As a modern mom with two kids, the question I dread every Saturday morning is, “where are we going today?” So last summer when a good friend asked me to join her family for the day at the Grist Mill Pool & Tennis Club, I jumped at the opportunity. As a season member, she’s allowed a handful of guests, and on that fine summer’s day my brood soaked up the benefits of her membership.
Upon entering, I was immediately surprised by the sheer size. The sweeping outdoor space has three swimming pools and surrounding lounge areas, a covered picnic area, a playground and clay tennis courts. The large main pool (Olympic size, no less) was full of action. There’s a large enclosed splash area for babies and toddlers, and a kiddie pool that’s three feet high for mini swimmers in training. My kids, four and six, jumped in the learning pool and seemingly grew fins immediately.
For me, I lounged poolside with my friend as we watched our kids frolic. Once noon hit, we walked over to the Luxury Box’s adjoining outdoor window and ordered sandwiches and beers with limes in them. Already adapting to the aquatic life, I convinced my kids that if they had a hot dog each, we’d stay another hour. But then something happened. The hours just kept going by, and my kids didn’t want to leave. And neither did I. It was one of those rare family activities that each of us enjoyed.
A birthday party was happening in a covered area. Music was playing overhead. Families were picnicking. When I walked in I was expecting all pool, but was surprised to find a welcoming social club. It was much more community than exclusive and pretentious. David Tapalian, a young father of two who owns the club, tells me that a new patio with charcoal grills will be available this summer, along with a full event calendar. Indeed, membership surely has its poolside privileges.