Fall Getaways: Custom Weekends: Spend Some Quality Time “Together”

I did feel a slight pang of guilt as the freshening wind shot my sail-kayak through the marina’s mouth and past my paddle-bound wife and older son. But alas, a few minutes of warming sun and enveloping spray wiped my conscience clean — after all, we were still together, in the broad geographical sense.

The guilt, however brief, arose because the few steps we’d walked from our room to the river beach was really the first chunk of time I’d spent with any members of my family since we’d arrived at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay. The resort, five minutes from downtown Cambridge on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, was proving to be both an enabler and a sly conspirator in our quest for a family getaway.

My younger boy, who’s 10, had headed out early that morning to Camp Hyatt at Pirate’s Cove, a supervised but fairly free-form all-day activity session that let him and his fellow campers flit from game room to outdoor pool to tennis court. Not long after him out the door was the 15-year-old, to take his morning run along the shell-strewn river trail. My wife then vanished into the calming temple of the property’s Stillwater Spa for a classic Swedish massage.

This left me and our golden retriever arching our eyebrows at one another. I had no choice but to leash her up, head on out through the lobby, and pick up the nature trail that wends through the grounds, coming within a few yards of a surprisingly unspooked doe. It was all breeze and peace in this mini-­refuge — but I kept wondering what everyone else was up to. We did eventually all reconnect over dinner in the high-ceilinged Water’s Edge Grill, where we enjoyed finely wrought Continental dishes and a tapas-like small-plates dessert menu. We then moved outside to the courtyard’s blazing two-story stone fireplace, where families from all over the resort gathered to make s’mores and be together, again.