Chilly spring break on Manatee beaches: delight and letdown

acastillo@bradenton.comMarch 27, 2014 

MANATEE -- Spring break is in full swing in Manatee County -- and the cooler weather isn't keeping most from enjoying the outdoor's glory.

According to Bay News 9 meteorologist Brian McClure, the high temperature in the Bradenton area Wednesday was 67 and the low was 48. Thursday will be mostly cloudy with a high of 76, McClure said.

Friday will be mostly cloudy with rain showers and a high of 75, he said.

The similar pattern is expected to roll over into Saturday, which is expected to be mostly cloudy with scattered showers and a high of 76.

"On Sunday, there should be clearing skies and a high of 77," McClure said.

Weather has been unseasonably cool for spring breakers.

At Glazier-Gates Park, 18-year-old Ronaldo Marcelo tossed a basketball around Wednesday with family members. The Palmetto High School junior was dressed in

red Nike shorts and a Chargers Soccer Club shirt -- never mind the slightly cooler weather.

"I thought it was going to be hotter today, but it turned out to be good anyway," he said.

Before he swung by the park with his brother-in-law, nephew and brother-in-law's brother, Marcelo said they spent the morning watching "Rattlesnake Republic" on Netflix. Being indoors gets boring, the high school student said, so they headed outside for some air.

"I always try to stay outside rather than stay indoors," said Marcelo. Besides staying busy with a part-time job at Chipotle, Marcelo said he plans on hanging out with his family during the remainder of his break and, of course, "the free time outside."

Axel Martinez, 14, was with Marcelo at the Glazier-Gates Park. The Carlos E. Haile Middle School student said he has a lifetime of freezing spring break holidays to compare with this one. Martinez moved to Bradenton from Cincinnati five months ago, making this spring break his first in Florida.

"I love it. It's better than being at home in the snow. In Cincinnati, it would be really cold outside -- like 30 degrees," Martinez said. "Nobody would come outside -- even during spring break."

Here, everyone leaves their houses, he said.

Since his spring break kicked off Monday, Martinez said he's been working on his rap/hip-hop music with a group.

Parent Shontez Williams also enjoys the break. After the 38-year-old wrapped a long workday she still made her way to Bradenton's Riverwalk with neighbors and her 10- and 6-year-old daughters, Makayhla and Armani.

"My kids just want to be outside because they've been home all day," she said, noting past spring breaks have been warmer.

A typical spring break for Williams and her children comes with theme park visits.

"Not this week," she said.

Theresa Armine, 26, was also at the Riverwalk with her children and husband.

"It's been kind of droopy lately because of the rain. The kids have to stay in. No one really wants to play outside in the rain unless they're crazy," said Armine, a medical assistant and mom of four.

If this spring break was ideal, Armine said her family would go swimming.

"It's just not warm enough for that," she said.

Nearby at the Riverwalk skate park, Carolina Martinez sat with her cousin, Birmania Flores, under the shade of the Desoto Bridge. The 16-year-old's spring break officially kicked off Friday and she's been longboarding ever since.

"I usually just wake up and pack a lunch and go out with my friends -- or we will ride all the way to the beach in Anna Maria," the high school sophomore from Palmetto said.

The teen added the weather "kind of sucks" because it's been chilly. It stops a lot of people from doing stuff, Martinez said. Not her.

"I don't really care about the weather," she said with a slight shrug. "It's never stopped me from doing what I like to do."

Amaris Castillo, Law Enforcement/Island Reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. You can follow her on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.

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