Like everyone, we have had it with this winter ... and we're usually fans of the season! But this is insane. So, last Thursday night, just when we thought we couldn't take it anymore, my husband suggested that we escape the city and go to Lake Lawn Lodge, a destination to which he had gone with his grandparents many (!) years ago. We got a great room (and an even better rate than the website on Expedia) with a loft that our twin four-year-olds thought was heaven, and had just about a perfect, simple, happy family weekend.
The resort itself has clearly had a facelift, and the spa was, if not Kohler-esque, certainly pleasant with very good technicians (the massage I had from Peggy was pretty terrific). We took turns in the spa on Saturday - while one of us enjoyed a little indulgence, the other hung out with our guys at the indoor pool, which was large enough for the busy afternoon crowd, but in no way rowdy or daunting for little kids (although I think it got a bit more lively after dinner when the adults took over!). We played a bit in the game room, had meals that were actually quite good, and the kids loved running from place to place down the long enclosed halls that connected each part of the resort (perhaps the most running that they've done all winter!).
But what made Lake Lawn really delightful was how incredibly pleasant and helpful each member of the staff was. From the super-nice young people who manned the pool (the girl was sure to get our boys fresh warm towels for the "trek" back to the room), to Angel in the Look Out pub who took such good care of us at lunch and breakfast, we had a totally happy weekend ... and came back to Chicago feeling almost human again.
While a traditional water park is probably inevitable for us, we were nervous that our sons are not yet strong enough swimmers to really enjoy any independence at all in that setting. Lake Lawn Lodge not only gave them that independence, but it gave us all a lovely break from this brutal winter, and I would imagine that we will make it an annual trip.