For years now the Beach Bistro runs an ad every May.
It shows a flight of geese in V formation heading North.
It is captioned, “They are gone… you can come out now.”
And every year someone who has never heard of the Beach Bistro will write me a scathing letter about how I would starve if it was not for “snowbirds.”
I have great affection for people who return year after year and share time with us.
Whether it be for a month or a week, we at the Bistro are sincerely happy to see them.
We are honored that they have entrusted us with their life celebrations – birthdays and reunions, anniversaries and proposals – for generations.
They are family.
Visitors of more recent vintage are more like an awkward first date. They could use a little work before we take them home to mother.
Newbies do make the Island more interesting.
Any fool can drive the half mile from my house to the Bistro. It requires more skill to navigate the trip while sun-blinded, naked white people are careening up the middle of Gulf Drive on bicycles.
I ask locals to help the newcomers with some simple advisories.
Be gracious. We were all newbies once.
Almost everyone looks better with more clothes on. Itty bitty Brazilian bathing suits are not for everybody.
Wear sunscreen and a hat, but not one of those Australian outback hats. The outback hats look silly, and too many of the locals think you are hunting. The locals are all armed, and anything that resembles hunting gets their blood up.
Socks don’t go with sandals.
Nothing happened on the plane trip from the frozen North that taught you how to ride a bike. The old adage, “It is just like riding a bike,” is not true.
We have a great many beautiful and interesting birds. Stopping your car in the middle of the road is not the safest way to view them.
Seagulls here are just like Northern seagulls. Try to think of them as rats with wings. As you toss bread to the heavens to feed them, they will poop on you and your neighbors. They will steal food from your children.
If they were big enough, they would steal your children for food.
If you are a rookie. It is OK. Next year when you come back, you will be a veteran of sorts, and the Island gets even better.
And there is new stuff – Eat Here is now taking reservations. It offers lunch on the weekends. All summer long, cops, teachers and firemen get a free beer or a glass with dinner.
If you are heading North, we will miss you.
Think of us when it “sure is hot” in September.
If you are sticking around, “You can come out now.”