This past weekend The Mister Project and I took a much needed break and headed up north to Kohler, Wisconsin. It’s been a hot minute since we took a little trip and since we’ve been hoarding gift certificates to Kohler Spa, which we planned to use at the Burr Ridge location, we figured we’d hit the road instead and spend the weekend in white robes. Why not? Having never been to Kohler or let alone gone on a spa getaway, I was unsure what to expect and also, what to pack. I sorted out what I thought I would need, we got in the car and in just over two hours arrived at The American Club. I have to be honest, I have a bit of an aversion to very marketed destinations. You know, where the logo is every where. Where the food is mediocre at best, yet the prices indicate that the chef should be awarded a James Beard. Places that are more of a tourist destination rather than an experience. Kohler Waters Spa is the complete opposite of this. And before I go on, let me remind you that this is not a sponsored post. Granted my mimosa and black coffee were “free”, nothing about this post or our weekend was paid for. We can square up on our next visit. Ok, so here is how our first spa weekend went down.
The moment we walked into The American Club I saw a woman holding champagne flute filled to the brim with a mimosa and my immediate thought was, “that looks fucking good, I want one too.” Not 30 seconds after we walked up to the front desk and were welcomed with a warm smile, we are asked, “may I get you some sparkling wine or a mimosa?”. JACKPOT. It was almost at that very moment I knew that the next two nights were going to be glorious. Shortly after we were escorted to our room and snooped around we prepared for dinner at Black Wolf Run. This restaurant is basically a big ass log cabin that backs up to the river and trees, it’s gorgeous. I bet during the colder months, it’s a freaking winter wonderland. It’s beautiful and so was the food. I had the Tri Colored Quinoa that was accompanied by toasted pecans, tart cherries, roasted carrots and corn coulis. Holy shit balls, take those roasted carrots and drag them thru that corn thing whatever it is and you’ll have yourself a taste bud explosion. Anthony went for the special; a slab of ribs. I’ll let him tell you about those down below. We headed back to The American Club for a night cap at The Winery Bar where I sipped on The Kohler and Anthony, the Sazerac. Both cocktails hit the spot. Off to our room we went to get some rest for a full day of spa-ing. Our first day was perfection.
Sunday fun day in the form of a spa day. We woke up for coffee so we headed to The Green House cafe. Basically the most charming coffee, pastry and ice cream shop I ever did lay my eyes on. I wanted to live in there and drink coffee all morning and mimosas all afternoon long. You guys, it’s a freaking stained glass nursery and I’m in love with it. I ordered coffee and they pointed me in the direction of the complimentary coffee near the back. Recently I cut back on my love for lattes and cappuccinos to cut calories, so I take my black coffee very seriously. Worried that I may be stuck with a tar-like pick me up, I walked slowly to grab my cup o’ joe. Coffee lovers of the world, it was exactly what the doctor ordered, strong and packed with flavor. Phew! We decided to order a danish, which was basically a pastry that fell from heaven. After we worshiped the baked good we headed on a “hike” to brunch. I say “hike” but it was more like two sorry saps looking at a map, standing in one spot, trying two different directions, then finally asking a man power walking on the golf course how to get to our brunch destination. Alas, we found what we were looking for, more mimosas and one of the most delicious brunches I’ve ever had at The River Wildlife Lodge. It was finally time to grab our swimsuits, our books and head to the spa. Listen, for most of my days, I help people move, stretch and take care of their bodies via yoga. I give head massages, use my brain to create a plethora of sequences to meet many different needs and I make shapes with my body, when sometimes my body isn’t totally on board to do so. What I needed was a damn good rubdown. I wanted to lay on a table like a sack of potatoes, not move a single GD muscle and have someone else do all the work for me. Vanessa gave me one of the best deep tissues I have ever had. Pressure was on point and I basically floated away five times during my massage – which is basically my goal. Thank you Vanessa, you are seriously bad ass. I tapped off my spa treatments with a microdermabrasion facial with Jill. Ummm, I floated away five more times while getting dead skin cells scraped off my face, that’s how good of an esthetician she is. Thanks Jill, you’re bad ass too. If you head to Kohler, see my new favorite gals in the spa biz. You will not be disappointed. Alas, we did our hydration therapy, showered up and headed back to our room.
I forgot to mention that we headed to the Market right down the street from The American Club so we had ourselves our own personalized bar of local beers, New Glarus Spotted Cow for Anthony and Central Waters Mudpuppy Porter for myself. Throw in a chilled Trefethen Double T Chardonnay and we were set. I’m not positive this is allowed, but we would go to our room, grab a drink and explore the resort like we were in Key West. I mean, no one hollered at us, maybe judged a little bit, but whatever, we were sublimely happy. Dinner was low key that night. Horse and Plow for nachos, a black bean burger and beers. Oh and some damn good sweet potato fries. Done and done. We were so exhausted from being ridiculously spoiled all day long that we could barely make it through an episode of Twin Peaks in the room. I’m also pretty sure I heard mysterious, phantom like sounds down the hall, but that’s a story for another time. We slept like babies. Even though according to many Facebook posts I see, it appears that babies don’t really sleep all that well after all, so I’m honestly a bit confused by that saying, but I digress. The following morning we woke up, stopped in The Wisconsin Room for a quick, delicious breakfast, and took a little stroll to check out the Kohler Design Center. Talk about inspiration to want to make a shit load of money so you can have a souped up, badass bathroom. I tweaked out like seven times while walking thru it. Here’s why:
Before heading home I wanted to surprise Anthony with a horseback riding experience so I found a barn in Fredonia, WI, just about 30 minutes south of Kohler. When we arrived I was wearing my colorful, authentic Mexican poncho and my green hat, clearly I wanted to look the part. Well, by that time in the afternoon the temperature had dropped nearly twenty degrees so I had to change my sweet outfit and opt for something more sensible. Damn it. I layered up and it was time to saddle up. In comes Bernadette, holy shit I love this woman. Based on her voicemail greeting I was certain we were going to meet a delicate, sweet, soft spoken lady. That is not who we met. Who we met was a billion times better. Bernadette just celebrated her 71st birthday in Mexico (I secretly think she loved my poncho) and she’s one hell of a straight shooter. She incredibly knowledgeable, funny and she swears sometimes. I like people who do that. Here’s the deal. I suck at riding, I suck bad. Let’s just put it this way, at one point on our trail ride Anthony and Bernadette, who were in front of me, heard me struggle a bit from behind and when they turned around I was standing next to my horse. Mmmhmm. Yup. Next to it. We’ll just leave it at that. Bernadette helped saddle me back up and continued to teach and yell orders of positivity. Of course Anthony took to riding like a horse takes to eating hay. Naturally. But I’m not giving up, I plan on heading back up this summer for more schooling by the best riding teacher there ever was. Bernadette, I’m coming back for more!
Oh wait! Here’s The Mister Project’s version of how the weekend unfolded.
Listen – spa trips are not necessarily high on the priority list for guys. Actually, I have never really thought of doing any spa-type trip ever. In this instance I was about to start a new job and figured I would try to take one last minute weekend trip with my lady to recharge and re-invigorate my sorry previously unproductive self. This seemed like a smarter choice rather than destroying my body, mind and soul in various ways like I do on most weekend trips I’ve taken. I also know how much TheMidsis works and her body takes a beating teaching so this seemed like a no-brainer. So, I booked us a two-night stay at The American Club in Kohler and this is my quick take on how it went…..
First of all, the drive is not bad – a little over two hours from Chicago with traffic. With a good Howard Stern interview this flies by. The town of Kohler – half dead, but it was ok. We stopped into some market to load up on necessities – ya know, a 5lb bag of locally made popcorn that was bigger than my torso and two more smaller bags of what they called Pickle Pop (cheddar pickle flavored popcorn- insane). And some Spotted Cow though they had a bunch of New Glarus beers and a bunch of others to choose from. OK cool – this town ain’t bad. As soon as we arrived at The American Club it was immediately apparent they take service extremely seriously. Free valet and they quickly took all of our things insisting we not lift a finger, which is awkward because I usually grab a couple of bags no matter what. It wasn’t a question with this fella Steve. The hotel has a lot of character and is very old school English-style – Sherlock definitely investigated some person getting poisoned type shit here. Seeing how instantly The Midsis loved the place really put me at ease because I honestly didn’t know what to expect. She sucked down a free mimosa from the front desk quicker than you can say pickle pop. The room was clean and roomy and you can tell that with Kohler they try to showcase bathroom amenities that are top notch – that’s a good thing. You can’t beat showers that spray you from all different angles, human car wash style – it’s good fun. We had dinner at Black Wolf Run – it’s in a big lodge on the golf course and there is a free shuttle that takes you not only there but all over. Huge plus. Dinner – better than expected. Much better actually. I did not expect to get ribs (I swear I was trying to eat light) but when the server rather genuinely explained how special the ribs were (so much so that they were the special) and how carefully prepared they were (I don’t remember the juicy details) I was like wtf – yes a full slab please. They were legit awesome. Lauren – who is almost entirely and sadly abandoning meat altogether even took some off my plate and was licking the bone clean completely (I hadn’t seen her do that since our third date.) We had drinks in the little basement bar afterwards and even that place was better than expected – drinks were good and whiskey selection was impressive. If I had more energy I would’ve gotten hammered there happily. Next day – of course we had to sit and have coffee in the Greenhouse place in the hotel that Lauren was obsessed with and she sat there I uncomfortably took modeling shots of her as others probably quietly ripped on us city idiots. I did try some pastry thing there that blew me away – they told us some pastry chef dude makes them on site in some cave somewhere. I was a little more concerned with what kind of activity we could do before spa appointments that afternoon; I figured we would try to walk/hike some kind of trail. We did just that but didn’t make it too far on a count of very muddy terrain (I did not want to wind up like the horse Artax in Never Ending Story). We did make our way by foot to the River Wildlife Lodge and they had just started serving brunch. Food was again awesome and I had one of the best and freshest smoked salmons I’ve ever tried. There was a fireplace going, a little old lady who walked in to celebrate her 90th birthday with friends, and you guessed it – more mimosas for Midsis. At this point I believe she orgasmed for the second time since the Greenhouse coffee place. No, not the 90yr old lady, Lauren.
We had plenty of time to make it back and hit the spa early. The spa is very nice. I especially liked the sauna / steam / whirlpool / polar plunge setup in the men’s locker room. I literally had the whole place to myself which was kind of awkward but probably less awkward than if it had been packed with other dudes I guess. We met our masseuses – Lauren gets Vanessa and Vanessa says ok Anthony you will be getting massaged by Candy. Well, seeing as though that’s my mom’s name and I refer to her as Candy, that was a little funny. Lauren seemed to enjoy it. I laid down and prepared myself for the Candy treatment and it was awesome. We spent another few hours there and did the cycle more than a few times. We walked out of there what was almost 6 hours later feeling like jello. We talked to a bartender Kevin that may have actually been a ghost we are not sure, but he recommended getting the nachos downstairs at the bar Horse & Plow. We called him on it and stuffed our faces once again and the man/ghost was right about the nachos. We could barely keep our eyes open after that. The next day we rode horses with our new friend Bernadette. Bernadette doesn’t take any shit – from us or the horses. At one point Lauren mysteriously dismounted and landed on both feet next to her horse Cash in an instant. We all had a good laugh and got to learn some shit about riding. It was all well worth it. We drove home while eating Pickle Pop and some more caramel corn we picked up as we headed home – ready to get back to reality after an awesome and interesting weekend with the fine people of Kohler Wisconsin. The End.
Basically, get to Kohler. You won’t be sorry.
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