Dating and transitioning to something serious with a four year old in tow while you’re still married (only because of legal issues) and writing publicly about your life isn’t easy. Even typing it makes me laugh. I feel like it’s a screenplay for a horrible chick flick. But it’s my life and I’m trying to find the balance. Athena’s dad has been out of the country for the last month, leaving me with Athena full-time. I love our time together and I appreciate that so many mothers never get this opportunity but 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is draining. I have a shorter fuse and it trickles into all aspects of my life. My boyfriend, another bizarre thing to say and type, has been more than accommodating. I’m constantly in shock with his kindness and understanding, especially for someone without children of his own. Visiting Fairmont Grand Del Mar was my way of balancing the insanity in my life right now. With nanny services, the Explorer’s Club, a pool, a spa, and 5-star dining, we could spend time with Athena and still have time for ourselves. We spent an entire afternoon in the pool and a full day at Legoland but we took one full day for ourselves and it was magical. Thank you, Fairmont Grand Del Mar! You’re a life saver.
Child care can be arranged through the Concierge at Fairmont Grand Del Mar. We arranged a nanny for the entire day. Having child-free time is an important part of having a healthy family balance. Athena is an amazing child but I’m better equipped to take care of her when I have some time to myself.
Our anti-agenda for the day was to spend the afternoon at the spa and the adult-only pool while Athena played with the babysitter. If that wasn’t special enough, we were dining at the award-winning Addison restaurant in the evening. Athena was excited to have a babysitter at her side and the exciting array of activities of the Explorer’s Club at her fingertips. We were excited to have a peaceful, relaxing afternoon together.
While she was with the nanny, they visited the Explorer’s Club. It’s filled with visual media, creative outlets, and environmental endeavors. With the latest gaming systems like Nintendo, Wii, Xbox, and PlayStation 3, traditional games like board games, foosball, ping-pong, and air hockey, movies, arts and crafts, and a variety of exciting activities both indoors and out, the Explorer’s Club entertained Athena while the nanny was at her side for guidance and we were off on an adventure of relaxation of our own.
We were off for a couple’s massage at the exceptional five-star spa. It’s a huge facility with extensive his and her locker rooms, including sauna, steam, fireplaces, and indoor/outdoor relaxation areas. We arrived 30 minutes before our treatment to take advantage of the peacefulness of one of only 30 Forbes 5-Star spas in the nation.
I slipped into the robe and took the time to shower before my massage. I shaved my legs, washed my hair, and let the hot water run a little longer while I soaked it up. Usually, Athena jumps in the shower with me and I have to spend half the time standing out of the water freezing while I help her get the soap out of her hair. I rarely shave my legs because of the endless questions that come about being a woman and I never get to just stand there while the water runs over me. When did getting in the shower become such a special treat? Oh yeah; when I became a mother.
I met Cord in the couple’s room and our 60-minute massage began. The masseuses were smooth, focused, and well-trained, but that’s only part of an exceptional massage. The treatment room was quiet with the ideal music choices and levels, comfortable tables, and just the right room temperature. The spa takes wellness seriously and our environment and masseuses were reflective of that.
Sipping cocktails while relaxing in lounge chairs around the adult-only quiet pool followed our treatment. We laid on the same chair and talked about what’s to come in our day and our future.
Not surprisingly, since I don’t often get to shower on my own, even having the time to get ready for a dinner is another treat. Athena was still out enjoying her day with the nanny while we prepared for our fine dining experience. Addison restaurant has been awarded the Forbes 5-Stars – a rating harder to come by for restaurants than hotels – and I wanted to dress up, wear make-up, and style my hair for our special date night.
We were driven over in the hotel’s private BMW SUV and arrived early for pre-dinner drinks. I messaged the nanny to check in but I tried to stay in the moment and enjoy the freedom to have adult conversation.
With a top chef and exquisite ingredients in fresh and unusual combinations, Addison delivers contemporary French cuisine highlighted by seasonal California ingredients. Chef William Bradley holds the title of Grand Chef from Relais & Châteaux, one of only 160 such chefs in the world and the only one in San Diego, and does an incomparable job. The room is gorgeous, the service perfect, and the wine list is deep with excellent by-the-course parings available. Our eleven-course tasting menu had been customized to accommodate my dislike for seafood. Each tasting focused on an ingredient’s core flavors, showcasing everything at its best. I can’t think of a meal that topped this one in flavor, appearance, or pairings. My appetizer was Hibiscus Beets with wild berries and aged balsamic and was exquisite. Kobe Beef Short Ribs with potato darphin, shallott confit, and sauce bordelaise was another sensation.
It was walking distance to return to the hotel and the moon-lit evening was lovely but we still called for the chauffeur. After 11 courses, it seemed like the only logical choice. We snuggled up in the back of the car and I focused back tears of happiness. Not everyone has the opportunity to have a day like we did. Not every single mother has the chance to get away. Some days I feel like I’m at the end of my rope. I struggle with staying calm and knowing the right thing to say or do to diffuse a difficult situation. Our day at Fairmont centered me. It reminded me of what it feels like to be in love again. I woke up the next morning feeling ready to take on the world… or at least Miniland at Legoland.
Sometimes being better at it all takes help.