Kids, if you're looking for a change from the Spring Break crowds at Corpus, South Padre or even Galveston, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has an offer for you: Athens!!
No, not Athens, Greece. Not even Athens, Georgia, home to UGA and REM wanna-bes.
Athens, Texas, baby. In the misty, isolated forests of East Texas.
The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is your Spring Break HQ this year, not Matamoros.
"Are you planning an outdoor family adventure during spring break?" the agency asks. "Athens and the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) are the place to start. Athens is a great place to spend the night while enjoying area fisheries and attractions. Local hotels and restaurants welcome spring breakers."
And then, possibly the truest line ever put in a press release (at least the second part of the line): "You won't lack for things to do, and you won't have to deal with traffic jams and hordes of people to enjoy them."
Now to be honest, the place does sound like a nice family trip, if you're into that whole fishing/nature thing.
But we're having a hard time envisioning college kids forsaking the beer bongs, wet t-shirt contests and Jell-o shots in order to snare a trout. Although we guess there'd be less chance of getting caught up in some Mexican drug-cartel war. So there's that.
Let's look at the comparisons:
Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center: Has the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. It includes Nick Creme, who "invented the modern plastic worm."
South Padre: Has drunk, buff students guzzling modern, non-plastic tequila worms.
TFFC: Offers "a tram tour of the hatchery production ponds."
South Padre: Offers shuttle service between packed, partying bars.
TFFC: Has "daily dive shows during which a diver hand-feeds the fish."
South Padre: Daily dives are more muff-related.
TFFC: Has "a gift shop, where you'll find a wealth of outdoor- and fishing-related items, clothing, books, gifts and snacks."
South Padre: Has 7-11s or Diamond Shamrocks, where you'll find a wealth of beer, condoms, rolling papers and a wealth of other related items.
TFCC: "Only a parking lot separates TFFC from Lake Athens, which has...a healthy population of largemouth bass, catfish, sunfish and crappie."
South Padre: Only a parking lot separates you from drunken, fumbling sex with this Texas Tech chick you picked up in the bar who hopefully will hold off on vomiting until after your post-coital exit.
So, in the end, it's a difficult decision. You should just glad the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department made you aware you had one.