as mentioned before, I wasn’t expecting to be able to see my mom for Mother’s day. though it did end up working out that I was able to spend a part of the day with her, we still had other plans to celebrate together. we spent a long weekend together, with a lot of fun activities planned.
unfortunately, our weekend got off to a rough start on Friday, when we were not able to keep our spa appointments. personally, I had really been looking forward to the occasion because I’d never had a massage or a facial done professionally. and I know my mom really enjoys that sort of thing. we had picked up a really good deal online through Groupon (as a side note, I’ve had several Groupons now and the only one that ever ended up working out was a car wash – not hard to mess up – I will never buy another Groupon again). but the staff was not ready when we arrived, despite having confirmed our appointments ahead of time, more than once. they were under-staffed for more than an hour, at which time, we were forced to leave for our trip to Chicago. so we had to forgo the spa experience. bummer.
I got us a hotel room a short drive from downtown. it was the first time I’ve gone over to the city and haven’t stayed downtown. but I think that’s what I’ll do from now on because the drive was so short and the hotel price was so much better! I believe that it was a Hampton Inn or some other decent chain, so it was a nice stay as well.
Friday night, I had reservations for us at The Peninsula Hotel – very fancy. on Fridays and Saturdays, after 8p, they offer a special “by reservation only” all dessert bar. it is called “Chocolate at the Pen” and knowing my mom’s love of chocolate, I had to get us in! in the past, I have tried to attend on two occasions, but was never able to secure reservations; I made them a month or so in advance this time.
For about fifty dollars a person, you have your choice of three or four tables full of chocolate-based goodies and a chocolate-based mixed drink. they had real hot chocolate, which was so incredibly rich, served with freshly-made marshmallows. there was also a crepe and doughnut table, manned by a chef, making hot treats to order while you waited. but the main attraction is really the center table. here are cookies, candies, pastries, custards, and every other dessert in between. and these change every time, made at the discretion of The Peninsula’s famous pastry chefs. and as you can see below, each item was made specially and beautifully. we got to enjoy all of this while live classical jazz played as well.
the next day, we spent our time walking through downtown, shopping and sight-seeing. pretty much anything we could do to help walk off the calories that we’d consumed the night before. I’d like to say that I didn’t eat like a pig, but that would be a lie. there happened to be a small craft fair going on, so we stopped and had a look and grabbed some sorbeto to share.
of course we had to pick up some popcorn at Garret’s as well. my mom had taken orders from friends and family, so we actually had to buy quite a bit! we also tried the new chocolate-coated caramel corn. very tasty, but not as good as the food at The Pen the night before!
I finally found the perfect dressy trench-type coat with my mom’s help at Nordstrom’s, but I haven’t been able to wear it yet. Lucky for us, we got to eat at Wow Bao, which is located at the Water Tower Plaza Mall center, on the first floor (to the right when you walk in – next to The Body Shop). it is probably the best Thai food and also the best fast food I’ve ever had. I always make it a point to stop there and eat when I’m in Chicago and I absolutely had to share this experience with my mom! she loved it too.
we had a long drive back to my apartment, late in the evening. by this time, my mom was exhausted and we had talked greatly over our trip, so she slept for the trip. I’d have to say that our Mother’s Day celebration was greatly, greatly more epic than yours. and if you read my previous Father’s Day post, you’ll know that I am the best daughter ever and the obvious favorite!