5 Things That Happen To SWFL When The Snow Birds Leave

5 Things That Happen To SWFL When The Snow Birds Leave

When the snow birds flock north.

Living in sunny Fort Myers has many upsides- great beaches, parks, quality of life, university, restaurants, shops, etc. but it also appears that the rest of the world has figured this out and everybody decides to visit our little town during the months of January-April. Mainly the snowbirds are to blame for this, then you also have your spring breakers who come to rec havoc at the Lani Kai on Fort Myers Beach. All of these extra people aside from the norm population in our city makes for an interesting couple of months as locals call "season."

"Season" is frequently used as a verb, noun, and even an adjective. You'll hear people throw the term "season" around such as, "season is definitely here — we're getting busy." Aside from the obvious fact that "season" clogs Fort Myers with grey-haired, denture using, slow driving, elderly people for as far as you can see, many things happen to SouthWest Florida when April comes around, and it's quite comical if you think about it.

1. Drive time is suddenly cut in half

I no longer have to be stuck behind the old lady going 30 in a 45mph when I'm already late for work! Or my favorite is when the elderly just stop in their lane with no warning in the middle of rush hour, as they don't know where they're going... or maybe they just think they can do whatever they want because they're old?

2. We're broke

As much as us restaurant workers complain about how tired we are and how we're over all the snowbirds, they do help with paying rent and give us a comfortable nest egg throughout the year to hopefully last until next season.

3. Going to the beach is possible again

Don't even attempt to cross the Fort Myers Beach bridge in the spring, have you seen that traffic? Backed up for miles and if you're lucky you'll make it to the beach before the sun goes down.

4. Our population shrinks faster than my jeans

But seriously, after Easter weekend all the snowbirds decide its warm enough to go back to their northern homes and they leave us to rest and re-coop in preparation for next season.

5. Party time

Season only lasts a few months, but working long hours every day to accommodate our tourists and spending even more time sitting in traffic leaves us year-rounders ready for a break! As soon as the season ends, it's party time. Spending all your money you just made during the season on a vacation or junk you don't need sounds like a great idea! You'll be begging for the old people to come back by October when you're flat out of money and suddenly that comfortable savings account you accumulated during season, is gone.

* * *

As interesting as it is living in a town with such a dynamic population, I wouldn't trade it for the world as Fort Myers is my favorite city, it's my home.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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12 Gifts To Give Your Girlfriend On Valentine's Day

All of these gift ideas will for sure win over your girlfriend's heart this year!

To all the last-minute gift givers of Valentine's Day:

Don't panic. While I know how stressful it can be to get the perfect gift for your significant other, there are so many gift ideas that people always forget as an option. The best part about Valentine's day is not the gifts you get, but rather the romantic time you get to spend with your loved one. So don't worry about how expensive the gift is, just worry about how much thought you put into it. If you are still stuck on a gift to buy for your girlfriend, here are 12 ideas to get the ball rolling for you:

1. Chocolate

Chocolate is every woman's best friend. It also can be your wallet's best friend for this Valentine's Day season. A box of chocolate can warm your girlfriend's heart for a low price.

Buy a box on Amazon.

2. Flowers

Flowers. Another common, but romantic gift for your girlfriend. Get creative with it. Throw rose pedals all over the bed, or hand her a giant bouquet all at once. Either way I am sure she will love it.

Buy them on Amazon.

3. Giant Teddy Bear

This is a gift that I always found so adorable. While it can be obnoxious to purchase and carry around, the look on your girlfriend's face when she sees it will make it all worth it. She can cuddle the bear when you're not around. ;)

Buy one on Amazon.

4. Wine

Again, another luxury that is a woman's best friend. You cannot go wrong with buying your girlfriend a bottle, or bottles, of wine. The only question you have to ask yourself when buying it is, red or white?

Buy a set of glasses to match on Amazon.

5. A Couple's Massage

Um, hello. Who wouldn't love this gift? Not only is it a gift for her, but it is one for you as well. This gift can also be surprisingly cheap. Many places offer amazing deals during the Valentine's Day season!

6. Dinner

There is absolutely nothing wrong with just taking your girlfriend to a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day. Dinner can be expensive enough as it is, the important thing to remember is to make memories that will last a lifetime during the meal.

7. A Movie

Again, nothing wrong with just going to a movie for the night. Sometimes a movie can set the level of romance you need for Valentine's Day.

Buy an AMC gift card on Amazon.

8. A Necklace

I know what you're thinking, too expensive! Don't throw away the necklace idea just yet. There are so many stores that sell such elegant necklaces, and they are decently priced as well. Check out stores like Alex and Ani, or Pandora for great deals, or just order from Amazon!

Buy one on Amazon.

9. A Ring

While this gift may only apply to a select few, imagine how memorable this day would be for your girlfriend. Do not think it is too cliche to propose to your girlfriend on Valentine's Day. Who cares how many other people do it, think about the joy it will bring her.

Buy a diamond ring on Amazon.

10. Clothes

Plan and buy your girlfriend's outfit for the night! It saves her time figuring out what to wear, and you just bought her clothes that she will absolutely adore!

Buy a sweater she will love on Amazon.

11. A One Night Stay at a Hotel

I don't think I have to say anything about this gift. You all know how romantic this is.

Buy a Hotels.com gift card on Amazon.

12. Personalized Picture Frame

A gift that is beyond thoughtful. Taking all of your pictures of memories from before and putting them together for your girlfriend is a gift that will for sure have her in tears.

Buy one on Amazon.

Please note that all items are in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Cover Image Credit: Chip Party Ideas

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5 Things To Look For Before Signing A Lease

"Does it have a hallway closet?"


Spring is an exciting time of year. The trees are starting to get leaves again, flowers are blooming and the weather is starting to get nicer. Spring Break seems to be right around the corner. However, Spring also brings the dreaded apartment hunting season. Once your lease is up you can either renew it or find a new place. Finding a new apartment can be stressful but that shouldn't take the fun out of it. So, here is a list of things I wish I had known to look for before signing the lease.

Check for hallway closets

Once moving in you realize how much you miss that closet in the hallway and how much stuff you really put in there. That closet was the perfect place to stash those pesky cleaning supplies, the vacuum, and the broom. Those odds and ends like the extra paper towels and water bottles so nicely fit into that hallway closet you took for granted. Living without storage for these items has made our living area and kitchen look a mess and a nuisance when having to move it just to use the table.

Noise levels

Noise levels are something that is often forgotten about when walking through an apartment. You shouldn't be able to hear your roommates Netflix binge through the wall. What about the floors do the creak? Does the door make an annoying screech when opening it? What about the traffic outside does it bother you? Remember once you sign that lease you're stuck until it is up. Living with creaky doors and floors makes going to your 8 am class so much worse knowing you might wake your roommate by accident.


Damages are something most people notice before moving in but is there water damage? Water damage often means a leaking roof or dripping pipe that could become a worse issue later. Taking note of these damages before signing can prevent you from having to pay for them later.


It's college everyone parties it seems, but living by the parties can be annoying especially if you're trying to study. Partying usually happens a couple nights of the week but those couple nights seem like every night when attempting to study for an exam on Thirsty Thursday. Studying feels nearly impossible when you hear a raging party going on next door.

Kitchen storage

Storage in general as mentioned in number one is important. A place for your food in the kitchen makes a difference in how much you actually cook. When having a place for cans or boxes of pasta you feel less overwhelmed when you do cook them. Cooking with stuff on the counters isn't only annoying but it makes a mess to clean up. Storage for all your kitchen gadgets and dishes makes for an easier life and not just piles laying around.

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