A House Full of Balconies

April 7, 2013

Senior Spring Break

For my Senior Spring Break, I was given the amazing opportunity to join the Snow and Hostetler family in their trip to Pensacola Beach, Florida. Truly, I couldn’t possibly thank them enough. Their generosity and their patience exceeded even the most absurd expectations. I mean, I was down there with eleven other kids, all of us running around like chickens with our heads cut off…I don’t know how they put up with us.

I can still remember the first day, when we pulled up to the beach house we’d be staying in. My jaw dropped. The house almost looked like Atlas, holding the sky upon it’s shoulders. It was raised up on high stilts and the frame of the house seemed to be reaching upwards. Balconies were attached to nearly every room and they looked like hands, supporting the clouds. It took all my willpower to help unload instead of taking off in a dead sprint to see the inside of the house.

When I finally did see the inside, my jaw dropped even further. I must’ve looked like some of the fish we’d be eating later that week. The house was amazing. I didn’t think I’d have any trouble spending a week there.

A Senior Spring Break comprised mostly of boys meant a few things: Primarily, crude jokes frequently resounded throughout the already noisy house. Secondly, farting and belching suddenly became everyone’s favorite pastime. And thirdly, food disappeared from the cupboards like we were hosting very crafty mice. (Although, Mikayla and Kylee probably had something to do with that third thing.)

Mikayla and Kylie Makin' Bank

Reflecting upon the week, I still remember certain highlights with a warm fondness. Like when we took to the skies and went parasailing. Or when we went with Mikayla and Kylee down to the Boardwalk and had them hula-hoop for money (they made $22). Or when we made a sand sculpture in front of our house that resembled a very voluptuous woman. Or when Ben, Brady, and I went into the ocean on a windy day and got tossed around like dolls in the rough surf. Or even the rainy day that we spent inside…playing Pokemon and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. There were so many moments during this break where I just had to look around for a moment…and appreciate that these were my people, these were my friends, and these were my teenage memories that I was making. And it was in these brief moments that I found myself smiling the fullest.

IMG_0737

Most fondly, though…I remember the balconies. There was something about those balconies that really stuck with me. I think every beach house should have a million balconies. The more obvious reason is that it provides everyone with an outlet to see the ocean, which is always a plus. But as the week progressed, I began to see another reason. Almost every night, I found myself on a balcony with our group of Senior boys. In particular, we liked to stand on the highest balcony, the one attached to the roof. It was almost as if we had to physically express our current state of elation. All of us were filled with such high spirits, we could’ve touched the moon…And when we climbed to the highest balcony, we were saying: “Why not give it a try?” I think every beach house needs to be A House Full of Balconies because anyone who’s on vacation in a beach house…

Well, I’m thinkin’ they’ll wanna try and touch the moon, too.

You wanna know the funny think about this blog post? I wrote it Friday morning as I lay awake in bed, waiting for Brady and Zach to wake up. We hadn’t left Florida yet. And I made that comment about wanting to touch the moon, right? Well, Friday night we were out on the back porch when suddenly Austin said: “Look at the ocean! The waves are neon!”

Sure enough, the ocean waves were glowing.

It only took a few seconds for the entirety of our Spring Break crew to be down on the beach, looking in awe at tiny, blue, glowing specks that littered the water and shore.

“It must be some kind of fluorescent algae,” Mr. Snow observed.

Whatever it was, it was amazing. We immediately began playing with this latest discovery. Digging a hole in the shore resulted in a pool of water and a high concentration of the glow being left behind, as opposed to it being swept away by the waves. Scooping up a bucket of water and splashing it anywhere created a sort of “ground firework”.

The thing that really stood out to me, though, was when I scooped up a small handful of the algae covered sand…the tiny blue spots on the dark sand made Zach say:

“It’s almost like you’re holding the night sky.”

So, we didn’t quite touch the moon. But we got the next best thing:

We held the stars.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

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