By Kristina Bostley
With summer vacation fast approaching, millions of daydreamers everywhere long for a break from reality in the form of a summertime paradise. Whether that place is a tropical island boasting an expansive beach or a quaint city rich with history, a summer vacation holds appeal for everyone out there, young and old alike. Some of our favorite TV show characters have left footprints in exotic locations to introduce us to the idea of vacationing there.
Las Vegas, Nevada: “Modern Family”
The adults on one of the highest-rated sitcoms currently on the air recently found themselves wandering around Sin City, each with a very specific purpose during the episode. Jay’s friend gives the gang a few rooms on the Excelsior Level of Mandalay Bay, an exclusive floor that comes with a dedicated butler. But Jay soon finds out there’s a floor above them, reserved for only the most exclusive clients, and makes it his mission to make it to the top. Meanwhile, Gloria tries to distract Jay from buying a giant stuffed dog by buying it and stashing it in one of the rooms until she can return it at the end of the trip. Claire and Phil split up, Claire finding herself in the casino trying to win money she had lost a previous time she gambled, while Phil tries to wiggle his way into a secret magician society by pulling off one of his favorite stunts. Cam and Mitchell also sneak away from each other, though Cam does it by way of trickery, making Mitchell believe they’re spending a relaxing day at the spa together while really Cam is out partying on the strip.
Celebrate like Jay Pritchett:
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is located on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada. Though there is no “Excelsior Level” where Jay received his complimentary rooms, there is an exclusive penthouse suite called the Hospitality Suite. The floor is not meant for sleeping; in lieu of beds, there’s a bar that can accommodate 40 people, seating areas that can accommodate 20, private elevators, and a breathtaking view of the Strip.
Hamptons, New York: “Sex and the City”
After Charlotte convinces her gal pals that it could be the last summer vacation they’d ever go on, the City women find themselves in the Hamptons, on Long Island in New York. Once they arrive at their rented house, the girls realize they may need to lower their expectations for their vacation. Charlotte decides to revisit her mid-20s, luring an unsuspecting young guy into the house with the promise that she’s only 27. Later, the girls all attend a bonfire, where Carrie taps into the skill she had as a twenty-something to pour the girls beer from a keg. After watching a girl toss her cookies on the beach, the gang decides to leave – sans Charlotte, who winds up paying for her tryst in quite a painful way. The next night, the girls attend a party thrown by Samantha’s ex-assistant, complete with big names that turn Samantha’s eyes green with envy. The twist comes when Carrie spots Mr. Big, her former flame, arm-in-arm with his new girlfriend. She escapes to the beach, where Miranda comes to Carrie’s rescue.
Party like Carrie Bradshaw:
Beach house rentals in the Hamptons can run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, especially at peak times during the summer and on weekends. Most houses have a minimum amount of nights to rent for, so the more people you can invite to come on vacation, the better.
Disney World, Orlando, Florida: “Full House”
In 1993, the Full House empties out and heads for the happiest place on earth: Disney World! Jesse and the Rippers, his band, have been invited to perform on stage in front of the castle. In the two-part episode, the family encountered all sorts of mishaps as they wandered around the park. Danny desperately tries to propose to Vicky, but botches it several times. DJ continuously thinks she’s seeing her boyfriend, Steve, dressed up in character, only to realize it isn’t him. Eventually, though, he surprises her at the hotel, their teenage love rendering them incapable of being apart. Stephanie and Michelle’s sibling rivalry comes to a head when Michelle jumps ahead of Stephanie in line and is subsequently crowned princess of the park for a day. Michelle runs away when she believes her family isn’t listening to her, but they are reunited at a tea party with some of the Disney characters. Eventually, Michelle and Stephanie make amends when Michelle offers to give her crown to Stephanie. When Jesse performs on stage, he dedicates the performance to his wife, Becky, for their anniversary. Meanwhile, Joey finds a friend in Snow White, and Danny finally manages to propose to Vicky using a fireworks display.
Vacation like the Tanners:
The Tanner clan stayed at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in Disney World. The rates for a standard room, with a view of the garden or pool area, start around $488. Being that the room only sleeps 5 (with a variety of double and queen bed options), the Tanners undoubtedly had to split up into more than one room. The priciest room, a 2-bedroom suite that sleeps up to 8 people, will cost vacationers $1,972 per night.
Ski resort: “Boy Meets World”
The “Boy Meets World” crew opted for chilly ski slopes rather than a tropical paradise for their senior class trip. But as soon as they arrive, Cory trips and twists his ankle. Determined not to keep anyone else from enjoying themselves, Cory urges Topanga, Shawn, and Angela to hit the slopes while he makes himself cozy in the lodge. It’s there that he meets Lauren, an employee with whom Cory becomes very friendly. The two spend the entire day together, and after the others come in from skiing and eventually head to bed, Cory and Lauren stay up all night together talking and looking out over the mountain. The next morning, Mr. Feeny finds the two asleep, and Shawn advises his best friend not to say anything to Topanga. Cory stays behind when his friends go back out to ski to tell Lauren that the night didn’t mean anything to him; he loves Topanga. Lauren later kisses Cory, and Cory feels compelled to admit to Topanga that he and Lauren had stayed up talking, but nothing had happened. However, as they were getting on the bus to leave, a note from Lauren slips out of Cory’s possession and is found by Topanga, ending the episode.
Ski like everyone (except Cory):
It’s never explicitly stated where Mr. Feeny takes his class to go skiing. Being that “Boy Meets World” takes place in Philadelphia, and the school trip was by bus, it can be assumed that the ski resort is somewhere in the Northeast US. According to a Newsweek report, the top 10 skiing resorts in the northeast are: Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in the Catskills, NY; Bretton Woods Ski Resort in Carroll, NH; Jiminy Peak in Hancock, MA; Killington Ski Resort in Killington, VT; Loon Mountain Ski Resort in Lincoln, NH; Smuggler’s Notch near Jeffersonville, VT; Stowe Mountain Resort in Lamoille County, VT; Stratton Mountain Resort in South Londonderry, VT; Sunday River in Newry, ME; and Whiteface Mountain, located in the Adirondack Mountains in NY.
London, England: “Friends”
The two-part season 4 finale of “Friends” is also one of the most memorable. Ross, Monica, Chandler, and Joey head to London to celebrate the wedding of Ross and Emily. Rachel decides not to attend and stays home with Phoebe, who’s too pregnant to fly at the time. Things start to fall apart when Chandler becomes annoyed with Joey’s antics when they go sightseeing, and when Ross and Emily find out the site they were supposed to use for their wedding will be demolished. Rachel soon decides to attend the wedding after all, to tell Ross she’s still in love with him. In the second part, all the parents meet each other in London, but tensions rise when Ross’ parents balk at the high cost of the wedding. When Chandler’s toast doesn’t go over well, and Monica is mistaken for Ross’ mother, they console each other and begin a relationship that is more than just friendly. Rachel shows up for the wedding, but decides against telling Ross she’s in love with him. In the last few minutes of the show, when Ross and Emily are exchanging their vows, he accidentally transposes Emily’s name with Rachel’s. Ross and Emily still exchange vows, but the damage has already been done.
Vow to do something different like Ross:
London is rich in history and culture, which makes it the perfect place for tourists to wander around. A very popular attraction is Buckingham Palace, where British royalty resides. Timed appropriately, tourists can watched the Changing of the Guard, which takes place every day during the summer and every other day during the winter. Music fans can visit Abbey Road, where the Beatles famously recorded their albums and took the picture for the cover of their final album, appropriately titled “Abbey Road.” Those interested in history can visit the Tower of London, and those who want a view of the beautiful city can hop on board the London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel with views unlike any other.
“Everybody Loves Raymond” – Italy
The Barone family returned to its roots in the two-part episode that kick-started season 5. Marie shocks the family by telling them she’s saved up money and wants to treat the family to a two-week vacation in Italy. Ray catches a cold on the plane, and as a result, he spends the first half of his vacation complaining about being on vacation. The rest of the family leave him behind and tour Italy and everything it has to offer. Robert, especially, enjoys his vacation, as he meets a beautiful girl named Stefania and spends the majority of the vacation trying to date her while convincing her disapproving father that he’s worthy of a relationship with her. By the middle of the trip, Ray’s mood turns around when two young boys engage him in a game of soccer on the street. He begins to thoroughly enjoy Italy, even bringing Deborah flowers. The two begin to go on excursions around the town, where he inadvertently injures Debra several times in his excitement about the trip. The trip (and the episode) eventually comes to an end when the Barones leave Rome, bringing home wonderful memories.
Journey like the Barones
The scenes for the Italy episodes of “Everybody Loves Raymond” were filmed in Anguillara Sabazia, Italy. The tourist town is about 15-20 miles northwest of Rome, on Lake Bracciano and near Lake Martignano, both of which have become part of a Regional Park. There are several hotels and bed & breakfasts available for travelers to spend their nights in, including Trip Advisor’s #1 rated hotel, Hotel Massimino, which offers rooms for just over $100 per night. While in Rome, visit some of the most famous historic sites, including the Colosseum, the Vatican Museum, and St. Peter’s Basilica.