Escape for a road trip to the Grand Canyon, Baja
Mexico, or Las Vegas.
The Great American Road Trip is alive and well, and spring break is
still the classic time to take one. So here are three destinations that,
we’re told, make for great trips.
Las Vegas: Seeing the bright lights and endless excess of America’s
theme park for adults can make for a fun break, though it’s more
accessible for students 21 and older. Hotels such as the Excalibur or
ones that are older or off the main Strip offer reasonably cheap rates.
And if you’re making the three-and-one-half-hour drive from Claremont to
Las Vegas along Interstate 15, be sure to stop at the Mad Greek Café in
Baker. The reasonably priced Greek food is surprisingly good for an
eatery located in a tiny roadside town in the middle of the Mojave
Rosarito Beach: Another popular Spring Break destination for students is Rosarito Beach, in Baja Mexico. It’s about a half hour south of Tijuana
and is marketed toward college kids on vacation. The town offers a
variety of reasonably priced hotels and condos, especially if you split
one with a big group. However, this experience is neither authentically
Mexican nor generally sober if you are looking for a vacation with
either of those elements. Think of Rosarito Beach as a smaller, West
Coast version of Cancun or the Florida Keys during Spring Break:
Clubbing and hangovers abound.
The Grand Canyon: The famous chasm carved in the Colorado Plateau over
millions of years is an eight-hour drive from campus. The guidebook for
the On the Loose outdoors club notes that the southern rim gets more
people and warmer weather, but the views from the north rim are just as
amazing. Spring snow is not unusual, so prepare for all kinds of
weather. Also be aware that the weather can change dramatically as you
descend into the canyon.
WARNING: Results may not be typical…
This story comes with a warning label for a good reason. For most
people, victory in Las Vegas means breaking even. The stories of real
winners are few and far between. So don’t say we didn’t warn you...
The story begins last year when Sam Glick ’04 went to Las Vegas one
weekend on a whim, intending to get his parents playing cards from their
favorite casinos. After checking into his hotel, he thought he’d have a
look at the Texas Station Casino before bed. While he was there, he
decided to try a few hands of blackjack. The plan was to quit as soon as
he’d lost three hands in a row. Eight hours later, however, that still
hadn’t happened. In fact, Glick played blackjack through the night and
slowly earned more than $30,000. “You realize the chips are money,” he
says, “but you don’t really think of it that way. When it really hit me
is when the cashier pushed the money across the table when I cashed
By no means a frequent gambler, Glick had no intention of gaming away
what he knew to be a rare windfall, so he returned to Claremont and used
the money to pay off his student loans. Happy ending. Story over. Right?
Well, not quite.
The powers that be in Las Vegas had a different vision of where Glick
should use his winnings. The Texas Station Casino tried to woo him back
to its tables by giving him and 18 friends a free weekend’s stay in its
suites and as many complimentary amenities as they could think of. “The
joke of the weekend was that we were celebrating the release of my rap
CD,” Glick says.
Most people never experience this brand of Vegas VIP treatment, but for
Glick it was a twice-in-a-lifetime experience. Come spring break, Glick
returned for another dose, this time at the Texas Station’s sister
hotel, the posh Green Valley Ranch. For Glick, the most memorable part
was a spontaneous helicopter ride. “My friend Verity Decker had never
been to the Grand Canyon, and she was hoping to go before she graduated.
I called my contact at the hotel to see if he could arrange anything.”
The next thing Glick and his friends knew, they were boarding a private
helicopter to be whisked away for a day at the Grand Canyon.
“Rarely with parents or friends do you have a trip where you get to do
the things we did,” says Glick. “I’m really happy that it happened
during my senior year.”