An American Girl Weekend

For Christmas, my parents opted to give the kids experiences, rather than presents. I, for one, thought that was brilliant. As a kid, some of my fondest memories of my grandparents are things I did with them, not things they bought. My grandmother used to buy bananas, dip them in chocolate and then freeze them. Every time I went over to her house, she always had one ready for me.

To this day, that’s the only way I’ll eat a banana. True story.

My mom knew we’d gotten the girls American Girl dolls for Christmas. By some fantastic stroke of luck, I ended up getting the two dolls for 75% through the AG Today Show deal. I still can’t believe that actually happened. My mom gave the girls an overnight trip to Houston so we could shop at the AG store and enjoy some time away, just the girls. Oh my. All the cards just fell into the right place and it ended up being such a lovely weekend during spring break. We enjoyed great meals – one with the dolls at the AG Cafe – some shopping, lots of giggling, hotel bed jumping, swimming, warm cookies and milk in bed and a bath in a jetted tub. So many great memories were made.

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We neglected to make cafe reservations in advance – I know, rookie AG mom. But, lucky for us, their computer systems went down company-wide, so they had no access to any of their reservations. That worked in our favor and they ended up having a free table at the last minute. Having the dolls dine with us, enjoying all the pink and hearing the girls giggle – about everything – was so fun. My mom and I are huge doll fans (think 1980 Madame Alexander love) and the two of us fully appreciated the magic of that moment.

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We were the first ones in the store. Shocking. And, while Clare picked out her outfit in less than five minutes, it took Anna-Laura nearly an hour and a half. I mean, the girl has to fully evaluate her options, no? “This would’ve driven the boys crazy,” my mom commented. No lie. But, we happily followed Anna-Laura around the store, and around, and around, until she found the just-right one. I now feel like I should do a HDYDI post on “Making the Most of Your American Girl Store Visit” but I’m afraid I have way too much to learn. Any of you veterans have some tips for us newbies?

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Some of my most cherished memories with my mom are walking through the doll store as a little girl. It was so fun to relive those days, this time as the mom who couldn’t stop smiling.

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Mom, thanks for scoring the BEST hotel on the planet for peanuts, making time to enjoy your granddaughters and giving them a memory they’ll always cherish.

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  1. Nicole on March 21, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Yay! So glad you guys had fun… I loved taking Claire to the AG store and already shared my tips with you… Glad all the cards fell into place!

    • Kathryn on March 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Nicole, your advice has been AWESOME! It certainly made for a great shopping day. And, your advice on everything else has been so helpful. Thank you!

  2. Holly on March 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    they are so cute! at what age would you recommend the first visit to the store? we have one here in Denver.

    • Kathryn on March 21, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      Holly, my youngest is in kindergarten (she’ll be 6 in a few months) and I’m not sure I’d take one younger than her. You know your kids best, but I felt like the girls were at a perfect age (7 and 5). Hope that helps!

  3. 7 Quick Takes: All About the Memories on March 22, 2013 at 7:33 am

    […] knew American Girl dolls were so addictive? We finally jumped in the deep end of the pool and my mom took the girls and I to the Houston AG […]

  4. Jill on March 22, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Kathryn and Debbie,
    I love seeing these pictures. I have such fond memories of hanging out with you two. 4H practice, bread-baking, trip to A&M, Beauti-Control, sleepovers, and just girl-chatting. Debbie, I still remember bringing Ashton over to the house for a get together the year after we graduated. I was a new mom, and everyone else was talking about college and everything. It was kind-of a difficult time, but you sat and chatted with me. I remember that it made me feel like maybe I wasn’t such a worthless screw-up, which was a very popular idea in my head during that time. Just seeing these pictures of you guys makes me smile. We had some good times! Love you ladies!

    • Kathryn on March 22, 2013 at 11:30 pm

      I didn’t think a comment would make me tear up, Jill. Looking back, there are so many things I thought I knew, but really didn’t. In our heads I think we knew what you were going through was tough, but none of us really *knew.* My mom did. Thank you so much for sharing that memory with me. It sounds like it’s precious to us both.

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