Seduction on South Beach

We stood there Monday morning, bags in hand, staring across the street at the tranquility of the water. The smooth, salty air gently caressed our face. The sun was warm and inviting. The hangover was just starting to set in. “Want to stay one more day?” I asked my buddy Jeff. A shit-eating, semi-orgasmic grin came to his face. “Yeah………right!” We had already stayed one more day then planned, but let’s start at the beginning.

Several weeks ago, my buddies who are USF alum began planning a trip to Miami for the USF – UM football game. Why they would torture themselves by traveling to see their beloved Bulls lose to my Canes is beyond me, except for those magic words …… South Beach! “Dude, we’ll stay on South Beach and PAAAARRRRR-TAAAAAYY!!!!” Chuck is not a top selling sales guy for nothing. That’s all I needed to hear to be sold on the idea of a weekend road trip with the fellas.

We rounded up the usual suspects, I threw in a new guy to further distribute costs, and we were set. Six guys on a weekend getaway to the land of sun, surf and saline stuffed spheres that can make you cry. Oh it was on, baby! I was in charge of hotel arrangements. Nothing too expensive, but nothing crappy either. As luck would have it, I managed to score us two rooms at the Clevelander hotel, right in the heart of South Beach.

I could probably go on forever writing about all the places we went, all the alcohol we drank and all the money we spent, but I don’t think I have fully functioning brain cells to do the trip justice. What I will mention is that we were supposed to drive back on Sunday morning. Well, that is until one of my buddies was personally asked to stay one more night.

Man, we are such suckers to a pout, the batting of eyelashes and an electric smile. At the time the request was made – which was sometime between late Saturday night and early Sunday morning – the initial answer was, “Of course! Yeah, that will be cool. No problem.” But once I managed to wake up later that morning, I was like, “Umm… sorry, dude, but we’re not staying.”

Have you ever come home to a dog that got caught doing something wrong? You know that sad, pathetic, tragic look the dog shoots you as if to say, “Please don’t drop kick me out the window”? Well, that’s the look my buddy gave me when I told him we weren’t staying. But after the crying and ass-kissing subsided, he brought up a very good point.

Why was I in such a rush to leave? Why was it important to stick to plans? “Dude”, he pleaded, “you’re the one that is always talking about life being short. You are the one that is always saying we need to take chances and experience life. You are the one that always tells me that I need to take more risks, be less conservative and go for it. So help me go for it, because I can’t do this without you!” OK…..maybe he didn’t exactly say that last part, but I defer to the many brain cells I left behind this weekend.

But his point was valid. I knew why I wanted to leave. I wanted to see my kids and get a good night’s sleep and, most importantly, stop spending money. South Beach is amazingly fun, but it comes at a price. However, I also knew why we had to stay. I’m not going to pretend that it wasn’t about him wanting to get laid. A large part of it was. But at the same time, it was about seizing the moment and just saying, “F it! Let’s do it!”

South Beach can make you delirious like that. It’s very much like that seductive temptress that will fill your spirit, use you, and leave you crying in the gutter. And once you wake up from your stupor you vow to never do that again. That is, until you see her the next time. I really wanted to get home, but the idea of staying one more night was very appealing….and so we did.

I’m sure I will regret it when I get my next credit card statement. There must be a rum shortage in Miami Beach because that is the only thing that can explain why our drinks were so expensive. But in all seriousness, it’s great to look back at one specific moment and know that when push came to shove, I lived up to the talk. It’s rewarding to apply the theory to real life.

So we stood there on Monday morning, knowing we each had a total of 13 or so hours of sleep over three nights, and we stared at the beach and the water and, of course, the ladies. “Want to stay one more day?” Man, was the idea tempting……..

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