Freshman year of college was full of so many great memories – mainly due to the fact that I met an amazing group of friends who were down to do crazy things. One of those friends being my roommate, Harley. I was honestly like slightly dreading the fact of sharing a small space with a random person (who wouldn’t) but whoever does the roommate matching over at LSU seriously knows what they’re doing.
I think the reason Harley and I get along so well is because we’re always down to try each other’s crazy ideas. For our first spring break at college almost all of our friends ended up going home so we were left without any plans. Not wanting to stay in our dorm the whole time, we came up with an idea the week before spring break. Let’s drive somewhere.
We picked a direction, east, and since it was spring break we wanted to go to a beach. Yupp. That’s about as detailed as our plans got.. And to also save money – because ya know college students here – we were going to sleep in her jeep.
So Friday night, the day before we were going to head out, we went to Walmart bought a blow up mattress (went back to Walmart because we got the wrong size), and blew it up in the trunk of her jeep. The next morning, we headed for Mississippi.
For a proper road-trip there’s 3 rules I go by: 1. Stock up on the right snacks – my go-to’s are Cheetos, Dr. Pepper, and a Reese’s. 2. Never pass a semi without trying to get them to honk and 3. Stop at anything and everything that looks interesting (even the welcome centers – mainly for the free coffee).
Our first beach we ended up at was Gulf Shores, Alabama, which coincidentally was where most of the LSU sororities and frats were at, which our friend Scott was a part of. He was very pumped to see us – partially because he was drunk and also because he didn’t believe us when we told him our plan. We hung out with him for a little but didn’t want to stay in a house full of frat guys we didn’t know, soo we found dinner at a Mexican place and then surveyed the nearby hotel parking lots for a place to sleep.
The first night in the jeep was an experience I don’t think I’ll ever forget. As I tried to fall asleep I couldn’t stop jumping at every sound I heard and running through scenarios of waking up to either cops, robbers, or murderers. We actually woke up to the sounds of the hotel’s garbage truck at like 8 in the morning. I oddly felt very well rested.
For breakfast we bought hunny buns from a gas station and also brushed our teeth and changed in their bathroom.. not my favorite moment. It wasn’t really beach weather but we were determined to have a proper spring break and do some sun bathing. I think we were on the beach for about an hour.. It was freezing. After running back to the jeep and putting on jeans and hoodies, we drove around and found a little amusement park to hang out at instead.
Harley posts her whole life story on snapchat and during this time one of her friends from California texted her and said they were in Gulf Shores too. We decided to meet up with them and found the beach house they were renting for the week. That night we had a little house party with booze and pizza and then crashed on their couch.
That morning we used our resources wisely and took showers (did NOT think about that before agreeing to this adventure, but thank God for friends). Then ate at a cute diner near the ocean and headed for our next beach – Pensacola. We drove along the coast into Florida. Following the signs, we decided to visit the National Naval Aviation Museum (don’t forget to ask for student discounts!) and then the Pensacola Lighthouse Museum, obviously climbing the 172 steps to look at the view.
Once we got into the town of Pensacola we drove to the beach and walked along the pier. It was a little too late to lay out and also still way too cold so we aimlessly walked around, but once again our friends came to the rescue. This time Acca, one of our friends from college, reached out to us and invited us to stay the night at her grandparents. They cooked us an amazing meal and then we watched movies all night, not sleeping in the jeep for a second time.
In the morning we once again set out on the road for another beach – this time Destin, Florida. It was a short drive and I don’t think we made any stops except for the Destin visitor center. We found the public beach but opted for walking along the boardwalk they have, going into the little shops and eating from the street cars they had (I found one that sold crepes!!).
There wasn’t much for us to do, it seemed more of a family vacation type of town with most of the good parts of the beach taken by hotels, so we used our time wisely and drove to the next beach that night – Panama. We got there late and found a parking garage to sleep in. This time I wasn’t as spooked out and fell asleep right away.
In the morning we once again tried to lay out on the beach, but it was so windy I was covered in sand by the time I got my towel to lay down. It also looked like it was going to storm so we searched for something indoors to do. We had seen the WonderWorks attraction (it’s an upside down building so it caught our attention) and decided to check it out. We spent the whole day there, there was a lot to do and it was honestly so much fun. We once again slept in the parking garage that night, which shielded us from the rain.
The next day we had to drive all the way back to Louisiana. Our spring break was definitely one for the books, although we didn’t get to be beach bums we had a great time. We also saved a ton of money because we slept in a jeep (and had help from our other friends) instead of buying a hotel room!
Do you have any crazy ideas you’ve tried out? Tell me how it went in the comments below! (Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list so you don’t miss out on the rest of my adventures!)