Some smells just bring back the memories. Like cheap motel soap. Can you smell it in your head right now? I can. Well, I can also smell it because it’s right here on my desk. Hehe.
But seriously, can you imagine the smell of this soap? It’s the same as the soap from the Holiday Inn we used to go to in Ocean City and the soap from the roadside motels on every roadtrip I can remember.
And it’s the smell of the soap at the Shadowbrook Resort in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania. If you go to that link, I’m guessing you’ll think it looks like a nice resort. And I must say, I’m super impressed with how nicely they translated the reality for the website.
Now, remember, I haven’t been to this place since the mid-1970’s. But I remember it like it was yesterday.
There was a bowling alley and an ice cream parlor on the grounds. Right near our room. And my brother, sister, and I went to those places WITHOUT PARENTS. I’m not kidding.
I remember what that felt like. The sheer independence of it all. My brother (the oldest) carried the money. I was nervous, but would never have admitted it. It was crazy. Just us kids. On our own. It was so bold. So courageous. Daring.
I know now that the both the ice cream shop and the bowling alley could be seen from our room. My parents watched us go. I know now that the place was really small and secure. That it wasn’t the huge worldly outing that I thought it was. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. It was awesome.
My parents made everything so fun for us. They turned an inexpensive vacation into a lifelong memory. They made the most average meals seem like The French Laundry.
I can only hope that Andrew and I are giving our kids experiences to remember. And that one day, when they open a plain motel bar of soap, they too will travel back in time.