Saturday, April 28, 2018

Girls' Getaway to Eaglewood Resort

My friend Joan and I headed a few hours away to Itasca, Illinois, for a short girls’ getaway at Eaglewood Resort & Spa.

You could see the golf course from the balcony in our room. The Deluxe Room is quite large and suitable for a small family.

The spa and fitness center are located in a building across the parking lot from the rooms and other common areas. 
The pool center at Eaglewood is set up to be enjoyed year-round.

It’s totally enclosed in the winter and one side opens up in the summer so you can sit around a patio and enjoy the Olympic-sized pool with accompanying whirlpool.
During the warmer months, they also serve cocktails and snacks out there.

Three separate rooms were in the fitness center, all with all new equipment. One room had state-of-the art machines.
 The second was all about weights, and the third was for classes. We saw someone in there stretching.

Within the fitness and spa area Eaglewood Resort also has its own bowling alley, complete with snacks and a full-service bar. 
It’s a really cool place to hangout when it’s not outdoor season. There were tables for groups and families too.

Guests of the resort can use the facilities of the spa (including a steam room and sauna) at any time.

Day packages are also available if you’d like to just come for the spa and its amenities.

The spa menu here is quite impressive. It covers an array of body treatments, massages, facials, and nail offerings.

I always like to try a signature treatment when I have the opportunity. I chose the Eaglewood Indulgence.

I was relaxed and my muscles felt better than they had in years by the time I left there.
Since it was too early for dinner and too late for lunch, we stopped at The Market for coffee and muffins.

It’s a unique store on the ground floor that combines a little grocery shop and a coffee counter. 
They have prepared food and sandwiches, and even make pizzas.

After a little nap, we had dinner downstairs at the Prairie River restaurant.

We had hoped to eat out by the fire pit, but it was a cool evening so we stayed indoors.
Joan ordered the House Barrel-aged Old Fashioned and I had a glass of their White Peach Sangria, also made on the premises. Both were very good.
We were hungry and couldn’t make up our mind what to get for dinner, so we went ahead and ordered appetizers.

Ramon’s Street Tacos were excellent. They were filled with peppers, onions, and steak, which had been marinated and was quite tender. 

The guacamole served with it were also good.

Joan ordered and enjoyed the Salmon Bites on the recommendation of the waitress. 

They were served with a garlic horseradish crème and think potato crisps.

While we thought the Petite Sirloin and Shrimp combo would be served like a Surf & Turk, it actually came in a stack. Joan really liked it.

I had a soft and flavorful pork tenderloin in a Shandy BBQ sauce. 

It was served with a leek and cauliflower mash and a side of broccolini.

All the vegetables we had were fresh.

We couldn’t resist the dessert list when we saw it. We decided to get two different ones and share.

The first was a Mud Pie. At Prairie River they make it with an Oreo crust and fill it with Bailey’s and Kahlua ice cream. It’s then topped with a fudge sauce.

I don’t think I have to say how good that was!

The other dessert was also fantastic. It was called Chocolate Marble Xango. Cheesecake-filled burritos were fried and served alongside a chocolate sauce that was thick like a pudding.

We headed back to our room right after dinner. It had been a relaxing day and evening.

It was the perfect girls’ getaway, and we still had a little more time to go at Eaglewood Resort &Spa.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Art and Food in Lafayette, Indiana

My friend Jaimee and I had arrived in Lafayette, Indiana, the previous day for a quick getaway.

It had been a few years since I was here and I had no idea how much there was to see – and eat.

We woke up in our spacious two-bedroom accommodation at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott Lafayette .

Although the hotel offers a big complimentary breakfast, we already had plans for brunch at Town & Gown Bistro.

Town & Gown is much bigger than it looks on the outside. It has two floors and they were both full of patrons.

Matt O’Neill, former innkeeper and chef at Walden Inn, and author of “Seasons at the Walden Inn,” has made a name for himself in this city.

It was easy to figure out why after we finished eating. 
Chef O’Neill uses fresh and local ingredients and puts his touch on common brunch items. 

Jaimee raved about her eggs benedict, and I thought the house-made corned beef hash was fantastic, as were my latte and eggs.

After we finished eating, we headed downtown for our art-filled day.

The first stop was at L.E. Originals, where Linda Elmore gave us a demonstration on how she makes her beautiful beads.

It was very interesting and I enjoyed looking at all her designs in the shop. 

Among them are the beads she creates from photographs, something she is awaiting a patent on.

Linda gave us each a bracelet with one of her beads before we headed down the block to Artists’ Own.

Artists’ Own is a cooperative for Indiana artists. 

Within the large space, they sell everything from stained glass to pottery, paintings to handmade clothing. 

We looked around at the vastly different items for a while before purchasing a few things and heading out.

I was very impressed with the Art Museum of Lafayette. It’s an art haven for the community.

Although we saw a few exhibits (they change often), I liked learning about the classes they gave for adults and children, as well as summer camps. 

We even took a look into the pottery studio.

We had lunch at a popular spot downtown, RedSeven Grill

Jaimee got a Sex in the City cocktail to start (Blue Curacao, Peach Schnapps, Chambord, Grey Goose Vodka, and pineapple juice) and we shared an appetizer of Chicken Pot Stickers, which were delicious.

For main courses, Jaimee loved the steak-filled Black and Blue Salad. 

I had a bowl of their homemade tomato bisque and some of their very tasty Pecan Chicken Rollups.

We didn’t have dessert at RedSeven because we knew or last stop of the day was at a bakery, however, we were still too full to do any sampling. 

Sweet Revolution Bake Shop graciously packed up a box filled with goodies, which we thoroughly enjoyed over the days. 

Although I usually favor chocolate treats, their vanilla cupcakes and light and airy French macaroons are out of this world. 

The Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie is also a must-try.

The Bakery, led by pastry chef Sarah McGregor-Ray, who has partnered with brother Jonathan McGregor, was known in the neighborhood for years at the local Farmer’s Market.

They opened this busy shop last summer. Don’t go to Lafayette without making a stop there.