5 ways you’re accidently being a douche bag in a resort town
You know it’s bad when your normally chipper bartender starts throwing around drink shakers and mumbling aggressively under the music, laughably, an Eminem song, a la ‘The Eminem Show’. Between nostalgic Slim Shady lines & heavy bass, he grumbles about a group of ladies who came into this bar and ordered well martinis and lemon drops. As you can imagine, laughter ensued—who comes into a bar like this and orders martinis, but first—who orders well martinis?
Resort towns are destination vacation spots for folks that do their daily grind in big cities—urban jungles where lemon drops fly off the bar top by the dozens. Which is great—tourists are the life-blood of resort towns, and though we might grip about it, the locals need tourists so that we can call your vacation our life. However, there are a few simple tricks to making sure you’re well received when you’re visiting resort towns (also good tips if you also just relocated to one).
- If the bar flies are wearing baseball caps or beanies, don’t order fancy cocktails
When you find yourself in a new place, its imperative to be observant of your surroundings, then tactfully use this information to have yourself a damn good time. Resort towns cater to folks on vacations, which means the party never stops. We want you to have a great time, drink, and leave with memories that you’ll remember fondly, regardless of the alcohol-haze that might cloud your brain. But you should do so with tact.
Small resort towns are unique in that only the most uncommon and exceptional bars & restaurants succeed in the long run—there’s so much competition in this category that owners have to manifest incredible experiences for guests. So there is always an eclectic and fun mix of options for drinks and food. My advice: Know what you want and then choose your eatery wisely. If you’re looking for craft cocktails or martinis, do not, under any circumstance, order at a bar whose general crowd is wearing baseball caps or beanies, are still in their work garb, or whose drink lists consists of what’s on tap. It’s going to be bad experience for all involved—from the wait staff, to the bartender and probably for you, too. You know how awkward it feels walking into a sports bar way too overdressed? That’s how a bartender who is mostly used to pouring beer feels when you order an appletini, or some equally annoying martini.
- It is never acceptable to view scenery by stopping in the middle of the highway & standing in the road.
No matter the vibrancy of the autumn leaves, the majesty of that herd of elk, or the cuteness overload of that #adorbs baby bear—you are not permitted to endanger yourself and other drivers by stopping in the middle of road to snap an Instagram pic. I spend the majority of my blessed 10 minute morning commute screaming profanities between sips of black coffee & NPR reports. I’m not sure what happens, but it seems that common driving knowledge clicks off for tourists when they hit the highway. I get it, you’re visiting resort towns because of the impeccable scenery, the “laid back” vibe and the appreciation locals have for their surroundings. I want you to be here and get a taste of the good life, see the beauty of the world & unwind a little. Just remember: Ain’t nobody got time to drive behind you going 35mph on the highway while you take a panorama shot—you’re making me late for work. Secondly, there are already a myriad of obstacles for drivers in resort towns—inclement weather, wild animals, bikers, etc. Please don’t add another road block by hopping out of your car to ogle the autumn leaves on the side of the road. There are a large number of beautiful areas off the pavement where you can peep leaves and snap selfies—please don’t do it on the major thoroughfares.
- If you’re not in a cross-walk, you’re begging for me to hit you with my car
Small town main streets are the stuff of nostalgic fluff, they’re warm hearted and vibrant and make you want to settle onto a bench with an ice cream cone to do some people watching. The main street in a small town is where the charm and unique vibe of a place really shines. You should absolutely spend time wondering around, oohing & ahhing while nibbling some treat or sipping a coffee. But I beg you, do not walk across the middle of the road, zigzagging anyway you choose. Driving down main street is fuel for panic attacks & road rage—as soon as I pull onto the main street in my resort town I start sweating. It’s always a hot mess of activity—people wandering around, drivers suddenly losing all their common driving sense, bikers, packs of family dogs, you name it. It’s why the locals tend to walk or ride bikes into town. Just because a town’s main street is made to be perused slowly, it does not mean you get to disregard common traffic laws and walk in the road wherever you choose. There are always a million other things for drivers to pay attention to, please do not put your body in the mix—because if you’re not in a cross-walk, your begging to be struck by oncoming traffic.
- Adding a few thousand feet in altitude means you’re gonna get drunk—faster
It’s always the first warning us mountain town locals give our visiting friends—pace yourself & drink water between adult beverages. Altitude is a real issue for out-of-towners, whether the lack of oxygen or increased pressure gives you headaches or leaves you out of breath, it’s no trifle matter. It also means that if you start sucking down margaritas after climbing a ‘14er, you’re probably gonna be that guy missing a shoe, walking down the middle of the road with your t-shirt hanging out of your back pocket because you think you’re way cooler than everyone else. Don’t be that guy. Nobody likes that guy. Drink a friggin water and calm your shit, nobodies racing you to facedown-blackout town.
- Pick it up & Pack it out—Or you will have bad luck for the next 7 years
This seems like common knowledge, but it seems each summer brings more tourists, resulting in more trash and disaster left behind in the backcountry. I have no patience for this nonsense, so bear with me while I bitch. If you take your entire family, your crew of buddies & that annoying girl no one wanted to invite camping, do not leave your shit-kickin, whiskey-drinkin, bigger than the rig-bonfire, backwoods party for someone else to find. Breaking glass, building giant fires & leaving the remnants of your camp-debauchery (even the food stuff you think the squirrels will eat), is not, in any way, acceptable use of the backcountry. If you bring it in, you pack it up and you bring it out of the backcountry. Period, no questions asked. No you may not leave your vodka-infused watermelon rind for some lucky chipmunk to eat. No you may not get shit-housed and leave glass shards in the dirt because you tried to open your beer bottle with your teeth. No you may not build a huge pallet bonfire, thus torching the ground and leaving a huge scar—or worse, starting a forest fire that you deserve to be lawfully punished for. You think your little camp won’t have an impact on the vast natural environment you’re visiting—but take a moment and think about all the other folks recreating in the backcountry and then imagine they’re all leaving a camp-disaster behind. The world gets a little bit smaller then doesn’t it, cupcake? So, have a little respect for the natural world, the folks who call these areas home, and clean up after yourself like big-kids do—I don’t care how hungover you are. End of story.
In all fairness, many tourists are wonderful folks—they’re here to have fun, enjoy the local crowd and have an adventure, and they do so with grace & tact. However, for every handful of decent-hearted tourist there’s one turd who ruins it for everyone else—you know who you are, and this is 100% for you. Take these little tidbits and put them in your back pocket—you’ll need them the next time you’re debating whether or not to take your shirt off and dance around the fire while breaking glass and taking selfies with squirrels. The answer is always no.
Cayla Vidmar comes to Living Seasonal from the blog Pursuing Neverland – A lover of catch phrases & fish tacos; an avid adventure seeker & shameless klutz. When she’s not working you can find her throwing together gluten free goodies in the kitchen, working on her fitness one way or another, or drinking a glass of champagne with an excellent view. Seeking to change peoples lives for the better just by being in it. You can read more about her here.