A Grand Time

Pregame while everyone was still speaking in Tuscaloosa

Pregame while everyone was still speaking in Tuscaloosa

Following what was a less than desirable trip to my alma mater, John, Miles, and I headed south for the Southern Public Relations Federation annual conference at the exquisite Grand Hotel Point Clear Resort and Spa, just outside of picturesque Fairhope, Alabama.

The resort is like a step back in time, but with all of the modern-day amenities you can imagine, including the luxurious spa. While I enjoyed great professional development sessions with some of the best public relations minds in the southeast, my boys explored the Grand from top to bottom. They swam in the huge pool, complete with waterslide, waterfall, and several water features, and rented bicycles (of which the first hour was free) to explore the lush property. From feeding the ducks and participating in the daily cannon firing to canoeing on Mobile Bay, the Grand is an ideal destination for the whole family.

Canoeing on Mobile Bay

Canoeing on Mobile Bay

John made an appearance in the spa during our stay, a perfect reward for chasing a four-year-old around the expansive property for four days. While his massage was a highlight, he also enjoyed spending time in the saunas, whirlpool, and quiet room. This was not our first visit to the Grand, and it definitely won’t be our last. Our tradition is to enjoy the scrumptious breakfast in The Dining Room before we depart, and this year was no exception.

I got in a great training run Tuesday morning, that started out as a quick three miles and turned in to a delightful five miler, that could have been more had I not had to get to my meeting. I ran around the resort for the first mile and some change, before heading out to The Eastern Shore Trail. The trail is 24-miles long and is a picturesque pathway, meandering past gorgeous bayside homes and businesses. There were cyclists, dogwalkers, stroller-pushers, speedwalkers, and more exploring the trail and enjoying the amazing fall weather that we were all blessed with that morning.

Eastern Shore Trail Marker

The Eastern Shore Trail Marker

After four delightful days at the Grand, we headed for the white sand beaches of Destin, Florida, where we did all of the things you are required to do while at the beach: sunshine, swimming, seafood, and shopping. My favorite thing about this trip was sipping coffee on the balcony of our condo each morning while John was on his run and Miles was still sleeping. I watched dolphins playing in the harbor as the deep-sea fishermen began their voyages and witnessed an array of birds scooping up fish skimming the surface of the expansive water. I made the super bright decision Thursday to go for a three-mile afternoon training run in the hot Florida sun, and while I did complete the run, it was a miserable experience. We had spent the morning at the beach and even though I applied sunscreen before leaving the condo, I felt as thought I was baking from the inside out with each step.

Morning harbor view from the balcony

Morning harbor view from the balcony

Sure, I could have gotten up early to run, but I just wasn’t willing to give up my mornings on the balcony with steamy, hot coffee and an amazing view.

We made it home today, to what feels like coming full circle, as we arrived just in time to watch our teams hit the gridiron once again. Thankfully, this time they weren’t playing each other.

Beachin' with my boys

Beachin’ with my boys

 

 

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