Any tour that includes wine tasting and boutique shopping has to be fabulous – and this one certainly is!! Now is the time to talk to your “best buds” and arrange a midweek interlude – just for us girls! You might even want to invite your card club, book club, church group – the more the merrier and I promise, you will not be disappointed.
St. Charles has long held an “oh my” factor for visitors drawn to its natural charms. From its beautiful riverside ambience and striking architecture to its long-standing commitment to theater and the arts, St. Charlesis a haven for people, like girlfriends, who need a little get-a-way time – gentle and serene. The shopping is really great too.
Wine tasting is one of my very favorite things to do – I’m Italian – it’s in my blood! This “girlie getaway” takes us to Acquaviva Winery, where breathtaking views of the vineyard surround the indoor seating areas including the spacious outdoor terrace. The entryway looks like something out of a beautiful art museum. Along with the award-winning wines, the Acquaviva boasts amazing architecture and hand-painted fine art. Your taste buds will tingle and your soul will be soothed by the beauty that abounds. Do not miss the Italian Market just to the left of the entryway The market carries breads, cheeses, pastas, oils, sauces and meats – oh my, I may be in trouble… and remember the cargo area on the coach holds alot!!
This getaway just keeps getting better and better. Our dinner will be served at the absolutely stunning Hotel Baker – a real ah-hah moment! Hotel Baker offers the epitome in all things luxurious — elegant guest rooms and suites, state of the art amenities, exceptional dining and lounge venues, and a scenic riverside setting that is fantastic. And, aren’t we lucky, Hotel Baker has recently been restored, creating an ambience reminiscent of its former formal splendor. Due to its architectural and historical significance, Hotel Baker is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places -the food is great too. And aren’t we worth all the glamour and glitz?
Day two begins with a stop at the Fabyan Forest Preserve and its marvelous community treasure, the Japanese Tea Garden. You will be thoroughly enchanted by the tranquility and harmony of this Japanese-style garden. The one-acre garden was designed circa 1910 for George and Nelle Fabyan, who owned a large country estate straddling the Fox Riverfrom 1905-1939. It was designed by Taro Otsuka, an emigrant Japanese landscape architect, who designed gardens for the wealthy across the U.S. Inspired by their mutual interests, the Fabyans’JapaneseGarden was, and still is, a uniquely serene oasis. While the Fabyans added personal elements, such as tulips, a gazing ball and an electrified lantern, their garden exemplified traditional gardens of Japan, incorporating water, stone and plants to represent the natural world. You will see many of the historic features and also experience the singular serenity of Japanese-style gardening. Time to recapture your Zen.
Please look for original plants, the Ginkgo Tree and Weeping Spruces, and original elements, theMt.Sumerurepresentation, theMoonBridge, the Tea House and the oversized lantern–all icons captured in hundreds of photos taken by visitors over the years. You can also view historic photographs in the Waiting Bench Chamber, a replicated structure offering a restful viewing place.
Next you’ll discover the fascinating history of the Fabyan Estate while visiting the Fabyan Villa Museum, located in the Frank Lloyd Wright redesigned Villa, just up the hill from the garden – gorgeous is an understatement.
A visit to Geneva, a scenic getaway true to its historic roots, is next on our two day adventure. Historic buildings and pristine tree-lined streets offer an escape from the bustle of every woman’s everyday life. Specialty shops tucked away in architectural gems that were once homes, outstanding restaurants, and service oriented spas provide the perfect atmosphere to recharge and renew.
Geneva is well known in the region as quaint, charming historic town. Part of what creates its character is its historic architecture. Very few large, ornate homes exist inGeneva. In contrast, most of the architecture is conservative and plain, yet always well maintained. Many are in specific architectural styles such as Italianate, Greek Revival, and Queen Anne. These styles blend beautifully together to create an atmosphere of refined and understated elegance, perhaps reflecting the taste of the New England roots of Geneva’s earliest settlers.
Now, let’s talk shopping – distinctive boutiques provide endless opportunities for both pleasure and treasure shopping. You will always find something different in Geneva. There are a variety of exciting shops for all sorts of crafts and hobbies too. Those who enjoy needlepoint, sewing, and more will find unique shops in which to explore their passion. From the truly unique 200 shops of downtown Geneva to the trendy fashions of Geneva Commons, you’re sure to something that tempts you. Whether choosing that cherished gift or a unique “must” just for you – you will be thoroughly enchanted.
The last official stop on this two-day getaway is the Farnsworth House, which continues to receive wide critical acclaim as a masterpiece of the modernist style. Mies, the architect, went on to receive the presidential Medal of Freedom for his contribution to American architecture and culture. In the 21st century, Pulitzer Prize winning architectural critics declared the house a masterpiece of modern architecture. Its timeless quality is reflected by the reverent fascination in the minimalist house shown by a whole new generation of design professionals and enthusiasts. It is unique and fascinating.
I know that this escorted two-day interlude will be fun, interesting and thoroughly pleasurable. A special time to unwind and relax while enjoying the company of new and old friends. Please review the complete tour itinerary and plan to join us for this mini-vacation -’cause girls really do know how to have fun.
Girlfriends’ Rivertown Getaway (click here for itinerary)
September 7-8 2011 (2 days, 1 nights)
– Interlude blog team
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