Friday, November 6, 2015

One Chicagoland Girls Getaway Finishes, Another Begins

We had a perfectly relaxing day at Hotel Arista, enjoying the spa, food, and amenities. 

It was time for the Midwest girls’ getaway with my friend Lynn to end, but not before we explored more of the hotel and Naperville, Illinois.

I slept very well on the king bed in my spacious suite. It was a shame I only had it for one night.

Lynn and I met with Barb Hocker of Hotel Arista at Lavazza Café, which was a short walk through the hotel to the City Gate Centre.

We refueled with lattes, muffins, and yogurt, and talked about the hotel, which four diamond and a Preferred Hotel, as well as part of the Kiwi Collection.

After we finished breakfast, we toured City Gate, which also included the Tap Inn Pub & Carvery. Barb also showed us the golf simulator and I got to take a swing at it.

Lynn and I went back to our suites to freshen up for the rest of the day.

Carmia Stanovich, Director of Sales for the Naperville Convention and Visitors Bureau, picked us up and took us on a brief tour through her city. I was surprised at how much there was to do there and vowed to come back and explore.

Before heading back to the hotel, we stopped for lunch. I was pretty excited at the name of the restaurant, White Chocolate Grill.

As you can imagine, the motto at this restaurant is “dessert first.” We didn’t quite do that, but we did keep our eye on the dessert menu when ordering lunch.

While everyone else got salads, I decided to go with two of the items the restaurant was known for.

I started with the Tomato Gin Soup. I happen to love gin, but even if I didn’t, that bit of juniper made for a wonderful and unusual taste.

For my main course I went with the Veggie Quinoa Burger and it was fantastic, filled with vegetables and flavor.

With my burger I had a side of the Israeli Couscous. It was sprinkled with pistachios and was yet another dish which was unusual and tasty.

Choosing dessert at White Chocolate Grill was no easy task. We were able to narrow it down to two: a brownie sundae made with a (white chocolate) blondie and the restaurant’s signature White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake. Both were delicious.

Carmia took us back to the hotel. Lynn’s flight back to New York wasn’t until the evening and we were able to get a late checkout at Hotel Arista so we had some time to chill at this beautiful hotel before leaving for the airport.

The Midwest adventure was over for Lynn and I when I dropped her at O’Hare in Chicago, but it wasn’t quite over for me. Soon after Lynn’s flight left, my mom arrived from Florida.

We headed straight to her favorite hotel, the Palmer House Hilton in downtown, where we had some very special things planned for the next day.                                                                                                                           

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