Hilton Head… Or How I Became a Semi-American Hero

At least, that’s what some of my friends claim!

I haven’t taken many road trips, or things resembling them. A couple of trips with my parents to search for colleges, but those don’t really count. As an aside, though, here’s a 100% true story. Colgate was the first school they took me to see. I hadn’t considered applying there, heck, I didn’t really even know anything about it, other than that someone I knew had gone there several years earlier. Less than a year-and-a-half later, I was getting ready for Orientation atop the Hill, Colgate’s cure for the Freshman 15.

Once in college, I pretty much traveled home on breaks, took vacations with the family, and so on. Yet, I did randomly run into what became some of my closest friends in a San Juan casino while spending one Spring Break with my mom. As I think I’ve said, I’m never shocked to run into anyone from Colgate in New York City. But one random casino in Puerto Rico?

That brings me to Hilton Head, a traditional Colgate trip leading up to graduation. A couple of the friends I’d gotten closer to since San Juan asked if I wanted to join their group. If they hadn’t, I’m not sure if I would have gone at all. But I did, we rented a pretty sweet house one block from the beach- okay, it did evoke memories of Brady Bunch, except with woodchips instead of Astroturf on the lawn- and those several days were as fun as any I’ve ever had.

Our 16-hour trip down saw us get caught up in nasty storms near Washington and into Virginia, which I suspect were related to this set of devastating tornadoes across the South and Mid-Atlantic. But aside from a stretch of heavy traffic, we managed to keep going, thanks to great driving/co-piloting by Simon, Casey, and Dan Belke! Mike Nanna, Alex, Eric, and Mike M. also did a masterful job in the other car. Not that I’m shocked, they were ace writers/editors for the Maroon-News, top-notch Division 1 athletes, and/or are just plain great guys. They’re friends I will always be grateful for having made.

We also had to dodge the temptation to stop for this legendary tourist trap, but somehow we resisted…

Naturally, we all celebrated with a beer upon arrival the following morning. Aside from the trip down, the weather was just about perfect. A friend of mine, who’s senior week was in Ocean City saw it marred by a lot of wind, rain, and cool temperatures. Us? Beach and poolside! And of course, drinks by night. Who could begrudge us this after four years of work and lake-effect snow? Yet, I’m comfortable saying that we largely behaved with the dignity expected of graduates-to-be.

For reasons of taste, I won’t delve into the event which spawned the post title and the note in my ‘About Me’ page. However, if you ask me in a non-public forum, I’d probably be happy to tell the story. Neither I nor my friends will forget it for a long time.

Oh, and I probably won’t need to take many road trips in the future; they couldn’t be quite as much fun as the first one. But again, if anyone’s up for it…


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