Well I guess I hafta go back to work tomorrow. This whole two-week spring break thing makes one mighty lazy. Sixteen days of sleeping in, plus some mighty fine summer-like weather, and it starts to look an awful lot like summertime.

At least with the late Easter this year–funny how the most important of Catholic holidays follows the old school pagan spring festival scheduling–we only have 33 school days left until it actually is summer.

I have no idea what we’ll be doing tomorrow. I should probably keep this short.

I just got back from a few days in Santa Cruz. That’s the funky California city that still thinks it’s a town, and their UC Santa Cruz mascot is the banana slug. They also have the Boardwalk, which turned 100 this year.  Wooden roller coaster, midway games, PINBALL, merry-go-round where you try to grab the ring, the whole nine yards.

I voted against the two-week  spring break (our falls are much more beautiful than our springs, which are wiiiindyyy), but I do have to admit that when you go to places like the Santa Cruz Beach-Boardwalk, it’s nice to have everybody else finished with their break and back at work/school. No lines!

Now here’s where we get to tip number one: Join the Elks.

My wife joined the Elks a few years ago, mainly for the very nice pool. It’s only a mile or two from our house. She had to say that she believed in God and wasn’t a Communist. I think she crossed her fingers for one of those. She also had to get someone who was already an Elk to sponsor her. She won’t show me the Antler Dance, but I still get in as a spouse.

Now aside from the pool, a full bar, weekly cook your own steak night, and free beer on Independence Day, another beauty benefit of being an Elk is the large network of Elks’ Lodges. And if you have an rv, even as lowly a one as our little 1982 Coleman tent trailer ($500 on craigslist–the wife is a serious bargain hunter), you can stay at almost any Elks that has the facilities (almost all do) for $15 per night.

We pulled up and signed in, and they gave us a keycard for the bathrooms, showers, and pool. Where else could you stay in Santa Cruz, two miles from the Boardwalk, for $15 a night? I’ll tell you where. Nowhere. With wifi even.

We’re still trying to figure out how to get the little trailer to the Elks in Hawaii.

The dues are cheap too. I think it comes to less than $15 a month.

Tip number two: Read another fine piece from Marion Brady. We all need to start asking these questions. Loudly.