updated 02/26/05

Dad-cam.com Has Come Out Of Hybernation!
To Greet Him send e-mail to: don@wierenga.com

Winter Texans still rule but it won't be long and we will have the annual change of guard. Bookmark this page and visit often for continued coverage of the on-going events originating from the 12th floor of the Saida Royale. Also check out www.wierenga.com. for the life and times of the Don Wierenga family. For everything you want to know about Spring Break Events and other happenings on South Padre Island, visit Sandy Feet's Complete SPI Coverage.
Where the Michigan Thumb Meets the Texas Hook-Tail
Views From Spring Break2004 (Below)

And Here

So, you're thinking of celebrating spring break on South Padre Island . . . or maybe as a parent or grandparent you're wondering what happens every spring on this Island Paradise and are eyeing March with some trepidation. The answer is simple . . kids have fun! Well, most of them do some of the time and a few (seemingly) do all of the time, but not all, all of the time. Understanding fun is essential in this rite of passage.

First the kids: Most, simply want the opportunity to hang out with old friends and make new friends. Everything else, including drinking, is secondary. I'm still trying to understand 'hanging out.' I think it involves a break from family, trying out new ideas, testing physical limitations and making mistakes.

Next the parents: They want safety. They also want to believe that the lessons they taught (and lived) will start paying off. Age counts for something, but not everything. They, too, question 'hanging out,' but I have noted that winter Texans do a fair amount of that themselves, so I guess it can't be all bad. They fear peer pressure, and hope (and pray) for the best, while looking over their shoulder to see how their peers live.

And the host community: They want the same as kids and their parents, plus they would like them to spend a lot of money. Parents might not agree that that is fun, although they also seem to enjoy shopping.

There have been tragedies associated with spring break. Some leave with broken hearts, some with guilt and others with a huge hangover and broken wallets . . . all are learning experiences. Some learn from their mistakes, others continue making the same mistakes all of their lives. All learn something, usually the stuff that is not taught in the classroom, or in the home, for that matter.

Grandparents still learn, as well. This year Dylan our eldest grandson, a high school senior, will travel with several friends, from MI to spend his spring break in the efficiency condo adjacent to our unit. He doesn't seem to mind (and his friends need this bit of assurance for their parents) so we will all 'hang' together . . . but in different worlds!

Hope for good weather . . . it makes everything more fun.

Winter Texans Still Rule . . . but only for a few more days!
The locals view spring break with mixed feelings. It does drastically change their Island Paradise, but it also a shot in the arm to the local economy. For students and families, it is far from routine. Each individual has a story to tell. Last year the weather was nearly perfect for the entire month of March. The crowds seemed more evenly spaced, thanks to changes in local spring break schedules. It seems to come down to Texas week and the weekends on both sides. There are a lot of stories. This was Clint's.

Clint (center) is a handsome 23 year old from TN. He has the sculpted physique that didn't just happen. He worked for it. Baseball was his sport . . . shortstop on his college team, but just lost interest, maybe burned out. A business major but would really like to work with kids . Maybe at a Christian youth camp this summer. He doesn't drink. Always felt it would hinder his athletic career. I asked how it felt to be surrounded by all these beer drinkers. "It's OK, I just enjoy being with my friends," he said. He was at one of the clubs when a very unfortunate event took place, foam was involved. "People can get lost under that stuff." We talked religion at the end of our hall. He didn't feel well today and got as far as the airport when he started to feel better and returned to the Island. I asked about his family. A 27 year old brother is working his way into the family business. His 20 year old sister was killed, last month in an automobile accident. His mother hasen't been out of the house since. We watched the traffic and sunset.

I'll be on the beach in a few days searching for new stories . . . the kind only grandparents look for!

Dad-cam Archives
2002 Click Here
2003 Click Here
2004 and other (Winter Texan) links Here