nightclub. Don’t be fooled by the cheesy decorations of this club. “Baybe” (what the chilangos call it) welcomes the crème de la crème of Mexican society. If you’re able to get in, and pay the 60 USD cover (+drinks), I recommend you keep an eye out for potential networking opportunities with celebs like Luis Mi (who lives in Acapulco and frequents the club) or other socialites from Mexico’s wide range of eligible single millionaires. My celeb sightings of the night were Belinda and the son of the third wealthiest man in the world. Not bad for a Sunday night. Oh, and don’t worry, I didn’t have to pay the cover. I’m well connected.
Itinerario Fresa-Naco
Hospedaje: Get your company to pay for your hotel and specifically request to stay at the Copacabana Hotel, even though you know you are way better than everyone else staying there. This hotel is the eye of the Spring Break hurricane and is full of the stereotypical crowd. Nonetheless, the clean and spacious rooms facing the bay have incredible views and feature pretty modern amenities for the price you’re paying (around 80 USD per night). The pool is not bad and is full of the hysterical Spring Break crowd. The point of staying here is to save loads of money on entertainment thus allowing you to splurge on buying useless crap from the vendors that harass you on the beach. Que naco!
Comer y Beber: As a good fresa freeloader, crash all of the Tianguis cocktails being thrown by huge corporations like Continental Airlines and the Melia Hotels at some of the most spectacular vacation homes in the Las Brisas neighborhoods. Load up on free margaritas, enjoy top-notch food and network with top media, marketing executives and governmental officials at these events. Again, use the dollars well saved to buy touristy crap.
Bailar: Go to the Paladium nightclub. This club sits atop a hill overlooking Acapulco Bay and counts with amazing views, a surreal light and sound system and moderately impressive pyrotechnics. This is where it gets sticky- the club lets EVERYONE in. There, I was able to discern three crowds: American Spring Breakers (who are the only ones congregating on the dance floor when they play hip hop), groups of Chilango fresa boys (who reserve tables and buy inhumanely overpriced bottles even though the club is open bar to lure easy American girls), and native Acapuclo nacos (some of which looked like had spent months saving up to pay the 40 USD cover).
Itinerario Naco
Hospedaje: Stay at the Copacabana Hotel because you think it’s classy. Partake in all of the poolside activities with the spring breakers and try to hook up with all of them. Get a rash and take it home as a souvenir.
Comer y beber: Ask your cab driver where to eat. Go to one of the many fly-swarmed food stands behind the Copacabana and eat with “the people.” These authentic meals will cost you about 5 USD, including a beer. Only do this if you have a strong stomach. For drinks, go to a local licoreria, buy the cheapest bottle of tequila and turn your hotel room into the pool bar.
Bailar: Walk down the avenue on the coast and go into one of the many clubs that let foreigners in for free- or at least with a hefty discount. Dance all night to cheesy techno music and make out with one of the many fellow local nacos who think that all foreigners are rich. And hot.
Follow one of these three itineraries on your next Spring Break to Acapulco and enjoy life to the max, no matter what category you fall under- to each, his/her own. Escape the city. Explore Acapulco and enjoy the sun. I sure as hell did.