Thursday, December 8, 2011

Night at the Mansion

Yesterday afternoon, I was in the midst of a pile of clean laundry, old papers and things that needed to be tossed out.  Not terribly glamorous, with my hair piled up in a messy bun, no makeup and yoga pants.  It was around this time I got a phone call with an invitation to go to the Cuneo Mansion for a cocktail party that evening. I knew about the party beforehand but had to be added to the list and hadn't heard about it, and had therefore figured that while it sounded fun, it wasn't meant to be.  The call came 2 hours before the party was going to start, roughly. I was on the list!

It was exciting at the same time it was a bit alarming (something I've been experiencing far too often lately, I might add).  Any female reading this knows why this  kind of news could fling a messy-haired hausfrau into a bit of a panic.  What was I going to WEAR? How was the hair going to go? Can I actually put all of this together in 2 hours? I ran to the closet and did some serious closet shopping while on the phone confirming I'd be there at the same time my head was going "You are not nearly fancy enough for this kind of event." Kind of a blur. I doubted whether I should go or not a few times, but at 6:30 sharp my glittery heels and little black dress were setting foot on the mansion grounds, trekking over to the main building.

 This is the terrace and reception area that we came in to. Pardon the grainy nature of some of these pictures, I was carrying a teeny tiny clutch and therefore could not put my big ol' camera in that bag.  I wasn't sure if it was the kind of event that'd appreciate big ol' cameras in the first place, so this is all brought to you by the iPhone.
 This was the main room for the event, which was sponsored by Yelp. Everyone was dressed impeccably and almost all the ladies were in black, so I felt like I did well there. (I'd go on to get lots of compliments on choice of dress and sparkly shoes, which were nice!) There were lots of high end party vendors, and when we first walked in we got pulled in to do a blind 12 yr. Scotch taste test, wherein I discovered I cannot tolerate Johnny Walker Black. There were high end cupcakes, appetizers, plenty of bartenders and a wine tasting that we took part in with Lulu wine.  This ballroom itself was awesome, with amazing tall centerpieces, a beautiful dance floor and amazing chandeliers.
 You know, like that. I can't help it if I'm a magpie.  These were just gorgeous.  There was a raffle for a big New Year's Eve event at the Hotel Inter-Continental downtown which sadly, I did not win.  They made a few announcements and gave some background on the property, which apparently was donated to Loyola University a year ago, and then?  They told us to go explore the mansion!  I was excited about this part just in general because the peek I'd taken earlier had promised good things to come.  We sat and finished our wine and talked a little and then headed out to explore.
 The mansion is full of big stone archways and amazing Italian Renaissance style decor.  The lighting is amazing, and it was decked out for Christmas with garland and white lights.

They had a DJ in the main atrium and a palm reader in the Ships room, which smelled like antique books. It had a concealed telephone booth and bathroom and was just full of dark wood, actually taken from ships.

I always love giant libraries, and the wood detail in this one and all the old books from floor to ceiling made me want to cozy up and stay.  But there was more mansion to explore, of course...
 It's honestly amazing, and the pictures, especially phone pictures, don't really do it justice. It felt surreal to be all dressed up and have the run of a beautiful mansion like this one.

We got to explore all the bedrooms which were full of beautiful gowns and bedclothes, fainting couches and ornate hairbrushes.

Naturally this got us in the mood for a few glamour shots ourselves, so we indulged.

Here's me and Juli, who got me the invite...
And here's our equally glamorous elite, who was the one who had the invites to put both of us on the list.

The whole night was pretty incredible, I must say. It just felt like you were in a movie. It's not all that often you get to shine up your best sparkly shoes, put on your little black dress and attend a holiday cocktail party at a beautiful mansion.  The whole night seemed magical.  Great conversations in the candlelight glow of an old stone mansion.  It's something I certainly couldn't picture I'd get the chance to do...and something I'm so glad I did. 

This year for me has been for getting out of what's comfortable and trying new things.  And I was *so* nervous before this party...what if I did or said something wrong, wasn't dressed nicely enough, was too dressed up...

And in the end, I got to be *here*. I met someone new, laughed, drank wine, told stories, and explored, and every moment was more than worth it. I guess that's just another Wednesday at the mansion, eh? ;)

1 comment:

Kathleen Patel said...

Your description of the mansion makes me want to be there again!