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.
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.
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?
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.
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.