Friday, March 04, 2011

American Girl!

First let me begin by saying I've been trying to get this post set up FOREVER, but Blogger was being all wonky and I couldn't get my pictures to upload.  UGH!

So the big trip was last weekend!  Kendall was sooooooo excited to get the heck out of Dodge and see the big city.  As soon as she got home from school, we loaded up our things, waited for Barry to get home, and then we headed out to pick up Mom and Aunt Jess.  Kendall chatted non-stop the entire 90 minutes to my mom's was too cute.

Once we picked up the girls, we headed toward Ft. Wayne and then on to South Bend, where we spent the night close to the airport (and train station!), and then we caught the 9:00 train into the city on Saturday morning.  Kendall had never been on a train before, so she was totally geeked out!
 After the 2 hour or so ride, we found ourselves disembarking at Millenium Station, where we caught a cab to our hotel.  I didn't even think about it, but when Kendall started bouncing up and down, squealing "I've never ridden in a TAXI before!", I knew I had to get a picture of her first taxi ride.  It was only 11:00  or so, and already she'd had so much excitement!
 My mom is The Master at booking hotels!!!  Not only did she get us a great deal, but our hotel was close to everything!  We were right on Ontario and St. Clair, just a block off of Michigan.  Kendall was convinced it was a 5 star hotel, at least in her book!  She was in awe of the fancy lighting, bold colors, and shiny floors.  She kept spinning around and around in circles in the lobby, saying "Oooooo, isn't it so pretty in here?  Look at that fancy restaurant!  I can't believe I'm staying in a 5 star hotel!!!".  I love that kid.

We wasted no time getting our things up to our room and heading out to eat...we were hungry, man!  Although we really wanted to try Genuardi's, which was recommended by a friend of ours, the wait was 40 minutes, and we were clearly starving to death.  I'm sure everyone could see my ribs by that point...LOL!  But in all seriousness, we headed down the street to a place the girl at our hotel had recommended...Geno's East.  It was alright, but I thought the pizza lacked flavor, to be honest.  And to be fair, we didn't have the Chicago-famous deep dish pie, but still.  Pizza should ALWAYS be good.  The salad was super yummy though!
After stuffing our faces, we decided to not waste any more time and headed down to the American Girl Place.  Kendall could barely contain herself...she insisted on holding my hand and walking with her eyes closed until we got there...she didn't want anything to ruin the surprise.  And I have to be honest, I in NO WAY was prepared for the experience of that store...
IT WAS CRAZY!!!!!  People everywhere, girls everywhere, PINK everywhere.  Dolls, dolls, and more dolls.  Books about dolls, furniture for dolls, clothes for dolls, pets for dolls.  A cafe, a hospital, a hair salon and SPA (don't even get me started on that one...), and a bakery.  Don't get me wrong, it was totally cute, and definitely everything little girls would love, but it was just so...over the top.  And, this is just my opinion of course, I thought it was ridiculously overpriced.

But you know what?

Kendall had her heart set on an American Girl.  She had been saving her money for a year to buy herself one.  So who am I to say what is or is not ridiculous?  She was mesmerized by the store and all that it offered...she wanted to see everything.  But I think it was also a little overwhelming to her.  Once she had the lay of the land, she got busy picking her doll.  She went with the "My American Girl" doll, and picked one with long blond hair, blue eyes, and little white teeth.  She named her Lindsey immediately, and in true Kendall form, decided that before she could think about clothes for her, she needed to find her a pet!  She picked out a husky named Pepper, and he is now Lindsey's best friend.  Well, he and Kendall, anyway!  She also made sure to get Lindsey a little pair of blue glasses that look similar to Kendall's...and let me tell you, she is stinkin' cute in them! Of course, Grandma Cindy is much more concerned with clothes than Kendall is, so she quickly found a cute little outfit that she insisted on buying for her.  And that was it!  Once Kendall had her doll and doggie in hand, she was ready to head out!  I was mighty impressed that she wasn't interested in the hair salon or spa, or getting matching t-shirts made, or getting the dolls ears pierced, or having a photo session with her.  She had what she came for, she knew how much money she had left, and by God, she was going home with some!  She's just like her daddy...  :)
 We went out to dinner that night, and then headed back to the was cold and we had had a long day!  On Sunday morning, we headed back to AG to have brunch at the cafe.  It was very cute and fancy, and they did such a nice job making Kendall feel special.  Oh, and the food was good too!!  That's always a plus!
 After brunch, we headed back to the hotel to get packed up, as our train left at 1:30.  The train ride back was pretty enjoyable because Kendall and I had the foresight to spend 45 minutes standing in line at Garrett popcorn before we left.  I think everyone on the train was envious of the smells coming from out seating area!  Phenomenal popcorn.  I cannot quit eating it STILL.  Whatever possessed me to buy a jumbo sized bag?!?!

The drive home from South Bend was icky, to say the least.  Rain, icy rain, and snow all made an appearance.  I was so glad to finally get to mom's!  We slept soooooo good that night, let me tell you!

So all in all, we had a fun time, and Kendall loved her first experience in the 'big city'.  Although, I must add that she is definitely not a fan of all the walking!  Haha!!  What a fun birthday experience for her!  She talked about if for DAYS.

I can't wait to go back...maybe for my birthday in April?!?!  :)


Kate said...

Girl, you HAVE to come back! Pizzeria Uno's of Lou Malnati's deep dish is the only way to go. Gino's - blegh :( Who recommended such fare?! LOL Just kidding.

Glad you had a fun time. The pics are adorable! Cute doll too. And glad you got some Garrett's cheesy caramel goodness.

PS - Don't you "love" how overpriced everything is here?

country mouse said...

I think the picture in the taxi is my favorite--so cute! And I love how excited kids get over things we take completely for granted, like riding in a taxi for the first time : )

Kuckie said...

Kate - I am totally planning on a return trip...Sheri and I are both turning 40 the first week of April, so we are tossing around the idea of a girls' trip. YAY! And yes, I will agree about Gino's...who would recommend that? It was blech. But the Garrett's made up for it! LOL!

Countrymouse - I know just how she felt...I just had my first taxi ride last June. And it WAS exciting! :)

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