The day after Labor Day they'll all be gone, and the locals will have the sands to themselves again. The owners here try to rent their condos out all year, naturally, but the only time the place gets even a little bit full besides summer is Christmas and the dead of winter. Then it's mostly Midwesterners and Canadians, with the odd Eastern European here and there.
California is not really warm in the winter for the most part; it just doesn't snow here at the beach. If you want snow, you just have to drive to the mountains. You've seen pictures of the snow-capped mountains of Southern Cal. Have you ever seen pictures of snowcaps in Florida? Think about it. If you want really warm weather and have any sense, you go there.
The snowbirds never admit they've made a mistake, though. They just slather on SPF 50 and go lay at the pool when it's cloudy and 58 degrees. All they ever want to tell you is how cold it is where they're from. "Twenty below back home, eh?" Then they wait to for you to ask where back home is.
"Some godawful windswept frozen hellhole on the North American tundra like Calgary or Detroit?" this writer usually says politely.
"Oh, yeah, Calgary, yeah," they reply.
"Moosehead or Labatt's?" the author asks. He's lived here long enough to know what Canadians find controversial.
"Oh, Moosehead. Labatt's is for the Frenchies."
Then they go back to being quietly and politely drunk, as Canadians and Midwesterners so often do.
The Russians, the locals assume, all belong to the Russian mob, or else they couldn't afford to leave their own country, so they get left alone. But the winter crowd seldom overwhelms. These summer people are different animals. A great many of them are from Arizona, coming here to escape heat in the low 120's. The swelling of the Sun Belt population is not due to the great weather in any part of the Southwest except for coastal California. Arizona weather is not great. It's hot and windy in the summer, with occasional haboobs, and cold and windy in the winter. It just doesn't snow (much). The same for Vegas.
Utah has both miserably hot summers and snot-freezing winters, so we have Utahans? Utahbers? Utahbeings? here summer and winter. When the author was younger, the Catholics had big families. You saw a family with five kids, you asked what parish they belonged to. Now the Mormons have taken over the task of overpopulating the country. You see the five kids, ask them where they're from in Utah.
The kids all swamp the monstrous kidney-shaped pool in the center of the complex, (Why are pools always kidney-shaped? What's the matter with the other organs? You never see a prostate-shaped swimming pool) playing a game of Marco Polo that starts in June and ends on Labor Day. The author's unit overlooks the pool, so he occasionally joins in, shouting a random "Polo!" at the top of his lungs, or occasionally "You cheated! You looked!" (the second most-oft-repeated phrase of Marco Polo players). A game of Marco Polo has never been completed in the history of the sport. Many games seem endless, like golf or searching for extraterrestrials, but Marco Polo is deliberately designed to be infinite. Games usually break up over bitter charges and counter-charges of cheating after just a few minutes, only to begin again almost immediately.
The condos have a community grill, which is where the author usually runs into the parents. It's Dad that cooks outdoors. Mom has carefully prepared a variety of tasty, eye-pleasing side dishes, which she spreads on the community picnic tables. Meanwhile Dad swigs down a beer while incinerating the meat, sharing his political opinions and sports views (but not his beer) with anyone that cares to listen. If there are other tourists present, they promptly start giving each other advice about where to go and what to do here, with the ones that arrived on Saturday lording it over the greenhorns that showed up Sunday.
Strangers sharing misinformation. If there's a finer metaphor for human existence, the author wants to know it.
Arizonans can't grill. They have no practice at it. It's over a hundred every day from May to November—would you stand in front of hot coals or flaming propane? Still, they resist this writer's instructions. "You probably wouldn't put a chicken leg directly on the burner and turn the gas up full in your kitchen," he tells his tourist companions. "What makes you think that's going to work out well here?"
In The Big Book of Male Rules, which, like many other books of rules, the author failed to completely finish, there must be one against criticizing another guy's skill at the grill, because the tourists always look somewhat angry as they ignore him. Admittedly, it might be this writer's instructional style. "Couldn't find a brush fire to throw that tri-tip in is what I figure," the author has been known to say heartily as he observes a roast being turned into an animal sacrifice. The more he criticizes them, the worse they grill, and eventually Dad serves up bits of meat that you could photograph and pass off as autopsy pictures from an airplane crash, and he and the kids gorge on Mom's salads.
This writer then removes his perfectly cooked meats to a plate, smirking at the tourist food. He's annoyed them, too. Mission accomplished.