NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Residents in the Garden State were breathing a little easier Friday night after the storm spared the Jersey Shore.

Friday night’s sunset helped paint a brilliant canvas along the beaches and boardwalks — a clear sign that life was back to normal.

“I’m so happy to see these people around and everybody is enjoying themselves,” Eulyn Silvan said.

Hours after Earl spared the Jersey Shore by straying from it, those hoping to take in mother nature’s show walked away disappointed.

“Total disappointment. Missed the mark,” Bill Mulligan said.

“It was nothing. Absolutely nothing,” Madeline Czachorowski said.

Earl’s winds were never fierce, leading those who boarded up homes to give up on the hurricane that wasn’t.

“I think we dodged a bullet hopefully, you know, which is good for everybody up and down the coast,” Bob Shipee said.

Along the coast were wave watchers of all ages including Levi Bolgin.

“God’s power. Come to see the waves going up and down. Beauty of the creations,” Bolgin said.

These waves crept closer than usual, but never threatened homes and left enough room to take in a book on the beach.

“It’s beautiful out here. It’s exciting. I love the waves and the wind,” Jim McCarthy said.

One Lacey Township daredevil loved the waves so much so that he took a dip in an angry ocean.

“I’m a pretty good swimmer… so if you don’t know what you’re doing, you definitely shouldn’t go out there,”

In the end, Earl huffed and puffed but never blew anything down, or even came close.

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