Friday, July 6, 2012

Allerton Park

A few weeks ago, we had a work retreat at Allerton Park.  Prior to the retreat, I hadn't heard of Allerton, and the description of "beautiful and woodsy" by my boss didn't exactly sell me.  But as we drove through Midwest backroads for a few hours, I became more hopeful.  And when drove up, the four of us let out a collective, "Oh my goodness, this place is gorgeous!"  Located in Monticello, Illinois, Allerton offers more than 1,500 acres of formal gardens, hiking trails, outdoor sculptures, and a breathtaking century old Georgian-style mansion.  Though I chuckled a bit when I read it was on the "Seven Wonders of Illinois" list, (honestly, who knew there was such a thing?), I can't argue with how beautiful it was!

Thankfully, the tone of the retreat was super-laid back, as it was intended for the interns to have a chance to relax and reflect on our crazy year together.  We spent a few hours in seminars/meetings, and the rest of our time exploring Allerton's beautiful, laughing with each other, and noting how grateful we are to have had each other this year.  I forgot to bring my camera, but thankfully I had my iPhone to capture most of the moments...

IMG 0664Driving up to Allerton, we were greeted by this gorgeous entrance.  Tall trees, stone pillars, and a tucked away gazebo.  Suddenly, my boss' descsription of "beautiful and woodsy" didn't seem so bad :)

Jun 23 20124The main house boasted grand staircases, hardwood floors, originals rugs and furniture, and tons of natural light.  Rooms were scattered throughout the mansion, and as we went exploring to find our rooms, we couldn't help but compare the long hallways to the hotel from the Shining.  Thankfully, we didn't see any tricycles or big wheels laying around :)

IMG 0674We spent most of our meeting time in the library, which was floor to ceiling old books.  Something about floor to ceiling books is super delightful to me.  I guess it appeals to my inner nerd :)

Jun 23 20125All smiles and ready to explore.  First stop, Allerton's amazing koi pond.  I have literally never seen such huge koi!

IMG 0668Remember my summer bucket list item about embracing shorts?  Here is living proof that I am checking that item off big time!  (I have had multiple friends comment on how they've ever seen me in shorts till this summer, and I must admit, I'm quickly getting over my shorts phobia!)

Button up: LOFT
Shorts: Gap {available here}
Sequin tank: Talbots
Sandals: Target
Sunnies: Nordstrom BP
Earrings, Necklace: M2 Boutique
Cuff: Ann Taylor
Ring: David Yurman 

Jun 23 20126We spent most of our time after dinner exploring the grounds and seeing all of the beautiful sculptures.  There was a ton to see!

IMG 0682We went back to explore the gazebo we saw when we drove in.  We climbed to the top and were in awe of this incredible view!  Who knew these things existed in the middle of nowhere Illinois?

Jun 23 20127More gazebo view photos and some Spiceworld photo action :)

IMG 0676The organizers of the retreat said to dress "comfy and casual."  Coral, mint, and gold sequins is as casual and comfy as I get :)

Jun 23 20128More gardens, sunlight, and hidden nooks.

Jun 23 20129We snuck in a few drinks to the retreat and enjoyed a "cheers" while walking around after the day's meetings.  Such rebels :)

IMG 0692Day 2 "comfy and casual" outfit, which caused another girl at the retreat to ask me why I was "so dressed up."  I'm always curious why people don't realize that it takes just as much effort to pull on a maxi skirt and a button up as it does denim shorts and a t-shirt.

Jersey maxi skirt: Forever 21
Chambray shirt: Target boys section
Turquoise earrings: a birthday present from my parents
Sandals: Rampage, Macys
Sunnies: Nordstrom BP 

Jun 23 201210Christine and Alex posing at Allerton's famous wedding backdrop.  With cooler temperatures, Allerton would be a gorgeous place to tie the knot!

Jun 23 201211The dang centaur statue that we walked 30 minutes to see, because someone in our group had to see it :)  Also posing with my wonderful training director/boss!

IMG 0693Our time at Allerton ended up being a ton of fun!  I wasn't thrilled about going, but once we got there, I was so grateful for the break in our crazy work schedule and a chance to reflect on this past year of internship.  It's hard to believe its almost over (two more weeks to go!), but I'm thankful for all I've learned and the relationships I've developed this year.

If you're in the Chicago area and want a little weekend adventure/outdoor getaway, I definitely recommend Allerton.  They have several bed and breakfast weekends throughout the year, and Matt and I are thinking about heading up there at some point in the near future.  Hope everyone's Fourth was wonderful; happy weekend!


Lindsay said...

That place looks seriously gorgeous.

What is this about not liking shorts? You look adorable! I love that color!

Kelly said...

I ABSOLUTELY agree with your philosophy that it's just as easy to throw on a skirt & top as a t-shirt & shorts and it's one I try to live.

Glad your retreat was a hit!

Alissa said...

You are rocking those shorts silly girl! You have beautiful legs and you should be proud of them!

Anonymous said...

Love the first outfit post. Where did you get that handbag and who is the maker/designer? Supercute!