DCGreeks.com's Summer Travel Trifecta 2006
May 1, 2006It’s May and time to start thinking about major Greek-American destination weekends this summer. This year’s focus is on the Southeast, with two trips to Florida sandwiching a trip to Tennessee. (Yes, that’s right, Tennessee.) Here’s our preview of everything you need to know (or all that we know thus far) about Clearwater, the National YAL Conference, and the AHEPA Supreme Convention.
St. Pete’s Beach is the New Clearwater
Last summer’s busy Atlantic hurricane season unfortunately led to Clearwater Beach not being so clear this year. The result is the move about 20 miles south to St. Pete Beach. To compensate for the fact that an excursion into the Greektown of Tarpon Springs is now about 20 miles longer in the other direction, there’s no reason to even leave the hotel this year. The site is the Tradewinds Island Grand Beach Resort, an all-inclusive facility with more fun and activities than hundreds of Greek young adults all bent on drinking and laying out poolside could possibly take advantage of over the long weekend. The resort is offering a “Greeks Only Pool” (GOP?) for the weekend (No worries, they’ve got four more to spare.) with a view of the beach volleyball courts for this year’s tournament. (Maybe, this will be the answer to making the tournament more appealing for participants and actual spectators alike.)
Before getting into the host of activities offered by the resort, we probably should give you a rundown of the events. Wednesday night will feature a bar night somewhere outside the hotel (the over/under on attendance for this event is 40). Thursday and Friday night will feature Greek Nights on site at the resort with different color-coded themes. Santorini Nights: A White Party, is the theme for Thursday, with the dress code listed as “White Hot!” (Girls can easily get away with wearing all white, but a guy wearing all white looks like the Good Humor Man, according to any Greek mother.) Friday night features DJs Chilly & Dennis from Detroit at “Grecian Glamour, a golden affair.” Here golden is meant to evoke glamour not a call to buy gold clothing, stuff the hotel safe, or a replace your porcelain filings. Saturday night’s concert hasn’t been officially announced yet but according to our sources it is Fame Story 3 winner Periklis and Konstantinos Pantzis. (Pantzis has at least one song you’ve heard at a Greek Night, but Periklis remains sort of an unknown quantity unless you obsess over Fame Story, which sadly, we don’t.) Sunday night is the dinner dance at the church and Monday afternoon is the barbecue with a trip to a local club for those who will still be in town that evening.
Sounds like a lot, particularly when you throw in the volleyball and basketball tournaments, spiritual discussions on Saturday morning and church service on Sunday morning. (Both according to their website to take place at the hotel. Brilliant! Now if they can schedule wake up calls for everyone, they may be able to get more than a few people there.) But the afternoons remain rather free, and this hotel provides two whirlpools, parasailing, snorkeling, dolphin and manatee encounter cruises, mini golf, tennis, a fitness facility, aerobics and yoga classes, and life-size chess. (My first thought was human chess, which if you remember the scene from Mel Brooks’ History of the World Part I, can make for an amusing proposition, but I guess life-size is a close second.)
More information and registration to all the events besides the concert can be found on www.clearwateryal.org. The $75 rate ends on May 15th, at which point it jumps up to $90 until May 24th. ($100 at the door.) Registration covers admission to both Greek Nights, the dinner dance, the barbecue, and a t-shirt to wear to the gym.
Continuing the theme of all-inclusive resort accommodations, this year’s
National YAL Conference is at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. After taking
last year off, the theme of this year’s conference is LOST (Living Orthodoxy +
Share Truth) and even has a logo that mimics the logo of the hit ABC show.
(Good thing they didn’t go with that other ABC hit show, Desperate Housewives.
Hey, if they’re looking for themes for their next conference, assuming J.J.
Abrams’ latest ABC show makes it through six episodes, they can call it
“What about Jesus?” Maybe they should just switch over to CBS and call
it, “How I Met Your Mother.”)
It’s shocking how many young adults who don’t identify with AHEPA nonetheless end up at the AHEPA Supreme Convention every year. While there aren’t too many details out there, the location has been set for the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Florida, between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Besides the beach, the Hard Rock Casino and 400 outlets are right there combining two of the favorite pastimes of Greek guys and girls respectively. There’s pretty much a party every night particularly on the last weekend of the convention. For registration and more details check www.ahepa.org.