Entering Rehoboth Beach

The beautifully-barked crape myrtle trees are blooming in bright fuchsia and white as we drive into the town. A little more than five hours away from Albany, Rehoboth Beach might as well have been another world, so deliciously different was it in its climate and hardiness zone. (The first things I notice upon entering a new place are the plants and trees growing there, and it’s especially thrilling when I get to see more tender plants flourishing in the ground because the winters are less severe than those in the Northeast.) Today that means crape myrtle – a bush or small tree that rivals the bougainvillea for hot pink color, but provides a hardier countenance for colder climates (just not as cold as upstate New York, sadly).

Sandy sidewalks lead to the boardwalk and the beach, and we take a quick stroll to get our bearings. Our days here will reach the mid to upper 90’s, and before we make it to the sea, I’m as yet unimpressed by the hordes of tourists and their children running along the cheesy fried food offerings of the boardwalk. I’m not convinced that this is where I wanted to spend my birthday.

Our hotel room won’t be ready for a few hours, so we take our time wandering along Wilmington, Rehoboth and Baltimore, before finally settling on a lunch place that offers mostly Mexican fare. A salty-rimmed margarita greets the afternoon of my 41st anniversary here on earth, and I relax into the circumstances. The town opens up a bit when that happens, and by the time we check in and step out onto our little balcony, I’ve left behind the cares and concerns of the office and my upstate life.

After settling in, I make a quick exploratory shopping run, passing by the beach again. The day is hot, but we have dinner reservations, and the beach will have to wait. I travel along the edge of sand, glimpsing the magnificence obscured by gently waving sea grass. Tomorrow we will be there, and the promise of an even-hotter day makes the ocean all the more inviting. Tonight, we dine and sleep, and I put my 41st birthday to bed in gratefully quiet fashion.

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