I am suddenly shit-faced from a cocktail made of sunny winter days, a travel blog called Camels and Chocolate, and last week’s Times article on kayaking in the Florida Keys. Shit-faced such that I have decided to interrupt my spring break broadcast for some TRAVEL WRITING.
Prior to May 18th, 2008, I was feeling quite locked down to my little hometown by the $5.72 balance in my checking account. (I now have $8.72 in my checking account, but I’ll save that one for another day.) My cousin Jenn Berry and I wanted to get the FUCK out of Massachusetts for the summer, so we minimized Facebook for a few hours and applied to a bunch of postings on Coolworks.com.
We ended up at Lake Powell Resort & Marina in Arizona right near the Utah border, where we “worked” 40 hours a week for 4 months as Watersports Instructors, at $8.50 an hour. Lake Powell is basically a Motel 6 with the sickest view ever, popular with Speedo-clad Euros and West Coasters.
Above was our “office.” We “worked” on that docked houseboat with one other person all summer, a wakeboarding Mormon named Jeremy. (If you’ve read my “About. .ish” page, you know that Mormons are one of three things I like, and Jeremy is why.) I won’t go into detail about what “work” was like as long as I have this place on my resume – but let’s just say we had the easiest jobs at the resort. We got paid to learn to drive really expensive, really fast boats, we got paid to learn how to wakeboard, waterski, tube, and wakeskate, and we got paid to take families out and teach them how to do it.
Other than working, we did other stuff too. Write that one down. But nay, I bank all my incriminating photos on Facebook, and I still have 4 undeveloped instant cameras from roadtrips to Vegas, Flagstaff, Phoenix, and the “Grand” Canyon. Here’s a rundown of each:
If you ever go to Vegas, DO visit the little beer pong bar/mini casino on the Strip. DO walk through the Bellagio, and DO walk through its Atrium. It’s like walking through the set of Ocean’s 11, and even if you despise flowers, I promise you the Atrium will bring drunken tears to your eyes. DO NOT pre-game in your hotel room then walk the length of the Strip. It is a waste of drunkenness. DO collect all the stripper cards littering the sidewalks, then trade them like Pokemon cards with your friends. Most importantly, DO NOT DRIVE TO VEGAS IN THE MIDDLE OF AUGUST WITH NO AIR CONDITIONING. We made that mistake.
If you ever go to Flagstaff, Arizona DO bring lots of discretionary income – the shopping is amazing. DO visit the thrift/costume store and pick up sick sunglasses (see below) for $10 a pop. DO get fucked by the Virgin River at Zion National Park – tubing in 2 inches of water is painful but fun.
DO NOT go to Phoenix. East Coast Interneters, it is the equivalent of Newark, New Jersey. Yea. Ew.
DO NOT GO TO THE GRAND CANYON. Though it may be a canyon, it is not grand. I told my economics professor that it was “Just a bunch of rocks.” With a rim made of 10,000 gift shops selling the exact same coffee mug. The only cool thing we got out of going to the “Grand” Canyon were these pictures:
Please feel free to Photoshop yourself into the above pictures, instead of wasting time and money visiting the most glorified ditch of all time.
And now I shall conclude the summary of my summer in the Southwest. Over the course of writing this, I have persuaded myself to reapply to another summer job on Coolworks.com. Working at Lake Powell didn’t exactly make me rich (hence the $8.72 checking account balance), but my bursting iPhoto collection and wealth of tags on Facebook are proof that I am rich with experiences. Mmm, love that corn.