Seaside, better known as SMEside, is the most popular place for Shawnee Mission East students to spend their spring break. At least ten families, in the sophomore grade alone, take the 16 hour trek every March to the panhandle of Florida.
One family in particular, the Hess’ have been going to Seaside for the past five spring breaks. Sophomore Hope Hess loves going to Seaside.
She gets the opportunity to leave Kansas City but still can see some of her friends while she is there. It is the perfect mix of being with kids from East and still getting away according to Hess.
Hess loves the vibe of Seaside.
“It is a cute preppy town,” Hess said.
All the little shops are locally owned and operated.
Hess’ schedule during last years spring break involved a lot of relaxation and fun.
One breakfast place in particular, Flip Flops, is where Hess can be found most mornings. Hess and her brother ride their bikes for about ten minutes to get to the quaint breakfast spot. Hess always orders the famous Belgian waffles and locally grown orange juice.
Then she rides her bike back to her hotel and lounges on the beach until Luke Bryan, country music star, casually walks by and takes a selfie with her. Hess stomach starts to grumble and she walks 200 feet to the elevator that leads to her hotel room. Her dad is making lunch in their little kitchen filled with food bought from the local grocery store Publix.
The rest of the day is spent lounging on the beach, listening to music.
The real fun in Seaside starts around eight at night. When it gets dark and the town comes alive. The restaurants are packed and the line is around the corner to get shaved ice from Frost Bites. The weather is perfect for white jeans and a tank top.
Hess then texts in a group message just for kids in Seaside and everyone meets up at the beach to hang out. Hess loves meeting people from all different states, even though people assume that Kansans ride horses to school and live on farms.
The main reason Hess goes back is because she loves the beach.
“Some beaches have seashells all over which makes the sand hard to walk on, but [Seaside] has the softest sand and the best weather,” Hess said.