Sometimes life gets to just be TOO MUCH, especially if you are a mom. Too much touching, too much “mom mom mom,” too many demands made upon your time that you feel like nothing is yours anymore. Your time, your energy, your nights….the list goes on. For me, in order to be at the top of my game, I need solitude on a regular basis. I need less inputs from others, more time to just be in the moment. Come back to a time when I only had to make decisions for myself, and take care of my own needs. I need a reset. I recently took a spa staycation at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa in Galena for this very reason, and I want to share why this was one of the most restorative experiences I have had.
A World Away
The tagline for Eagle Ridge is “A world away. Today.” Living in the Chicago area, you don’t experience rolling hills, stretches of grass, calm mornings. City and suburban living can be chaotic, and you don’t even realize what a toll this takes on you. I grew up surrounded by farmland, and there is something about seeing stretches of natural beauty instead of office complexes that gives you a sense of calm.
Galena is only about 3 hours from Chicago, but it is far enough to feel like you are transported to the countryside. As I drove, I saw herds of cattle walking the trail next to the road. The picturesque drive allows you to relax and focus on the scenery instead of a swirling mind. It was the perfect prelude to 24 hours of solitude.
The FIRST thing I did when I arrived to the 6,800 acres of the Galena Territory that Eagle Ridge occupies is head to the spa. Stonedrift Spa was recently renovated and expanded to 11,000 square feet dedicated to helping you relax and renew.
Upon arrival, you are escorted into the changing room, which features banks of secure lockers, stations with every tool needed to tame your post-treatment hair, spacious individual shower coves, and a steam room. I highly recommend hopping in for a steam prior to a massage- it will help loosen your muscles.
I think my favorite feature about the spa is the relaxation room. After changing into one of the softest robes I have ever felt (and I believe they are available for purchase), I wandered into the relaxation room. This was so incredibly well-designed for every type of spa-goer: they have a huge wrap around couch facing a wall of windows for those who want to chat and take in the scene. Another cozy, intimate seating area is gathered around a fireplace, with plush blankets available to snuggle under. If you are there for solitude and quiet, elevated, plush lounge chairs with curtains separating each are lined up.
I’ve been in many spas where they offer water and maybe tea. Stonedrift goes all out to ensure that you can be completely comfortable. They offer decadent snacks such as chocolate-covered almonds, and a wide selection of tea.
In addition, there is a sign that describes their “silent appointment” policy. If you have ever been to a massage where your masseuse is chatty to the point of distraction, you will absolutely appreciate this understanding. You can ask for a “silent appointment” and your service provider will inherently understand that mentally, you just need quiet. No judgement.
I usually treat myself to only one service (a massage) during a spa staycation, and during that service, I mentally count the minutes until I have to return to the real world. I can’t help it! This time, I was able to experience a CBD Massage and a Lunar Glow Facial, each scheduled so I had ample time to transition and relax in between.
The massage was heavenly- the addition of a heated massage table truly elevated the experience, cocooning me in warmth and allowing ultimate relaxation. The rooms are charmingly rustic and minimalist with soaring ceilings and wood accents. They have at least 7 different types of massages available, with the option of 50 or 80 minutes.
The CBD Massage was ideal for helping me put all thoughts aside of what I need to do, and focus on releasing the tension. The craziest thing happened when I was getting my massage- all of the sudden, I had this memory of using The Body Shop Apricot Lip Gloss from when I was a teenager. Remember those pots of gloss? I was obsessed with them! I didn’t make the connection until I saw the massage oil that was being used- Eminence Organics Apricot Body Oil. It smelled absolutely incredible.
After the massage, I returned to the relaxation room and had a cup of tea and a snack, reading up on all that the town of Galena has to offer. I was then escorted into another treatment room for my Lunar Facial, which included a light shoulder and arm massage, light extraction, and a series of masks and treatments. My facials, Sarah, was incredibly knowledgeable and answered my numerous questions. We discussed sunscreen because I know that it is the ultimate defense against aging. She so kindly grabbed me a sample of her favorite sunscreen after the treatment, which I am in love with now.
I was then escorted back to the relaxation room, but decided to use the hot tub that is in the lower level. I was able to soak solo and look out over the snowy terrain as I sipped tea. After 20 minutes, I headed up to the changing room to take a shower and (reluctantly) exit the spa portion of my spa staycation.
Across the way is the resort with over 80 guest rooms and over 180 rental homes. I had a spacious suite right above the Woodlands Restaurant which was deemed one of Galena’s best restaurants by Open Table and overlooks Lake Galena. Dinner there was absolutely delicious, and the have a solid wine list with enough space in the restaurant to help you maintain that feeling of solitude. In addition, there is also a lounge if you want a more casual bite to eat or some cocktails at the bar.
I love the lodge feel- a roaring fire was constantly going in the fireplace while the snow fell outside. They also have an indoor heated pool if you want to take a dip before retiring to your room for the night. If you need anything from snacks to a new top, the boutique in the lobby has you covered.
Although Eagle Ridge has enough activities and spots to keep you entertained, you might want to check out downtown Galena. It was voted one of the top ten charming towns in the US and for a good reason. Just strolling down the main street, you encounter dozens of boutiques, candy shops, antique stores and bistros. I walked for hours, just strolling through and discovering treasures along the way.
If you are looking for an activity to get your blood flowing, how about a goat hike? Hoof It, a family owned and operated company offering goat treks, allows you to walk a wooded prairie trail with goats tagging along. You get to hoof it along the 1.25 mile trail and hand-feed the animals treats along the way. These friendly buddies live full time at this location along with their human family and caretakers that have been on this property for four generations.
I took 24 hours to myself and returned home feeling refreshed, reconnected and more calm in mind and body than I had been for months. Daily life, routines, stress and demands can take such a toll on us, and I believe that we require routine maintenance in the form of solitude, self-care and relaxing sensations. Eagle Ridge provides the much-needed respite that we all crave, and I am thrilled to share my experience with you in hopes that you can also take the time to reconnect with the most important person in your life: you!
Disclosure: I was hosted by Eagle Ridge Spa & Resort for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own as always.