Being Better at it all at Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Waterfall hike at Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego, CaliforniaDating 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.

Athena at Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego

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.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar

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.
Explorer's Club at Fairmont Grand Del Mar

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.
The spa at Fairmont Grand Del Mar

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.
Adult pool at Fairmont Grand Del Mar

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.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar

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.
Cocktails at Addison, Fairmont Grand Del Mar

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.

25 thoughts on “Being Better at it all at Fairmont Grand Del Mar

    • Sometimes it’s hard to find the time or means to have a break, but I try my best to balance it all. I think most parents are just doing the best they can with what they have. It’s not easy.

      I hope you’re having a great week filled with little moments for yourself 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. My observation and experience is that parents do the best they can with what they know and have. I’m having a nice evening with my sweet husband (we’re only together 12 years, so newly-weds, lol!) before hunkering down for the final presidential debate. Legoland looks like waayyyy more fun, lol! 😉 xoM


        • I haven’t been paying much attention to the debate since I can’t vote in the US, but I’ve never been much into politics even in Canada.

          Today it was a hot one so we spent most of the day at the pool. Relaxing now before dinner.


          Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ray! I’ve always been a hopeful person and I believe in myself but sometimes it hard to see all the good that’s to come. I’m still smiling 🙂

      I hope you’re having a great week. Loving following along with your amazing images.


  1. As a single mum myself and author of a survival guide for single mums I know only too well how important it is to take time out for me time – or in this case: us time. I am delighted to hear that you have found someone lovely to share life’s adventures with and I wish you all the best/


    • Sometimes I look at the excessive costs for childcare when I vacation and I opt to avoid it, but it’s worth every penny. I’m so much better equipped to take care of Athena and myself when I have some time alone and with other adults.

      How is your day going? How are you? Your hubby? Any travel plans coming up?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, there are big changes happening over here on my end of the world. My husband and I are expecting a baby boy in November. So travels have been temporarily halted for me. But I hope to do some fun small things while I am off work on maternity leave. But regardless we are thrilled for the new adventure whether we are traveling near or far.


          • We do have a name but we are trying to keep it a secret until we can see his little face. The due date is actually 12/1 technically but I am hopeful for a week or two early. lol. We are very excited. I am really hopeful we will be able to take him on some short trips while we have some time off together. My Mom and Aunt are anxious to take him to Disney of course. And the in-laws are up in Oregon so we will take him up there to introduce him to everyone.


          • I totally understand the secret name 😉

            Athena was only two days old when I took her on her first international trip. It’s all possible with a little bit of patience and a lot of planning.

            Is your family in California?

            Liked by 1 person

          • My family is all local to me for the most part. A few stragglers around the country and in Phoenix. His family are in Southern Oregon and recently Phoenix.

            Two days! Good on you! You must have been feeling great.


  2. I am VERY proud of you! I know many ladies who would feel guilty about doing just what you did, and I will never understand why. Athena had an adventure she will remember forever with a new friend. Kids need time away from parents as well.

    You got to be an adult. Its something we need to do, and you deserve it! I am so glad your adulting was just what the doctor ordered! (Mine always involved no showers, and a long tough hike in the woods.

    Both you and Athena will enjoy Legoland more because of today!


  3. Glad you got to take a break! I’ve never been to a spa but it’s something I’d love to do. I’m thinking of booking myself a few small treats — a massage, a pedicure — as I’ve been so busy with work and life recently. Time to unwind and de-stress is a must!

    I’m curious: does your new relationship mean that you’ll press pause on the round-the-world trip you were planning? Maybe you haven’t decided, or you don’t want to share it publicly. But it did sound incredibly exciting! 🙂


  4. Thank you for sharing. Your strength and positive outlook on life is so refreshing. The world is in dire need of strong women such as yourself, Leslie. Hang in there, and keep writing. You give hope to those of us who need it most.


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