COME ON IN -- THE SURFING'S FINE!
Surfing the World Wide Web with
How `bout those snowstorms?
As I write this, the folks back home are up to their necks in the white stuff, poor sods. I know, it's hard not to gloat, not to brag about how you are calling from the sunny deck of the condo, where a balmy Gulf breeze is just starting to rifle your hair.
It's not easy resisting the temptation to drop casual mention of the fact that later in the day you intend to snooze on the patio , catch a few rays or maybe take a dip in the pool... but you must try. This late in the winter, the folks up north have done the skiing, sledding, snowdays things already and are well-aware of the utter misery of their existence; no good purpose is served by rubbing their noses in it.
Besides, if you tell them how much fun in the sun we are having down here, they might get a notion to join us, and you know what that leads to: clogged roads, long queues, conflicting stereos, teeny-weeny bikinis, credit card abuse, drunken revelry and ringing cash registers --
In other words - Spring Break. And it gets here soon enough (or not nearly, depending on what kind of winter you've had.) Right now, even as we bask in the January sunshine, some Joe College type is surfing the internet, trying to find pictures of girls clad in something more revealing than wool and - if he happens to stumble upon it - information on cool spring break destinations.
With any luck, his search will lead him to South Padre -- though, on his way to the official SPI page (http://www.sopadre.com/), he might instead become distracted (as I did) by "Naturists' Pages - South Padre Island" (http://www.webcom.com/~rngerber/ naturist/usa/TX/Padre.html) - a scathing review of the area where the nicest thing the writer can say about the island is that it is "beachy/funky".... and seems to cater to "college kids and the Spring Break people." He did like our hassle-free nude beach, which he had all to himself. (Okay, raise your hand if you knew our Island had an official Nude Beach. Hmmm, that's what I thought.) Course, this same writer also states "Matamoros was MUCH prettier than Brownsville" - maybe because he got a speeding ticket on this side of the border -- and maybe not.
It is also possible that Joe College could surf the `net right into the brand new SOBsandcastlepage (http://www.vt.com/~sandart). He might initially be drawn by the section entitled "The Unofficial SoB Guide to South PARDE Island" where he can browse, among other topics, "sandy feet's Favorite SPI Hangouts" -- but it is also entirely possible that he would get waylaid at "Sand Castle Central" - chock full of sandcastling tips for beginners, pictures of sand castles, and information on sand castle contests and master sculptors.
He won't find any naked babes at the Sons of the Beach website, but he could stumble across Amazin' Walter's smiling mug, as well as a description of the amazin' one's featured appearance in that king of all low-budget spring break movies, "Thinking Big." (Watch for it in the late late night movie lineup.)
Okay, so I myself am guilty of spilling the beans on how much fun we're having here... am in fact guilty of spending a great deal of time and effort to tell as many people as I can reach what a dandy place the Island is for sand, sun and social interaction.
Recent surveys indicate that some 34 million Americans and Canadians now use the internet, 31 percent of whom are under the age of 30. Some futurists have claimed that the world wide web will be tomorrow's Yellowpages, with all listings accessible at the global level. A friend in the industry tells me that, within five years, internet access will be as prevalent as cable -- indeed, will come into our homes over the same network.
It will take the search engines a while to catch up, but South Padre Island is on its way to becoming a real presence on the Internet. It is up to us to determine what kind of face we want to present to the world, and I think we are off to a good start.
See you on the beach -- and if you happen to be surfing the neighborhood, be sure and stop by!
There are five (5) ways to submit your questions/comments for future Ask Sandy columns: In person; by phone (761-6222) or fax (761-8930); the US Postal System (box 2694,spi,78597) and E-mail: (firstname.lastname@example.org). Visit my web-site (http://spionline.com/) for tips on sandcastling, contest info, recent Ask Sandy columns, and my reviews of local businesses.