It wasn't just the time change that brought on the Monday Blues for the thousands of spring breakers packed into Destin.
This week's start of the spring break season brought cold, heavy winds and rain, but that didn't stop young tourists from walking barefoot down Scenic Hwy. 98.
"I thought it would be cold, but not this cold," said Oakleigh Burkett bundled in a pink jacket and shorts on the sidewalk in front of Whale’s Tail.
Burkett, a high school student from
"Shop 'till you drop," Burkett said with a smile.
On the beach, the older crowd has other ways to keep warm.
Sarah Schlishting, a senior at
"We're never giving up," she said. "Spring break is the only freedom we get during second semester."
Schlishting has vacationed in Destin before, with her family and for previous spring breaks with friends.
"It's where everyone goes," she said. "It's a good place to go on vacation no matter the age."
Kevin Collins, a junior at
"Everything is so beautiful, so clean and everyone's so nice," Collins said.
He and his friends planned to stay in the sand until it downpours, then they might head back to their resort and hang out or go T.G.I. Friday's.
What most of the spring breakers seem unaware of, beyond the chill and dark clouds, is that they're being watched. Heavy patrolling started Sunday and officers such as Nick McMillian with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office are keeping a steady eye on the beach — and the party. On account of the weather, McMillian said it's been pretty slow.
"We haven't seen it as busy quite like in the past years," he said as his eyes darted around the boardwalk.
The pace picked up Monday evening at 5 p.m. as
More than 200 breakers have been arrested so far in
"We'll be here 24/7 with extra manpower during the day," he said.
The arrests haven't slowed down yet according to Walton County Sheriff's Office:
Walton County deputies have been extremely busy over the past few days. As Spring Break kicks into high gear, the numbers of calls and arrests have soared. Starting on Friday and ending on Monday, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) Communications Center answered approximately 1494 calls for service. Last year’s numbers for the same weekend: 1773. Of the calls answered this past weekend, there have been 178 Notices to Appear issued for underage drinking. Although the number of calls for service is down from last year, the deputies are working hard to keep law and order on South Walton beaches. Last night, over 30 individuals were arrested and booked into the Walton County Department of Corrections for underage drinking at an open house party. Underage drinking wasn’t the only thing these visitors to Walton County were doing: they trashed the rental home at 110 Miami Street.
Also yesterday afternoon at 5 p.m., deputies were called to the area of Shipwatch Condos in Miramar Beach in reference to illegal parking. Several vehicles were found blocking access of an entrance. Upon arrival deputies discovered another house party. Individuals carded were all of legal drinking age but that didn’t stop the property manager and homeowner from evicting the vacationers from the property. The WCSO stood by while approximately 150 individuals were forced to leave.
Sheriff Adkinson is keeping his promise from the Operation Dry Spring press conference he held last week with Sheriff Ashley and Sheriff McKeithen. The meeting with the media detailed what each of the Agencies represented are planning during Spring Break, especially with the occurrence of synthetic drugs and alcohol use. During the press conference Adkinson stated, “We are going to be completely zero tolerant in dealing with this issue and completely proactive.”