We’ve been on quite a few trips since Jack was born, but earlier this week we went on our first solo trip as a family of three (we have always traveled with either my parents or Jeff’s mom before this). Jeff and I spent the weekend at The Grand Hotel in Fairhope last September (you can read about that trip here), and we were excited to bring Jack with us this time.
We had reservations for Monday and Tuesday, but headed down a day early and stayed in nearby Daphne for the night on Sunday. We took our time making the trip (a must when you’re traveling with a toddler) and went to Dauphin Island to do a little sightseeing on Sunday afternoon. Jack loved the aquarium there, and it was nice to let him run around after being in the car for so long.
When we left Dauphin Island, we stopped for dinner at Felix’s Fish Camp in Mobile and then headed to Daphne, where we stayed at Hilton Garden Inn for the night. I kept Jack entertained with a neat little felt train set I found in the Target dollar spot. I love bringing a couple new toys on a trip like this because he’s always interested in something new for at least a few days, and this little play set all fit into a small zipper bag and was easy to pack.
When we vacation, we like to not really have a schedule to stick to and we definitely don’t want to set any alarms. When we got up Monday morning, we headed into Fairhope for breakfast at Warehouse Bakery and Donuts. We found this little cafe when we stayed there last fall and it was so good that we had it on our list as a must-visit place for this trip. Because it was Memorial Day, the place was packed. Jack was being a little fussy due to the crowd and being stuck in a high chair, so I completely forgot to get pictures, but if you ever go make sure to try their gravy biscuit. It’s the best.
After breakfast, we headed to Fairhope Pier to do some sightseeing before checking in at The Grand. Jack loved looking at the water from the pier. He loves water from a distance, but isn’t too sure about getting in right now, which is totally fine with me at this age (I much prefer that to a daredevil kid).
We decided to go ahead and see if our room was ready early, and thankfully it was! We got to check in right away. We stayed in the Spa building for this trip (the same building Jeff and I were in last time). It’s very nice and the location on the property is great because it’s close to the pool and the beach. Our room had a pretty view of the pond on the property, and Jack loved sitting on the balcony and watching the ducks.
Jeff and I were both excited to take Jack to the awesome pool area, so we immediately changed into our swimsuits and headed down there. Jack was a little hesitant at first, but after getting used to the water and the crowds, he ended up having a great time. He especially loved playing in the splash pad area.
For dinner that night, we went to Big Daddy’s Grill, which is a little local place tucked away on Fish River. The atmosphere is great for kids – it’s really casual and they have lots of outdoor dining tables with a sand pit nearby for kids to play in. They also had live music the night we were there, which was nice.
On Tuesday, we went to Julwin’s for breakfast. Jeff found it online and it had great reviews. It was a great little traditional breakfast spot with really good prices. After breakfast, we walked around the property at The Grand. The hotel property is absolutely beautiful. They have a games area with a putting green, corn hole, horseshoes, and ping pong. Jack loved the putting green.
Jack fell asleep in his stroller at the end of our walk and took an epic nap (his first one of the entire trip). While he slept, Jeff went down to the golf course for a little while.
When Jack woke up and had a snack (of course), we went back to the pool. He warmed up a little faster this time, but his favorite area was still the splash pad instead of the actual pool.
For dinner, we went to a little restaurant called Fish River Grill. Jeff got their gumbo and said it was awesome. We also got an appetizer of “pistols” which are seafood and sauce stuffed rolls that are deep fried. They were really good and I’ll be attempting to come up with a copycat recipe soon. After dinner, we took another little walk around the hotel grounds before heading in for the night.
There’s something about The Grand that is just so relaxing, and we enjoyed having a few days to just be together and not have to follow a schedule. It was the perfect way to kick off summer.
We’re hoping we can make this trip a family tradition, because we just love the family-friendly, laid-back atmosphere of Fairhope. Where’s your favorite family vacation spot? Let me know in the comments!