Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Summer Goes Out with a BANG!

We opted out of an "official" vacation this  year.  We have some other priorities right not, not that we are doing as well with meeting those as I'd like - dang perfectionist me and my goal list - and we did have a few fun outings, like a day at Lake Wedowee where we took out a boat offered to us for the day by a customer of Cory's and spent a week at Grandma Camp, but I still wanted to end the summer with something extra special for the boys.

And Opportunity presented itself!

Cory had a work event this week that required him to arrive early for setup over the weekend at The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, AL and Gracie Collins who was handling the event and all the arrangements suggested I come down and bring the boys.  She had such wonderful memories as a little girl of visiting the hotel and thought the boys would enjoy it.  WOW she was right, and was it GRAND.  The history of the hotel is quite amazing having been built in 1847.  There is even a daily military salute and cannon firing into Mobile Bay (minus the cannonball), it starts with a drummer and flag bearer who circle the pool and gather children like the pied piper, following them along the promenade at the bay beach to the cannon where a short demonstration and history lesson concludes with the firing of a powder charge.  And which fascianted the boys.

And then there was the pool...

oh the pool.  With a waterfall rock, splash pool, kiddie hot tub, tornado slide (sadly they are not quite 48" tall to ride it yet), a playground and bay beach access.  And my kids learned how to swim this summer - JACKPOT!

The boys did spend a few minutes on the sand - access right there at the pool which was fun...

But Jack spent most of his time back and forth to the kiddie hot tub on the opposite side of the waterfall rock where he could corner whatever poor soul was available to talk their ear off.  I'm sure there are plenty of guests returning home this week being that much more educated about Ninjago and the happenings of LegoWorld.  I even got a few reports of "there were some big kids and they were splashing and I told them to knock it off" which gives me some confidence that one will be able to take care of himself if the bully days ever hit our household.  Duke is all brawn, good luck bully, trust me on that one.

Duke was happy to do whatever.  They  both played all day together and found friends to play with - even negotiating some trades for water pistols that some co-workers kindly purchased for me for some big time Nerf water shooters and I actually got to sit poolside and read a book - whoa - Follett's "World Without End", I just can't do easy.  And of course, I did swim with them, and partake in Jack's favorite location to work out some kinks in my back from walking with a temporary arch support last week which will probably be permanent after the podiatrist follow up this week, but I digress.

After 8 hours or so, I figured they were ready to give it up and head back for dinner, but no.  Turns out on Saturday nights they show a movie on a projector screen poolside...and so we ate at the grill and returned to the water for a twilight viewing of Wall-E.  With the sun dropping in the west on the bay and the pool facing that direction, the lighting was just incredible and peaceful, and oh so wonderful to end our summer.

I find it hilarious that Jack finds it necessary to stand on something in nearly every picture I took at the resort outside the pool so he could stoop over Duke...like he's all Big Brother or something!

Daddy was able to join us near the end Saturday and for our meals which was a blessing because I'm married to this...yea, eat your heart out skinny, plastic surgery, swimsuit ready momma bodies with your pale paunchy hubbies that work at a desk all day!

But honestly, I have never had such a marvelous time with my kids. There was not one - NOT ONE - moment of arguing or fighting, I had to do a bit of "hands behind the back, bubbles in the mouth" moments when we were checking in after our 4 hour drive down and a few "just walk please, don't stomp" but for the most part, they were so well behaved.  Even got a few nice compliments during breakfast in the Grand Hotel Restaurant from other guests at how sweet they were - always a blessing to a mom!

I hope we find a time to return soon, we didn't visit the town of Fairhope but I could tell driving down Section Street my mother would LOVE it with all the little shops and restaurants.  So maybe one day another trip will be in order when the boys are a bit older for "outside the resort" activities.

But for now, I'll take a day poolside with no worries, because that was just what we needed.

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