Thursday, March 23, 2017

Smith and Bailey Retreat 2017

This year's Smith and Bailey Dental partnership retreat did not disappoint! We started this trip last year as a way for our families to spend some time together, talk about the business, and have a little fun! I didn't think we could top last years spa retreat at Old Edwards Inn, but Chicago may have taken the lead. We chose Chicago for a couple of reasons--first, it's a quick flight from Birmingham. Secondly, we had all been there so there was no need for major sightseeing. Third, the American Dental Association is headquartered there. Boom. Chicago.
We started the trip by seeing Jessie Jackson in the Birmingham airport (you know I have to find a celebrity when I travel if possible). Our flight was nice and uneventful and we got to the Park Hyatt just in time for room service and a night cap. We began the day Friday with a tour of the ADA which was right down the street. It was a very cool, nicely updated building with a legal office, science lab, and recording studio--how neat! 

After an insightful tour, Julie and I separated from the guys and went to the Park Hyatt Nomi Spa for our "spa day". We had a lovely champagne lunch, followed by massages, body scrubs and facials.


 
 As working moms, we don't get to relax and treat ourselves that often--there just isn't time. These few spa hours really helped recharge my batteries and fill up my "me time" stores that are usually pretty dry. That's ok, that's how it's supposed to be, and I love it. It's my choice to spend time with my family rather than get my nails done or something like that, and I pretty much always choose them over me--it's just what you do as a mom. That doesn't mean it isn't nice to have that time when you get the opportunity. so when I do I take full advantage!
After a nap (ahhh, another mom luxury) we went to Alinea for dinner. Julie and Lance bring out the foodie in us and always find the best restaurants. This meal, I have to say, was the most unique of my life. It was 12 courses, each course totally different than the first. The flatware and serving pieces were exquisite. The flavors and textures and presentation were all very unexpected but delicious. You can't be a picky eater and enjoy this restaurant. They bring out what they are serving that night--no questions. At one point, we ate a balloon. It was like being at a show--you didn't know what to expect next and you were on the edge of your seat with anticipation! Wow--is all I really can say!


 
The next day we had brunch at Little Goat, of Girl and the Goat fame. Another of my favorite things is brunch, so I was again in heaven! It will also go down in the history of awesome food I have eaten--thanks Julie and Lance! 


Next major think on the agenda that day--see a matinee of Hamilton--yes, Hamilton!!! I didn't even know that Wayne Brady was in it until the day before and that made me even more excited. Trust me, the hype doesn't do it justice. Even if you aren't really into musicals, or history, the show is a must see. I still can't get over how creative it was, and I'm still singing the songs (usually do my detriment at 2am, but at least they are good). 


Again, another amazing experience! We capped off that night by "not throwing away our shot" (Hamilton reference, haha) and eating at Guiliana and Bill Rancic's restaurant, RPM. Italian food--you can't go wrong (well you can but it's hard). Drinks, appetizers to share, shared pasta, entrees, desserts--this is the way Italian food was meant to be eaten and this is the way we ate it. Yummy in my tummy!! 

The next morning it was wheels up to see our Smith and Bailey babies!! It's a wonder what a weekend of eating and relaxing (with maybe just a little business talk thrown in over meals) can do for one's soul!
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