Locals offer advice to spring breakers

Deborah Wheeler

As the snowbirds fly back north, that must mean it's time for the youngsters to invade our piece of paradise — otherwise known as spring break.

With the onslaught of co-eds on area beaches, some locals leave town or lock themselves indoors. Others brave the crowded stores, restaurants, and roads.

Locals watch the crowds come and go year after year, so we at The Sun asked the wise parent figures among us the following question: "With the largest week of spring break coming up, what is your advice to spring breakers in South Walton?"

As a teacher at Seaside Neighborhood School, Billie Gaffrey sees lots of bikes. Her advice to distracted spring breakers would be, "Watch out for cars when riding your bikes!"

30A resident Annie Lockamy has also witnessed some absent mindedness in her encounters with visitors. "My advice is for them to PLEASE remember that 30A is road, which cars actually are traveling on, so don't just cross it without looking!" she said.

Along those same lines, Seagrove's Barbara Olschner advises: "Enjoy, but remember, the laws of physics are not suspended while on vacation. Exercise the same care for safety and well being you would in crossing the street at home."

Blue Mountain's Buz Livingston offers a bit of driving instructions: Yield to the right at four way stops.

Rosemary Beach artist Allison Wickey just wants to keep her beautiful town and beaches clean — "exactly how you found them ... thank you!"

As does Miramar Beach's Bonnie Pleggenkuhle. "Enjoy your visit on our beautiful beaches, but be respectful of them and leave them as pristine as you find them. Think of them as you would as if you were living at home and your parents are watching …," she said.

Realtor Bobby Johnson advises spring breakers to remember the three Rs, "Relax, respect, and remember some of us live here."

As does Seagrove's Barbara Rowan: "I would hope they can respect those of use that live here full time. Yes, we are fortunate to be able to do so. But, we still work, have places to go by a certain time and not all of us like to stay up until 2 a.m. listening to loud music … at least I don't."

Seagrove's Bob Dobes says, "My advice is: 1) Spring breakers rarely listen to advice. 2) When events get out of hand, neighbors can take matters into their own hands and call the sheriff's office as a matter of due diligence. If that fails and real property is involved, seek the owner of the property (via rental agency or otherwise tax records). Report the potential risk of property damage, plus nuisance, and express good neighborly concern. Then give them (the owners) the sheriff's number. 3) Also, if the rental agency does not assist with a solution or an eviction, encourage the owner to find another agency that will protect their property."

As a business owner, Miramar Beach's Bob Doty offers a different perspective. His advice is to "spend lots of money!"

Fans of the Walton Sun’s Facebook page also had some advice for spring breakers

 Milyndia Joan Bray Bunn: Have fun but remember, in this day of instant upload video, your mother is watching!

Dora R Hurst: Have fun... enjoy and remember: If you drink, do it in moderation! No drugs please! You can have fun without being out of your head!

Florida Department of Juvenile Justice: Spring breakers should keep in mind that the decisions they make now can affect them the rest of their lives. There are consequences to breaking the law and those consequences can hinder future education, scholarship and employment opportunities, not mention your pocketbook.

Abrakadoodle Art Education and Parties: Bring a coat!

Laurie Aldieri Daher: What is the point? They will not heed any advice, unless you are telling them where the best deal is on alcohol.

Rochelle Penik: go home

Nick Nelson: Telling spring breaks to go home? Yeah that'll help our local business...

Kelly Calvert Roe: slow down, hang up and drive.

Kurt Rieper: Do NOT talk to cops!

Sand Dollar HR: Have fun! Enjoy our beautiful beaches and take care of them! Make Memories with good friends and make new friends! Also, remember a photograph lasts forever good or bad!

Stephen Brown: Stay off the balconies it you have been drinking, or keep your friends off the balconies .