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  • Steph

Pinehurst Resort: Family Vacation Itinerary (Part II)

Updated: Jun 18, 2019

Festive "Happy" sign en route to the hot tub

S: Our Sunday began the same way Saturday had ended. Only this time, Rory and I joined the hot tub party. I’m the first to admit that I am NOT a 'hot tub gal.' The notion of being dry and comfortable, then wet and hot, and then back to wet and now cold, is not something that excites me. BUT for the sake of vaca and spending QT with the rest of the fam, I partook in the early Sunday morning hot tub sesh. I must say, it was quite delightful. We were the only ones in the massive outdoor space and the kids had a blast. Following our 'relaxing' escapade we hit up the hotel lobby Bistro for a quick bite (and hot, unlimited refills of my fav caffeinated beverage!) as Rory’s routinely scheduled morning nap was rapidly approaching. From experience, we live and die by naps because an irritable, overstimulated, exhausted 1-year old is NOT something you want to mess with. So naps and showers were next on the agenda.

12:00 PM- Lunch @ Pinehurst Brewery

R: With Rory rested and the rest of us clean, we took off for lunch. For the first and only time during this quick getaway, we ventured off the Pinehurst property and made our way towards Pinehurst Brewery. We walked with the stroller in a light drizzle, but it was hard to complain after all the sun the day before.

Pinehurst Brewery was simply awesome. It had a pub-like feel to it and an appealing array of items on the menu to suit each of our needs. Live music was being performed by a local, young man and countless TV’s were broadcasting football, golf, and more. We took our seats right in the middle of the action and all enjoyed a stellar meal. It was the perfect setting for our restless clan. I got to take Rory and the girls over to dance to the music anytime sitting down got old for them (which was about every 90 seconds). When they actually did sit still, I kept my eye on pregame football. There was also ANOTHER Christmas tree for Rory to dominate.

This was my best meal at Pinehurst. It’s always hard to find the perfect dining experience when you’re out with kids, but this delivered on all levels: overall atmosphere, service, and meal satisfaction. And hey, for all of you beer drinkers out there, I would definitely sample one of their 'beer flights' from their crafted brews made on-site. It certainly would top off the experience!

2:00 PM - Afternoon explorations

S: From there, it was time to caffeinate. As you may have sensed a pattern, coffee is the sweet elixir that runs through my veins and with a full afternoon and evening ahead of us (with 3-kids), I would need a strong beverage. Like the directionally challenged people we are, we wandered aimlessly (still in the cold drizzle) down back alleys and around in circles until finally stumbling upon our desired destination: The Roast Office, an old post office converted into a coffee shop that also doubles as a bookstore. As a coffee snob, I would highly recommend this super cute spot. It is also worth noting that they offer 'sugar free dark chocolate flavor shots.' This my friends is a GOLDEN find. Coffee and chocolate mixed together is always divine. It’s the rare unicorn of coffee flavor shots. So when a coffee shop offers this, you know it’s legit and you jump on it.

R: The Roast Office was located in The Village of Pinehurst where you will find an assortment of gift shops, boutiques, and additional dining options. Though we didn’t explore too much of it (remember it was drizzling, not to mention, it was just THREE days after Christmas so 'shopping' was never going to be a part of this itinerary) it was cute, quaint, and a place we’d like to check out in further detail, minus kids. Needless to say, I did stumble upon the 'Old Golf Shop,' an antique golf store specializing in artifacts, prints, clubs, balls, and much more. If you’re a fan of golf, do yourself a favor and check it out.

Okay, so we didn’t want to spend our time aimlessly wandering the streets of Pinehurst without any clear purpose (or 3-kids), but we did want to purchase some sort of Pinehurst souvenir. So from there we hoofed it back to the clubhouse to check out the pro shop. On the way, we stopped and let the girls run around the croquet court and we took pictures in front of one of the famous Rolex clocks. It was there I noticed how deserted the practice green was.

Taking advantage of the quiet scene, the girls and I gave Thistle Dhu another shot. Considering the weather and the lack of golfers practicing their stroke, this was the perfect time for us to take our time, have some fun, and work on our putting. The girls finally started to get the idea of aiming and finished most of the holes. Avi even made a 2 on one hole! We finished all 18 holes this time and rejoined Stephanie and Rory in the pro shop upon our completion.

S: Full disclosure. I love shopping. I love 'treats.' While Ryan and the girls had been practicing their golf game, I patiently waited in the pro shop with Rory while I browsed the very large selection of items I envisioned in my closet. This pro shop was no joke. It was as big as your standard JCrew filled with colorful, high-quality active wear. We spent what seemed like an hour in there and after collecting and comparing our items (and the kids causing mayhem and destroying the stuffed animal display), we managed to escape with a new Christmas ornament, T-shirt and hat for Rory, teddy bears for the girls (because God knows we needed MORE stuffed animals), and small golf accessories for Ryan. As much as it pained me not to return home with the most beautiful, pink Pinehurst embroidered pullover, it was ridiculously overpriced and I knew that this was not our last fam vaca to Pinehurst. Following food, coffee, lots of walking, golf, and shopping, a 'rest' was much needed. And by a rest, I mean: shoes off, eyes closed, and laying down for Mum, Dad, and little Rory boy.

R: With Rory napping, I had to get the girls out of the hotel room. We stumbled into the lobby just in time for 'tea and cookies' a daily event enjoyed by all Pinehurst guests. From there, we headed to the The Ryder Cup Lounge and enjoyed Shirley Temples in over-sized leather chairs as I tuned into some football. Unusual for the girls, they didn’t make a comment about what was on TV because they were both so desperately trying to fish the cherry out of their drinks.

As we continued to wait, with mocktails in hand, we made our way to the concierge desk and inquired about local dining suggestions. Without hesitation, The Tavern located at the Holly Inn was recommended. When I asked how long the walk was she waved me off and said she’d be happy to call a shuttle. Why we hadn’t thought of the shuttle before then, I’ll never know. When Steph and Rory joined us in the lobby, the shuttle was called and moments later arrived to transport our tired legs to dinner.

5:30 PM - Dinner at The Tavern

S: Had I known that the free shuttle service who be hands-down the most entertaining and fulfilling aspect of the trip, we would’ve been riding that bus around town all day long. Rory LOVED the shuttle. I mean, he LOVED it. I’m not sure if it was because he was sitting on Ryan’s lap, unrestrained, or because all of the bright lights that decorated the streets, but he was on cloud 9.

This 90-second shuttle ride would go down as the moment in Rory’s toddler life that Ryan and I would first hear his raspy laugh.

His eyes wide and lit up with pure, genuine happiness. From door to door he giggled, ooooed and ahhhhed. It was magic.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end and after a quick, yet memorable ride we reached our destination. When you step into the Holly Inn you immediately notice the timeless decor, a charming hotel decorated with classic pieces from the early 1900s. The antique bar and restaurant was welcoming and a cozy spot to cap off our time at Pinehurst.

Pinehurst Summarized-

R: I think it’s fair to say that each and every Graves would give Pinehurst Resort an A+. The girls’ favorite part was going to the hot tub. Steph and I are in agreement that Rory’s favorite part was riding in the shuttle. Stephanie’s favorite part was ‘walking around in the glorious sunshine, enjoying the scenery with the family.’

Hard to disagree. On our last walk back to the hotel from the clubhouse, we all stopped and admired a beautiful home. Adalyn and Rory were riding in the stroller and Avi was holding my hand. I turned to her and asked what she thought of Pinehurst.

She threw her arms up in delight as if to celebrate and yelled, ‘I want to live here!’ I laughed and thought to myself, I do too.

The best part for me was later that night. I was alone and thinking about what Avi had said. Then it hit me: we do live here. We’re an hour and change away from one of the greatest golf resorts in the world. We were only here 48 hours and we created memories that will last a lifetime. Like Payne Stewart all those years ago, we created our own kind of history. The best part? This was only the very beginning.

Thank you, Pinehurst. We’ll see you again soon.

XO, The Graves fam

Overall Experience: