Monday, August 5, 2013

American Girls

Back in the nineties my sister and I had a bit of an obsession.  We were lovers of all things American Girl.  We started with the books.  We would go to the library every week and check out all they had (which at the time there were only about 30 books).  We'd get so excited when there was one we hadn't read.  I loved Molly McIntire, her father was a doctor in WWII and she showed us life during the 1940's.  My sister quickly grew attached to Samantha Parkington, the orphan who was adopted by her wealthy grandmother. (which now makes me wonder if maybe she'd been wishing for a similar story).  We read the other girls books and stories but these were the ones we loved.  For Christmas we each got a doll.  I don't even remember when we realized there were dolls but it wasn't until after we fell in love with the books.  
When I think of my childhood, these are some of the most vivid memories.  My mom, sister and I would pile up in our bed and my mom would read to us for hours every night.  Thankfully my mom kept our dolls all these years (at least 20 years, we can't really remember). 
{Side note, I saw the author/creator of the books and dolls on Oprah a few years ago and she said she wrote the books because her daughter hated history.  She wrote about the girls in different time periods so that her daughters could learn history while enjoying the story of their favorite American girl. Made me love them even more}
 Since we found out there was a store and bistro in Atlanta we've wanted to go (I'm talking years).  So this year Elizabeth invited us to spend the night with her in Atlanta and make a girls trip for brunch.
Let me back up and just mention our trip to the ATL.  It takes three hours to get from Gardendale to the area of Atlanta that my sister lives.  We left Gardendale at 4:00 which put us arriving at our destination around 8:00 their time.  I fed Barrett around 2:30 so I'm not really sure what I was thinking.  I thought he'd be happy until we got there and he probably would have been if we hadn't gotten caught in traffic.  He was fine as long and the car was moving.  While we were not moving in traffic he was screaming at the top of his lungs.  It was awesome.  I'm sure everyone else thought it was too.  I was about to lose my mind.  We finally made it after I almost had a come apart with my mom (this was after n
she'd mentioned that we should do something next year for my 30th birthday, problem is I'll be 29 next year.)   But all survived and we arrived just in time for pizza.  I had to feed Barrett and I put him in the floor and he was out.  We stayed up chatting and eating it was a fun evening.  I went to bed a little earlier because I was exhausted after the drive.
Elizabeth woke me up Saturday morning saying that she'd already put Samantha in her birthday dress for brunch.  I was sad because I didn't have Molly's birthday dress but I didn't let it get me down.  We all got ready and were out the door by 8:30.  I was proud of us.
When we got there people were lined up to get in.
My sister and I with our dolls. 
I was so upset because Molly has a cute little hat, purse and glasses that I still had and we brought to Atlanta but we left them at the apartment. 

The group minus mom.  Barrett wasn't really impressed.  I let Harper carry Molly and she was thrilled.

I love this picture of my sister, mom, Barrett, me and of course Samantha and Molly.

We sat at our table and they put the dolls in their highchairs.

Then they brought them each a cup of air.  Harper was in the bathroom when they brought these out and she was so concerned that they didn't have anything to drink.  Elizabeth told her they'd already drank it.  Then she wanted to pour them some cream but Elizabeth stopped her.

Harper is so funny.

Ava's not really into dolls so she thought we were a bit nuts.

Barrett wasn't really impressed.  He did enjoy watching all the pretty girls though.

We got a group picture in the princess chair. 
I'm sure when Barrett is 18 he'll love to tell his friends he got to have his picture made in the princess chair and the American Girl store.

We hung out in Atlanta for the rest of the day and headed back to Birmingham around 7:00.  It was a bit of an overwhelming trip but I had a lot of fun.  I loved seeing Elizabeth in her "natural habitat".  It was fun to see where she lives, works and goes to church. I loved seeing Harper so excited about something we loved.  As annoying as it was, it was special seeing how excited my mom was to get to do this with her girls.  She loved telling anyone that would listen how that this trip has been 18 years in the making.  I could tell that it really meant so much to her.  I loved getting to relive one of my favorite things from my childhood, with my sister.  She and I had so much fun just walking through the store looking at the new dolls and new stuff.  We also had a pretty in depth conversation at the doll salon on whether it would be worth it to spend the $20 to have their hair worked on. (I'm thinking when I go back I might splurge). 
 I kept telling Barrett he better hope he has a sister one day or that may not be his last visit.

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