Spring is here, and that means adventure is in the air. Brightly-colored tops and warm, sunny days replace heavy winter sweaters and overcast skies.
While winter is one of my favorite seasons, I find a sense of renewal in the months of March, April and May. Stepping outside, I can’t help but be embraced by the glorious feeling that anything is possible.
Spring is the perfect time of year to take a road trip. There is nothing like being with friends after enduring a hectic class schedule or busy workload.
A couple of years ago, I got to take a break from my courses at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. Upon the recommendation of my friends, I packed my bags for an unforgettable weekend excursion to Tucson. It didn’t take much convincing — I needed to get away.
Did I mention it was spring break? Yes, and I had to work part of the vacation at Oshman’s in the Mesilla Valley Mall before getting any time off for the week. That meant we would have to utilize every minute of our much-anticipated trip.
Leaving Las Cruces, I settled in the back seat of my friend Kim’s SUV. I listened intently as she popped in the Dixie Chick’s CD, and the first single, “Wide Open Spaces,” flowed loud and clear from the speakers.
Sipping on my cherry limeade from Sonic, I let go of all my worries over grades and test scores. This road was about to lead us to a place we’d never been before.
I made some unforgettable friendships on that trip to Arizona. Angie was a girl I knew casually from work, and Kim was one of her best friends. With my good pal, Jessica, at my side, the four of us sang along to some of our favorite songs and shared stories as we cruised down the highway.
The party started as soon as we pulled into Tucson. Our plan was to stay for three nights at our old roommate, Anna’s, apartment. After unpacking, we enjoyed some of our favorite beverages while we got ready for a night on the town.
Dinner and dancing — what more could a girl want? It was like we were in another world, surrounded by strangers in a new, exciting city. The food, the music, the scenery – it was all so appealing!
Every minute, we were busy with a different activity, embarking on another adventure. One afternoon, we went for sushi. Each of us ordered a separate dish, and we all shared and munched from the same plate.
Later that same day, I stood holding Angie’s hand while she got her belly button pierced. At the performance of her brave act, she only winced for a second before breaking into a humongous grin.
We lived on non-stop energy until the very last minute of our stay when we were ready to collapse. Did we really have to leave this place? How could the time have gone by so fast?
After one last hurrah, we hastily crammed our clothes back in our bags and packed the car once again. We hugged our old friend and promised to visit again soon. Now it was time to hit the highway and return home. Nine hours seemed a lifetime away back in Las Cruces.
Leaving is never easy or fun. Our drive home consisted of re-living the events we had just experienced in Tucson. You can probably picture us with our hair pulled back and wearing dark sunglasses. Again, music was an uplifting gift as we took turns driving back to the Land of Enchantment.
Every time I hear “Wide Open Spaces” I think of our group — Angela, Kim, Jessica and me. If you’ve heard the song before, I can tell you, it symbolizes our stories perfectly. Although the road of life has taken each of us in very different directions, we remain forever friends.
The four of us shared memories we will never forget. Our road trip to Arizona is something we still talk about every spring when the weather warms up and we want to get away. The trip and spring rejuvenated us, and I can’t wait to do it again. And, don’t worry, I’ll send you a postcard.