Most families hit the beach for Spring Break. Nice, but so cliche. Why spend time showering the sand out of crevices you didn’t even know you had when you can spend it bundled up in a scarf and eating cheese fries in a Midwestern burger chain?
In our covered, horseless carriage, we Andersons made the arduous 10+hour journey to the land-locked, wide-open spaces of my Indiana hometown with little more than an iPad, two Magna Doodles, one car sick canine and a well-stocked arsenal of lollipops and licorice for emergency deployment. The only problem is that while my East Coast city kids aren’t phased by the eau de Potomac after a torrential rain, when they take one shallow breath of the farm-scented Midwestern air, they sputter and gasp like I just let them smoke an unfiltered Marlboro.
If this doesn’t sound like a glamourous Spring Break vacation to you, let me just highlight a few of the reasons you may want to plan your next trip to one of the fly-over States.
While you were applying SPF 5000 every hour on the hour, I was perusing the Steak-N-Shake menu, trying to decide between the cheesy shoestring french fries or the side-by-side milkshake. Aw shucks, it’s the Midwest, so it’s completely socially acceptable to do both.
While you were doing your best impression of a gazelle during your morning jog on the beach, I was sleeping in. When I woke up and the kids were being fed, watered and entertained (for free!) by their grandparents, my biggest decision was whether I felt like leftover green bean casserole or pizza for breakfast. And while the kids were kicking sand into your fancy umbrella drink, I was working on my bicep curls by hoisting one of these $3 beauties up to my face.
Don’t tell the rest of the country you can get $3 beer in Indiana or we’re going to have a real population problem on our hands.
I know it probably seems like I’m bragging about my killer Spring Break plans this year. As great as wearing a scarf and winter coat has been every day this week, I am looking forward to returning to a landscape that doesn’t carry the echo of my voice across miles of farm land when I’m yelling at my dog at 6am to take a dump because I’m freezing my cheese curds off.
I’m also looking forward to returning to the slightly less excessive lifestyle I live on the East Coast. By less excessive, I mean I’ll be eating this for a month as penance for my dietary sins.
I genuinely always pine for my Indiana home, but being from the Midwest is like having an ugly dog: It’s ok for a Midwesterner to poke fun at it, but the minute someone else does, they’re asking for some corn-fed trouble. That being said, I bet y’all are rethinking that beach trip now, huh?