Last month while the older three children were at camp, Joe and I took advantage of a quieter house with an anniversary trip to The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Ala. A member of the Historic Hotels of America, The Grand has been named a Top 125 Golf Resort by Conde Nast and a Top 500 hotel in the world by Travel & Leisure.
The Grand oozes southern charm. While Joe checked into our room, 6-year-old Emma and I were eager to slip through the breezeway to take in the view.
Joe treated me to a luxurious afternoon at The Grand's European spa, where I felt completely pampered. It was easier to leave the spa when going back to reality meant meeting Joe and Emma at the pool waterfall.
Emma loved playing in the fountain and surprised me by going down the big water slide without hesitation.
And hammocks offer a leisurely spot to take a nap.
Around since 1847, traditions abound at The Grand. We arrived just in time to hear the thunder of a base drum start in the lobby as a procession wound its way through the grounds gathering guests for an afternoon ritual.
Weather permitting, each afternoon this cannon is fired around 4 o'clock. A historian is available to share tales of The Grand and the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay.
A charming tradition I was eager to experience was afternoon tea in the lobby. Each afternoon at 3, guests converge here to enjoy tea and cookies. This tradition began years ago when guests summered at The Grand. Convening guests was important for coordinating meal times in the dining room. Guests love the simple indulgence, so the tradition continues today.
Joe and Emma took tea while I was at the spa. Emma scampered about the lobby while Joe stood in line until Joe heard a deep chuckle and a man behind him bellowed, "Well, hello there. Who do we have here?" Wanting to touch base with Joe, Emma had mistakenly hugged the legs of a stranger! I asked Joe if he had to fight to get Emma back, but he assured me all was resolved when he challenged the other daddy to a series of lawn games. Above, Emma takes a turn at croquet. Thankfully, her daddy dominates at croquet, horse shoes, putting and the like.
I have been eager to return to The Grand since my high school Girl Scout Troop culminated a weekend trip to Mobile with Sunday brunch in The Grand Dining Room. Most of us teenagers had never seen such fine food. One of my friends put a pretty morsel on her plate, unsure what it was. We almost lost our composure when she put the delicacy in her mouth and realized she had just eaten a shaped pat of butter.
We enjoyed brunch during our stay. I enjoyed the locally harvested food and admired the artistry of carved melons that dotted each food station.
Hotel restaurants offer tantalizing menus. For an intimate dining experience, guests can reserve a spot in The Secret Garden for a romantic dinner.
There is more to come, so meet me on the shore of the Mobile Bay for my next post!
"Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen." ~ Benjamin Disraeli