When I was young, around the time that Home Alone came out, I asked my mom if we could go stay at a hotel downtown (in Chicago) as my Christmas present. She came with so I wasn't quite as free as Macaulay Culkin, but we had a blast. We rode in a horse drawn carriage, ate dinner out, walked up and down the Magnificent Mile. This was awesome to a girl from the ‘burbs! We resurrected the idea a few years ago but reversed it- now our present to my mom was a hotel stay for me and her, alone together. It got a little trickier when Ladybug was born but we did it again this year. Normally we liked to do it around New Year's Day but with Little Big Man nursing and not sleeping through the night we decided to postpone it. So we did it this past weekend and let me tell you it was blissful!
After all that time relaxing I thought, why don't I write up a review of the places we visited and throw in a giveaway? Let me state that these businesses did not know that I would be writing about them and I contacted them afterwards for a giveaway contribution. The opinions below are my own and not influenced by the contribution of any of the companies.
First thing's first: we needed to be pampered! We had a tight timeline but Mario Tricoci made it work. We each had a 1/2 hour manicure and a 25 minute massage. I had the mani first and mom had the massage first, then we swapped. Let me point out the one obvious flaw in my plan that no one noticed when I booked it: How does one remove a sweater with wet nails?! Well, luckily I had a tank top on under my sweater and the massage therapist helped me take the sweater off. Crisis averted, nails saved. The massage was truly my favorite part. The 25 minute massage focuses on your back shoulders and neck, which was perfect for me after carting around a 20 pound infant and a sick 32 pound toddler all week! I learned that Mario Tricoci also has a massage membership program (genius!) that basically pays for itself after 2 massages. There is also a bonus Mother's Day Gift Card Promotion going on now. No they did not ask me to say that- I just thought it was a good deal!
Wine & Dine
Once we were sufficiently relaxed, primped and pampered it was on to Bonefish Grill for dinner. Bonefish Grill has tons of locations across the country but it is fairly new to us. I'd eaten there twice and Mom had never been. Mom had a beer, I had a glass of wine. The drink list is pretty typical for a mid-level chain restaurant. For an entrée mom chose the Lily's chicken which was topped with goat cheese, artichoke hearts, sautéed spinach and a lemon basil sauce. Her eyelids fluttered a lot, so I took that as a good sign. I had the shrimp coconut curry off the specials menu. I'm no expert on curry but this one was delicious! Very rich and creamy with enough heat to notice it but not be dangerous- and clearly I did not need dessert after that!
Dream Beds For Us!
Full of food and drink, it was time to make our way to the hotel. Yes. That's right, I, a mother of two got to sleep all night in a hotel with no kids! We chose my favorite hotel chain, the DoubleTree. We used them at our wedding and we stay in them when we can. Part of the reason why is that we are Hilton Honors members and since DoubleTree is part of Hilton we bank up the points, but also they are really nice hotels that are reasonably priced. And- oh yes- they give you free yummy cookies. Did I mention that?! What Mom's Night Away would be complete without chocolate chip cookies!? Not this one, that's for sure. The Doubletree that we chose this time was the North Shore Conference Center in Skokie, IL. It was not too far from our house, the spa and the restaurant, and when we showed up I was really impressed. The staff was very friendly- even funny! The lobby was really beautiful and I could see the hotel as being a good business hotel as well as a nice place for a romantic overnight. The room was large, quiet and well appointed. We each climbed into our Dream Beds as soon as we had our PJ's on. I don't know what it is about those beds but man did I sleep like a
baby mom away from her kids. Our stay came with a complimentary breakfast at the attached restaurant, complete with omelet service. No complaints and it is always good to know a great hotel near you for friends and family if they prefer not to stay with you. This will now be our go-to for that purpose! The Northlight Theatre is attached and it is across the street from Old Orchard Mall, double bonus!
Dream Beds for YOU!
So there you have it- pampered, TWO meals without having to shove food into someone else's mouth AND a blissful night's sleep in a quiet, comfortable room. Just what this momma needed! Did I mention Mother's Day is coming soon?! It's not too late to drop hints! Leave websites open, request information in the mail…that sort of thing. “Ooops, I wonder why they sent us this?!” As luck would have it one reader will be the winner of an overnight stay at the Chicago Northshore Doubletree! I called to tell them what a lovely time we had and they agreed to contribute a gift certificate for MY FIRST GIVEAWAY! Now, Doubletree is not a franchised property so this is strictly for the Chicago Northshore location in Skokie, IL. The winner will also receive a $25 gift certificate for Bonefish Grill as well as a $20 referral coupon to Mario Tricoci. What a graet mother's day treat this package would make!! To enter the LOCAL giveaway please use the Rafflecopter box below.