All You Have to Bring is Your Love of Everything

It’s been a mild winter, so skiing is the last thing on my mind (granted, I’ve only been skiing twice in my life, so it’s not on my mind very often), and based on what I have been seeing on the local news, it’s been the last thing on everyone’s mind because ski resorts are struggling.  In the same vein, I find myself wondering if any other vacation spots are struggling.  The economy isn’t exactly doing the best, and airfares are insane, so travel to anywhere for a period of time longer than a weekend seems to be costing a year’s tuition at Harvard.

Still, I keep seeing commercials for those ever-popular destinations for people who don’t find hitting the slopes and then curling up in a snowflake sweater appealing–the Caribbean.  Specifically, resorts like Sandals and Beaches.  My son loves the latest commercial for Beaches because Cookie Monster is in it (although I’m not sure that he realizes that Cookie Monster might not be at Virginia Beach when we go in July).  But the Sandals commercials always amuse me because they make a vacation to that resort seem like the most epic romantic time ever imagined.

That’s the best example of a couple frolicking outside on an apparatus that’s not in a Cialis commercial.  And actually, it’s kind of appropriate that the ad agency used “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warrens (but not the version sung by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warrens) in the commercial because the movie it comes from is Dirty Dancing, which takes place at a resort in the Catskills and mentions several times the decline of such resorts as popular family destinations.  Indeed Sandals and Beaches have sort of become the new Catskills or Poconos and the commercials are the perfect evidence of that because that Sandals commercial is very much like a commercial from my youth:

Ah, beautiful Mount Airy Lodge, which was, by the time this commercial was airing in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a deteriorating shell of its former self.  What was once a popular getaway for couples in the 1960s and 1970s was by this time (at least according to Wikipedia) hemorrhaging money and wound up going into foreclosure in 1999 before being bought by Harrah’s and turned into a casino.  But this commercial aired before the great decline and if you were watching one of the syndicated channels in the New York metropolitan area (WPIX or WWOR) during the day, you wound up seeing the Mount Airy Lodge commercial at least a few times, enough that you knew the “All you have to bring is your love of everything” slogan by heart.

It does seem quite appealing, to be honest.  I’m sure every woman loves to lounge on a floating raft without getting wet at all because she obviously floated through the air on the raft and settled on top of it instead of falling off the raft five times, nearly sinking the raft twice, and nearly popping the raft because it scraped up against the rough side of the pool.  And that kiss?  Chlorine kisses have the best taste, don’t they ladies?

But let’s not dwell on the kiss because we have to jaunt around on the links with our perfect yuppie Eighties hair, which might get wet when we go to the pool again later, but check out the height and form on that dive!  Obviously, we’re trying to appeal to a young, vivacious crowd that will reinvigorate Poconos tourism rather than the plastic-furniture-in-the-house crowd we’re currently drawing, but in all my experience with hotel pools, I’ve never seen anyone do a full rotation off a diving board like that.  I mean, most hotel pools aren’t very deep and don’t have diving boards anymore, and if they do they’re used by jackasses trying to get maximum splash on a cannonball, someone doing the occasional jackknife, someone who thinks he has the form of Greg Louganis but actually looks like a shot duck when he dives.  Not at Mount Airy Lodge, where that’s Olympic-style form.

Actually, you seem to do a lot by the pool (that is, when you’re not golfing, playing tennis, hitting a volleyball, sharing a romantic hike, and … LOOK NANCY, HORSES!), including eat and … is that a bed in that one shot?  Did one of the rooms or suites at this place have a pool in it?  How awesome would that have been?  Better yet, how many porno movies were probably shot there?  I know that one version of these commercials featured a couple in a champagne glass tub (I was unable to find it), which I always wondered about because what if you slip and fall getting out of it?  Do you plummet to your death?

Anyway, I don’t think there’s much time to think of it because evenings at Mount Airy Lodge are obviously special because the ad agency decided to include footage from a senior prom in 1982 followed by a couple about to make sweet love by the fire, which really does look like one of the most romantic things in the world when you’re, oh, I don’t know, ten years old and waiting for Channel 11 to return to the G.I. Joe episode you’ve already seen five times but never, ever want to miss.  I never really desired to take a girlfriend to Mount Airy Lodge, but I do have to say that the woman in that last shot looks incredibly turned on by that peck on the nose.  That guy is so getting some.

Speaking of which, while the Poconos are located in New Jersey and Pennsylvania (Mount Airy Lodge itself was in PA), Long Island had its own definition of a romantic getaway, and that was the Commack Motor Inn  (WARNING:  YOU CANNOT UN-SEE THIS COMMERCIAL):

Anyone else feel like they need a shower and a penicillin shot after watching that?

I’m pretty sure that this commercial was shot in the 1980s but then again, this is Long Island we are talking about here, so it may have been shot last week.  I honestly never saw this ad until I found it on YouTube; my experience with the Commack Motor Inn was through radio commercials on WBAB, where they would advertise the appeal of themed rooms, hourly rates, and I’m pretty sure a drive-up window for easy payment.  Oh yes, this was the no-tell motel.

And you have to wonder if anyone featured in the commercial comes across this in their web surfing and is completely embarrassed.  Then again, maybe nobody had to shoot this specifically for the commercial?  Maybe the manager of the Commack Motor Inn gave a guy a stack of porno tapes and said, “Hey Frankie, just take a few shots from these and do a voice-over.”  The voice over, by the way, is the icing on the cake and I think it’s nice that the owners opened a branch in Fort Lauderdale for the homesick Long Islander.

But hey, the ads worked and the Commack Motor Inn gained such a notoriety that in 2006, WBLI named it one of the “Seven Wonders of Long Island” and unlike Mount Airy Lodge, is still open for all of those illicit affairs and post-prom getaways.

How romantic.


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