Get To Galena Part I – Escaping City Life At Eagle Ridge Resort (Sleep! Dine! Sip!)By Delaina Dixon | March 1, 2018 | Travel
Being a Divalicious city gal, I’m used to life at a speedy pace: get there quick; move there fast. Sometimes, it feels like there is no time to slow down and enjoy the view. So I decided to change up the scenery – and head to historic Galena territory in Illinois – home to Ulysses S. Grant.
After a slight flight delay to Chicago, I took a three-hour scenic drive with city buildings giving way to rustic barns that finally deposited me upon the 6,800 acres that make up the Galena territory and houses Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa, my new home for the next few days.
With one refreshing glass of lemon water in hand from the lobby, we hopped into Eagle Ridge’s passenger shuttle to head to our very non-city lodgings: a 4-bedroom home on a snow-covered hill. Eagle Ridge manages 200-plus residential houses and villas, and we were about to take over ours.
Our three-floor home away from home had everything – a full kitchen; a screening and game room downstairs; laundry on premise along with a sitting parlor. The first-floor bedroom was definitely for lovers with a jacuzzi tub right in the room. We single ladies (and one mom off-duty) each took over one of the three bedrooms with private baths upstairs. Yes, a whole lotta house for this city gal – but I figured I’d lose a couple pounds running up and down home’s two flight of stairs and its long driveway!
The homes are anywhere from a mile to three miles from Eagle Ridge’s main property – a great choice for a family that needs extra room for kids and grandma – or a big party of gal pals who will own that space. As mentioned, Eagle Ridge offers shuttle service to and from the homes with just a phone call – but having a car is a nice option. Of course, Eagle Ridge has 80 guest rooms right on its main property that serve up a rustic feel with fireplaces and a view of the river right outside Eagle Ridge’s doors.
One quick fashion change and it was time for dinner at Woodland’s Restaurant and Lounge, Eagle Ridge’s flagship dining room. Helmed by Chef Randy Hoppman, the restaurant prides itself on local flavor and fare, paired with in-house and global wine selections. After a Pinot aperitif from our friendly and handsome waiter Jay, it was time to dig in!
Choosing from Woodland’s menu isn’t easy – there are so many delicious choices. You can start off with seafood fresh appetizers like Seared Freslh Diver Scallops or Thai Marinated Crab.
Or you can dig into one of their signature dinner salads.
I decided to dive right into my entrée, the Veal Pot Roast in a light mushroom sauce. Meaty, tender and sauced to perfection, it would have been a hearty meal in itself. But Woodland’s entrees come with one of its featured salads, potato and house vegetables. And then there are the house-baked rolls with Woodland’s garlic butter. If you can only eat one thing at Woodland’s, go with the rolls. They are so incredibly tasty with Woodland’s specialty butter – this is NOT the time to count calories.
With all that food, it’s hard to even think about dessert. But honey, run a few miles to make room for the Sinsinawa Mound Sinnablast. This ridiculous cake/bread decadence is made by the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters at Mound Bakery in Hazel Green, Wisconsin. It starts with caramel-cinnamon bread topped with caramel sauce, white chocolate and chopped pecans, and then dusted with powdered sugar. This heaping mound came to the table taunting us to eat the whole thing, though a few bites will bring heaven to your taste buds.
Calling it an early night, we retreated back to our villa, lit up the living room fireplace and sipped tea from big mugs. It was a perfect way to end the day and prep for all the fun Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa was about to bring us.
Tune in next week for Get To Galena Part II: Relax and Chill Carnival Style at Eagle Ridge Resort!
photo credit: Eagle Ridge Resort, Amanne Media