Natalie Turns 8…Chicago Anyone?

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Our little girl Natalie turned 8 years old last week. As promised, to celebrate, the girls went on a road trip to the Windy City. The ultimate destination was the American Girl Place. Natalie and her best friend Brooklyn had been looking forward to the adventure for many months. They had been hording cash in order to purchase the ultimate desires.l

On Friday morning, Shelley, Natalie, Tina and Brooklyn all heading north toward Meca.

This is Shelley finally posting….We started the drive to the frozen tundra of Chicago around 10:30 on Friday.  Along the way we heard lots of giggling and the asking of “are we there yet?” every hour or so.  All in all it was a pleasant car ride with lots of good sugary snacks!  We crossed the big bridge and saw the huge building of the city in front of us and the girls were in awe!  They were even more excited when we were driving through downtown to find our hotel.

We found the hotel and went inside to check in.  While we were waiting the girls were impressed by our accomodations for the weekend.  They thought the lobby was pretty fancy.  We had prebooked our room on Hotwire.com and had called earlier in the day to request 2 beds.  Our room was on the 36th floor…the girls were psyched!  The room was beautiful with a huge bathroom that had a walk in shower and a stunning view of Lake Michigan.  Unfortunately it only had one bed.  I went down to change the rooms.  The next room was on the 17th floor…bummer…still only 1 bed though…We were getting frustrated at this point and on the third try we finally got what we needed….unfortunately it was your typical average room…no fancy bathrooms or fantastic views.  Still we would survive.

We all got ready to go to our “secret” fancy dinner.  We left the hotel and walked about 3 blocks to the American Girl Place MegaStore.  It is 2 full stories of nothing but AG!  Talk about heaven.  The girls were amazed and immediately pointing out all the things they couldn’t wait to buy.  We looked around the store for about an hour and made lists of all the items the girls wanted (mine and Tina’s strategy to minimize crying at the register).  Then they were getting hungry…it was almost dinner time…they had no idea that we were having dinner at AG Place.  When we went upstairs and stood at the doors the girls began begging us to go to dinner.  When we said we were there they were completely shocked.  Natalie just kept saying “I can’t believe this”.  The sheer joy on their faces was so worth the money that we spent.

Dinner was excellent…great food and very fancy.  The dolls had their own seats and dishes!  As the evening grew to a close there were many girls getting birthday cakes….well, when booking I had said no to this option…silly mama!  Tina slyly went to the hostess stand and I quickly followed suit…we were able to get the cake and ice cream delivered.  Natalie was at the point of tears because she thought they were not going to get a cake…then they did…evening saved!

After dinner we went back to the store and made off with our purchases.  Natalie likes all the “stuff” to go with the dolls, she purchased a concession stand, a picnic set, a pet dog and the gymnastics outfit.  Brooklyn prefers the clothes and she bought several outfits and had Julie’s ears pierced! (yes they do that).  We hauled our loot back to the hotel and turned in early…we were exhausted.

We woke the next morning ready for breakfast…we trolled upstairs the the Skyy Lounge on the 40th floor and ate what we thought was our free continental breakfast….until the bill came that is.  The girls of course loved it because they were treated like princess and drank apple juice from champagne glasses….you can imagine the cost!  After breakfast we went to the Hancock building, the girls were amazed by the view.  We then braved the public transportation (bus) and you would have thought we were in a limo!  They both had to stand and hold the bars on the way to the aquarium.  We visited the Shedd Aquarium and then ventured on to the Planetarium…both nice places.  We then headed back to Michigan Avenue to wander the shops.  We ordered pizza for carry out and ate it on our beds that night…something we would never do at home!

Sunday was our last day.  We awoke early and decided for a cheaper breakfast at the Corner Bakery.  It was snowy and windy outside…and very, very cold.  After breakfast we headed toward Garrett Popcorn (a mere 12 blocks away)….did I mention it was snowy, windy and cold?  We finally made it…almost frozen solid and my heart sank…it was closed.  We headed to a Borders books to warm up and bide our time.  We finally picked up our popcorn and needed to head back to AG one more time…two blocks into the walk and I was almost frozen…we hailed a taxi (another highlight of the trip) and headed to AG and then the hotel to check out.

I apologize for the length of this post but we did a ton!  The girls are already planning next year’s trip back to the windy city!

Mia and Josephina can now have teaMia and Josephina can now have tea
 
Mia, Natalie, and Josephina looking at the menuMia, Natalie, and Josephina looking at the menu
 
Nice table decorationsNice table decorations
 
Listening to the audio tourListening to the audio tour
 
Brooklyn and Natalie at the Adler Planetarium - ChicagoBrooklyn and Natalie at the Adler Planetarium – Chicago
 
Natalie in the Lego Store - ChicagoNatalie in the Lego Store – Chicago