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sandy feet's spring break FAQ

Q. I'm an SPI spring break veteran - what's new since last year?
A. Lots! The biggest news is of course Schlitterbahn. This year they are way more than just another big club because the waterpark facilities will be fully open and available to you by March 8 for just $10/day or night. (You pay just once and can come and go at will.) This looks to be a very happening spring break scene this year. Also, Louie's will have live music for the first time with lots of big name bands and celebrity DJs scheduled for your entertainment.
We also have a bunch of new restaurants, new places to shop and a new open container law that you would be wise to familiarize yourself with. (You can avoid a lot of problems by carrying only un-opened containers of alcoholic beverages in your vehicle and properly disposing of your empties before you hit the road.)

Q. What can you tell me about going to Mexico? Is it safe?
A. It is very safe if you stay on the beaten tourist path. The best way to do it is to leave the driving to someone else. There are many local companies that will make sure you get there and back with minimal fuss or expense. Also be aware that US immigration will be keeping an eagle eye out for intoxicated minors trying to cross back into the US so exercise some common sense here.

Q. I spent big bucks and got a killer fake ID. The bartender won't notice, will she?
A. Don't bet your future on it. Club employees' jobs depend on weeding out the fakes and they are VERY good at it. The consequences of being caught trying to pass a fake ID can be serious. Most Island clubs that cater to spring breakers will let you on the premises if you can prove you are 18 or older. Just don't let them catch you imbibing anything stronger than a coke - they are very good at that, too. Being bounced from the club and having to pay cover all over again would be the least-horrible thing that could happen to you.

Q. Is there any place where I can buy a T-shirt on S.P.I.?
A. As a matter of fact, there are several locations on the island, cleverly disguised as T-shirt shops (and/or man-eating sharks), that carry a wide selection of that popular commodity.

Q. What's the best way to get around without a car?
A. The civilized section of the Island is only 5 miles long by about 1/2 mile wide, so you can walk nearly anywhere. The WAVE trolley offers free transportation during the day; Louie's and Schlitterbahn offer free transportation all night (until 3 AM) and you can get a cab to anywhere on the Island for about $4.00.

Q. Is there any way to beat the Blackbeards' line?
A. No.

Q. My school's break is earlier/later than most other schools and it looks like we will miss out on all the concerts and stuff. Will there still be things for us to do?
A. While it may seem that the organized activities are unfairly weighted towards "Texas Week," comfort yourselves with the knowledge that the only things you will really be missing out on are some concerts, annoying traffic jams and exorbitant room rates. The beach activities and foam parties at the Bahia Mar will keep going through March 31st; as will live music at Schlitterbahn -- and it is a fair bet that Louie's will be hopping right on into April.

Q. What's the deal with these older folks blocking up the roads with their R.V.'s and demanding we turn the music down?
A. They're our "Winter Texans" and they were instrumental in keeping the party going until you could get here. Just think of them as your own grandparents and treat them with all due respect. Remember, you will be one of them some day and that karma thing can and will come back and bite you in the butt.

Q. Where's the beach?
A. Contrary to what you may have heard, the beach does extend past the Radisson. The south section of Padre Island is 34 miles long, and while not all of that is easily accessible from town, the stretch of relatively untouched beach north of the city limits is well worth exploring - especially if you want to get naked and frolic in the dunes. (The unofficial clothing optional beach is well-marked, about 13 miles north of beach access #5. Four wheel drive is recommended.)

Q. Where do I meet hot chicks/buff dudes?
A. Perfect specimens of both genders will be well-represented on SPI for spring break '02. As soon as we learn their precise locations, we will be happy to pass on the information.

Q. If by some strange fluke the weather should turn cold or wet, what is there to do around here?
A. I'd have to admit that the beach isn't all that much fun under the conditions you've described, but fun can be found off the beach as well. We have lots of neat stores here for those born to shop; you can catch a quick tour to Mexico; or drop into a local pub and meet the natives --

Q. Speaking of which, what is the best way to deal with the inhabitants?
A. Try a little compassion. Remember, we're basically a small town that likes to lay back and take it easy. We work hard at making the place tidy and inviting for all of our guests and appreciate your efforts to help us keep it that way. No matter how much we try to prepare for spring break, the actual event always comes as something of a shock. Be nice to the local population, and we will do everything in our power to make sure you have all the fun you can pack into your stay with us. We want you to come back!

For live internet coverage of Spring Break '02, visit www.SPIonline.com

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: (sandyfeet@unlitter.com). Visit my web-site (http://spionline.com/) for tips on sandcastling, contest info, recent Ask Sandy columns, and my reviews of local businesses.

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