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The Snowbirds Have Landed…

Crowded Beach Scene

The Snowbirds have Landed refers to The tourist trade which can be a love/hate relationship. Here in the Sunbelt States, and more specifically Florida, we call the tourists “Snowbirds”.

The Snowbird Tourists bring with them lots of dollars during the “season” which greatly benefits the community. Those Snowbird Tourist dollars occupy the lodgings, fill the restaurants and watering holes, bulge the pockets of the myriad retail stores, service station owners, car rental companies…you get the idea. They provide an endless stream of new and, sometimes, interesting people with whom to commune. They greatly expand the dating pool for the singles (and a few not so single). They also reduce the resident’s taxes, maintain the infrastructure, promote growth, employment and advance countless other endeavors large and small.

Conversely, the Snowbirds swoop in from the North and also bring a plethora of problems for the “locals”. Aside from their luggage, they bring plenty of “baggage”. E.g. they fill the ever-expanding infrastructure and make, in our case, what’s normally a ten-minute drive to the beach a three-hour snail race. They fill the myriad retail stores so we’re forced to do our shopping after 10 pm when we can find a parking space and get through the checkout line in a reasonable amount of time. Prices across the board escalate because they display fists-full-of-dollars. I mean, what the heck, they’re on vacation? Right! We rarely go to restaurants, movies, etc. because we too often won’t get in the door. I shouldn’t complain. I mean, there are benefits to being stuck at home during the nicest months of the year. Look at all the money I save on gas, restaurants and movies. My relationship with my wife is stronger because we’re stuck together 24/7. Plus, my car’s tires and brakes are always in top-notch condition. That way I have the best chance of survival when they turn right from the left lane or stop in the middle of the road to check the map and make sure they didn’t pass the road to Aunt Gertie’s trailer. The worst though is that too many of ‘em forget they’re in our “house” and feel we’re here just to make their vacation better. Makes me feel I’m living in that “Twilight Zone” episode, “To Serve Man”. The aliens land and say they’ve come to “Serve Man” and have a book to better help with that and want volunteers to go with them. Turns out it was a cookbook. Yup, The Snowbirds Have Landed.

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