By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
Yes, it has been an unusually mild winter around here. Yes, parts of the Deep South have had more snow than South Jersey.
But with apologies to Old Man Winter, people are getting sick and tired of him and are anxious to welcome spring at the shore.
“I’m ready for spring. Totally, 120 percent ready,” Marge Haas declared.
Marge and her husband Mark, who live in Vineland, were bundled up in gloves and hats Sunday afternoon while riding their bikes on Sea Isle City’s oceanfront Promenade.
Avid cyclists, they biked in Ocean City on Saturday and then headed south to do some riding in Sea Isle on Sunday to enjoy another part of the Jersey Shore.
Sunny skies and temperatures hovering in the 50s gave Marge and Mike Haas a taste of early spring, even though they were dressed in winter outfits.
They weren’t the only ones taking advantage of the spring-like weather for a weekend getaway to the shore.
Gerri and Anthony Rescigno, of Ocean View, joked that they were “getting some vitamin D” while walking on what was a nearly deserted Sea Isle beach.
“Well, it hasn’t been that bad of a winter, but the sun is really a treat,” Gerri said while gazing up at blue skies.
During summer, Gerri and Anthony pack their dinners and blankets for beach outings in Sea Isle. On Sunday, it took a lot of imagination to envision the summer crowds that will jam the beaches starting Memorial Day weekend.
“If you’re a movie star, you can walk down here and no one would know who you are. No one would even notice you,” Anthony said of the empty shoreline Sunday.
Others were savoring the shore’s winter tranquility.
Terry and Anthony DiLallo, of Sicklerville, Camden County, decided to take a day trip to Sea Isle to decompress. They were joined by their daughter, Marissa DiLallo, their grandchildren, 3-year-old twins Harper and Hudson, and the kids’ mother, Lauren Van Atter.
“Yesterday, I told everyone that I needed to unwind from work, so I said, ‘Let’s take a ride to Sea Isle,’” Anthony DiLallo explained. “When I’m here, I’m always at ease and calm.”
Terry DiLallo, 46, said that she began visiting Sea Isle about 35 years ago with her parents and sister. Now, she wants her grandchildren to spend their childhood vacations at the beach resort.
“We love it here,” Terry said.
The twins sat on Terry’s lap, wrapped in a blanket.
Other than a few walkers and bikers, they had the Promenade almost all to themselves. Anthony DiLallo noted that this was exactly the type of relaxing day with his family that he had wanted.
“Family, beach, the water – that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “Sea Isle is home.”