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A Birthday Staycation at the Union League Club Chicago

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My birthday was the perfect excuse to take a little staycation. Sometimes it is so nice to check into a hotel for some pampering without the hassle of traveling to a different city. We checked into the Union League Club in Chicago’s Loop on Halloween where I got to rest and relax leading up to my birthday.

When I checked in, I was met by Jared Wike who gave me a full tour of the 130 year old club. The Union League Club is massive. It spans 22 floors and has several restaurants and meeting spaces, plus a library, and a workout facility. I love art, history, and architecture and I truly enjoyed just being able to explore the club.

I love the formality of the architecture and decor at the Union League Club. The high ceilings, crown moldings, marble stairways, oil paintings in golden frames, and chandeliers make you feel as though you have been taken back in time.

One of the most impressive things about the Union League Club is their art collection. A highlight of the tour was getting to see the Monet that the club purchased for $500 in the late 1800s. Apparently the President of the club wasn’t a fan of the painting and referred to it as “a glob of paint”.

The Union League Club of Chicago makes art purchases annually and their art collection is second only to the Art Institute of Chicago when it comes to private art collections in Chicago. The collection includes everything from oil paintings for Lincoln and Washington to modern art by local artists.

After the tour I headed to my room. The rooms at the Union League Club of Chicago are spacious and have a sitting room and a bedroom. There is also a desk were I was able to quickly catch up on emails.

Next, it was time for a workout. I went to a Spin and Strength Training class that started with a 30 minute spin class followed by a 30 minute strength training workout. Even though I go to a 45-minute spin class at least once a week, and I have been running 4 miles several times a week, the class was hard! My legs so were sore the next day.

Then it was time to relax with an hour long massage. I loved how the massage therapist wasn’t the list bit timid. She went for it and worked the knots out of my neck and shoulders. I felt like a whole new person when she was done. She also told me that I need to have better posture when I write, she could tell that I spend too much time staring down at a computer typing.

Before I knew it, it was time for dinner! Charles and I dined at Wigwam. The recently renovated restaurant has a menu focused on steaks and seafood. We were greeted by the chef who had prepared a special appetizer for us. It was like he knew all of my favorite things – the appetizer was mushrooms and goat cheese on a flakey pastry crust. Next Charles had the crab cake, which is one large crab cake made with fresh lump crabmeat. I had the Caesar salad because I thought I should eat something green.

The steaks were the true highlight of the meal. They were just as delicious and perfectly cooked as the steaks we get at Chicago’s best steakhouses.

The carrot cake was incredible, it might be the best in the city.

The next morning I started my day (my birthday!) with breakfast. The breakfast buffet had all of the breakfast essentials, scrambled eggs with a variety of toppings, hashbrowns, perfectly crispy bacon, fruit, and pastries.

I needed to get some work done, so I headed to the library. It was the perfect quiet spot to get work done. I loved the library. It was quiet and the grand setting seemed like the place where someone would write the great American novel – or a blog post about pasta.

Thank you to the Union League Club of Chicago for hosting us! Our staycation was a lovely escape from home.

Head over to the Union League Club of Chicago’s website to learn more.

Betsy Glenn

Friday 24th of November 2017

This looks like it was a great staycation! We're doing the same thing in December. I've started to plan today finally haha.

Kit Graham

Monday 27th of November 2017

Staycations can be so fun! I hope that yours is a blast!

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