REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.-- What a difference a day -- and 175 miles to the south -- makes.
One day after Ocean City, N.J., residents continued dealing with the hardships Superstorm Sandy delivered them, those near Rehoboth Beach, Del., flocked to the ocean, unencumbered with any residual effect from the savage storm.
Drawn by 70-degree temperatures, a blue sky and brilliant sunshine after having escaped so much of Sandy's wrath, the crowds came to enjoy the beach, the boardwalk, Thrasher's french fries, Dolle's salt water taffy and Kohr's Bros. frozen custard.
There were so many people of all ages and so many dogs of all breeds and so many boardwalk stores selling T-shirts and jewelry and pizza that it created such an understated excitement that if you didn't know better it would have seemed like the first day of the summer season.
Instead, it was an incredible November day made all the more precious by having being spared what Sandy had wrought 13 days earlier farther north along the shore.
"Rehoboth is fine. We were very, very blessed," said Dan Sypinski, a former Allison Park resident and longtime Pittsburgh Steelers season ticket-holder as he helped run Sharee, his wife's namesake women's jewelry, clothing and accessories store on Rehoboth Avenue. "Everybody's open for business."
Mary and Glenn Vernon of nearby Lewes agreed that fortune had smiled on their slice of the shore.
"We were very lucky. We thought it was going to hit us head on," Mrs. Vernon said as the couple sat in the sun on the boardwalk.
"Everything pretty much stayed intact," Mr. Vernon said. "There was a little bit of beach erosion."
"We've had nor'easters that were worse than Sandy," Mrs. Vernon said. "I saw the kind of day it was today and said, 'We have to get out.'"
She held Cece, the couple's Pomeranian, as Mr. Vernon tended to their Lhasa Apso, named, of all things, Sandy.
First Published November 11, 2012 8:15 PM