It might be difficult to believe, but even when a person is taking advantage of all the best a beach weekend or vacation has to offer, they still are missing out on a depth of experience that relies on storytelling. A lot of times, people are afraid to take a chance beyond the “traditional” beach experiences. People come to the beach, hit a boardwalk or two, have the ice cream or french fries that they have deemed the only one worth trying at the beach, but then what? What makes a vacation really memorable is the story that goes with it, not just a list of things that everyone does at the beach. The narrative makes a trip cogent and that begins with the will to just go out and take a chance. The appeal of a good, “What I did this summer story” is a little bit about exclusivity.
Even though she grew up in Bethany Beach Melanie Petrie still gets surprised by how the resort has changed over the years. It’s not just because Bethany is lot less sleepy than it used to be, it also because it angles toward trendy in a way she hadn’t imagined even a little more than a decade ago. The Bethany Boathouse is a great example of why. She still sees the shadows of the old Bethany Beach during her regular shifts behind the bar at the Cottage Cafe. People love the place because it is predictable. They know what they’re going to get and, if they’ve been a regular for long enough, the odds are Petrie does as well. She calls people by name, and they return the familiarity even going so far as to do the occasional chop busting. “I can tell you what 75 percent of the people in
Walking through the stables at the Wicomico Equestrian Center at Winterplace Park, it’s easy still to get a sense of the old grandeur—lantern chandeliers light the halls and separate lines of stalls set in rich wood and cast iron bars. What’s less easy to get, is a sense of the transformation imposed on the once-great barn by the nonprofit Wicomico Equestrian Center board and membership. In the heady 1980s, the center was an absolute palace. Originally built as a monument to the upscale equestrian set, the 81-acre park boasted the finest barns, the most state-of-the-art facilities, and even a wading pool for horse relaxation and rehabilitation during events. Eventually, though, the park fell upon hard times and its glory faded. With the exception of the occasional stall rental, which did more damage than revenue production, the park fell into disuse and disrepair. Meanwhile, Rand Thaw and some other members of