I'm not used to writing, so you'll have to be patient with me. :}
Before I get started on my trip, though, I thought I'd see if there were any Whovians out there. Is anyone else enjoying the new season of Doctor Who? I'm LOVING it!! I wasn't sure if I would like Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. He was just so old!! He's completely won me over, though, even if he is a bit more gruff and standoffish than some of the other Doctors. I thought what they did in the first episode was brilliant! (SPOILER WARNING if you haven't seen it yet. Or, as River would say, "Spoilers!") You know, where the Eleventh Doctor called Clara to tell her how much the Twelfth Doctor needed her? It worked so well because all of us were feeling like Clara was, not sure if we could think of this new guy as the Doctor (at least I was...I don't know about anyone else). (END OF SPOILER) My favorite episode so far has been the Robin Hood one ("The Robot of Sherwood"). I haven't seen this week's episode yet, but I think it will be very interesting to see how the Doctor reacts to Pink. (ANOTHER SPOILER) I think it's so cool that Pink and Clara are getting together, though. :) (END OF SPOILER)
Okay, sorry for that detour. I just can't get anyone to talk about Doctor Who in this house for very long. The other dolls listen, but they don't watch the show as much, so they can't really offer an opinion, and I can tell they're just being polite. Mama enjoys Doctor Who, but she's not as huge of a fan as I am (especially since she has so many other fandoms). Sometimes I feel like I'll explode if I can't discuss every little nuance of the show with someone. So if you'd care to comment about it here, feel free!! :D
Uh oh, I think I hear Maggie coming. I'd better get back to the topic I'm supposed to be typing about or she'll be irritated. (Maggie has had ZERO interest in Doctor Who, I think just because she's tired of hearing me talk about it. I think if she gave it a chance, she'd really like it.)
So, uh, back to the trip. We left last Saturday early in the morning and took off for Palo Alto, to the nearest American Girl Place.
When I got to Grandmama's van, Nellie and Kailani were waiting for me.
It was nice to know I'd have some other dolls to talk to on the long drive. :)
We stopped at Panera in Vacaville for lunch. Panera is this AMAZING restaurant that serves sandwiches and soups. They cook their own bread, and it is absolutely fantastic!!
We made one more bathroom stop for the humans on the way, and then we were FINALLY at American Girl Place!! (Just when I was beginning to wonder if we would ever get there!)
Here I am outside the store. This picture was actually taken after we went inside (we were so excited to go in that we didn't take pictures beforehand), but I think it works better here at the beginning of the post. ;)
Here I am in front of the doors. Time to go inside! Allons-y!! Ahem. Sorry...I couldn't resist. ;)
One of the reasons Mama, Grandmama and Mimi really wanted to go was to see all of the new "BeForever" stuff. I mean, we all saw it online (as you might remember from Tess's earlier post), but they said it was really important to actually see it "in person" (so, would that be "in doll" for me?). ;D
I couldn't believe how HUGE the store was!! There were so many dolls and outfits and accessories, it was enough to make my head spin!
Here's the "Girl of the Year" section for Isabelle. Nice gals. (As you can see, there were more than one of them.) The Isabelles behind plastic were kind of hard to visit with, but the ones in the open air seemed pretty sweet. Except for the one in the fancy tutu. I think she felt she was above talking to such a plainly dressed doll like me. :}
The huge staircase was incredible!! Thankfully, Mama carried me when we went up. I think it would have taken me most of the day just to get up the stairs!! ;)
When we went upstairs, the humans had to use the bathroom again, so I got to try out the "doll holders" in the stalls. Mama kept talking about how "cute" they were. I guess it was preferable to being on the bathroom floor, but they're not as comfy as they look (you try hanging on hooks under your armpits for a while and see how it feels!). ;) It also felt a little weird to just be hanging around like that. I felt like a picture or shelf or something.
Here I am in the elevator on the way back down to the first floor. I love how the walls are sparkly!
So, I'm not going to share a whole bunch of pictures about the different stuff that was there. To be honest, it gives me a headache just trying to think about sharing my opinion on everything like Mama did. For those of you wanting a more detailed look at everything, you can check out Mama's post about it HERE. I will say that the new BeForever stuff was pretty cool, and it was nice to be able to see it all...even if it was a bunch to take in all at once. ;)
I did get a chance to visit with some of the dolls out on display. Apparently AG puts out the displays so that kids (and their moms) have a chance to play with stuff and see how it works. Mama always likes these displays because she usually can't afford the big playsets. This one was Samantha's new Ice Cream Parlor.
I had a chance to visit with Sam for a while. She was really nice...a bit tired from being played with all day (not all little kids are as gentle as Mama). I didn't order any ice cream, of course, because it was just play food, and I couldn't take it from the store. She gave me a nice little tour of the shop, though. It's really cool.
I also loved meeting her puppy Jip. He's so adorable!! He was really sweet, too. He made me want a puppy of my own. It was only after we left that I expressed this, and I found out that I could have gotten a Jip of my own at the store! Sigh. Oh well, I don't know that I'd have room for him anyway.
I also got to talk to this very nice #38. Her name was Ellie. She was on display with a bunch of fun camping stuff. She had that same tired, glazed-over look in her eyes that Sam had earlier. It's tough work being a display doll at AG! She seemed really sweet, though.
About halfway through our visit, one of the store's "personal shoppers" talked with us. (I guess a personal shopper helps the humans with their shopping at the store.) She complemented me on my outfit and hat, which was pretty cool. ;) When she found out the trip was a birthday trip for Mama and Grandmama, she gave them both birthday stickers to wear. She gave me a birthday sticker, too, even though it wasn't really my birthday. ;)
After we'd been there for about an hour, Mama told me she wanted to get me something from the store. I was kind of overwhelmed at first. How could I choose something out of so many items?
Then I saw this really cute hat. It was just perfect, and it was a good price, too. I decided that would be my souvenir.
This really nice #21 was modeling a whole ensemble of AG brand stuff. I would love to get this whole set sometime to share with the others (except for the shoes...they don't look like they match to me). So far, I have the hat and Hayden has the sweatshirt. So now, we just need to get the shirt and pants, and we'll be all set. :)
Before we left, Mama directed me to the mini doll section. Now, I have to admit, I've never been much of a doll person. I'm more into collecting my Doctor Who action figures and toys. But seeing those pretty little dolls right in front of me made me want a doll of my own for the first time in my life. How weird is that? Mama says it can be the same way for humans. She said that every time she goes to the AG Place, she wants to give another doll a home. [She and Grandmama and Mimi were all talking nonstop about "#61" and how gorgeous she was...right in front of me. I tried not to take it personally...I know I'm not "gorgeous" by any stretch of the imagination. Still, I wonder if they realize how that sounds to another doll?]
Anyway, back to the point. I thought mini Rebecca was cute. I remembered that Hayden really wanted a Rebecca. She was out of stock, though.
Mini Samantha was adorable, too. Ella has her on her wishlist. I think she'd make a great mini look-alike doll for her.
Then I saw Addy. She was absolutely adorable!
And then I saw this sign.
I didn't really like any of the other dolls enough to get one, so I just figured that would be it. I didn't really need a doll, anyway. But when Mama saw me looking, she said she would order an Addy for me. I told her it was really okay, that I was perfectly content with my hat, but she wouldn't take no for an answer.
Here I am at the checkout counter with the stuff we bought. Mimi and Mama both bought hats (and then Mama ordered a mini Addy). Grandmama bought Addy's Meet Dress, the Coconut Cutie Outfit, the Rainy Day Coat, and the Addy BeForever book (the one where you can choose your own adventure). Ordering the mini Addy turned into a major hassle. The sales associate couldn't get the order to work online, and then the store phones weren't working correctly. I was embarrassed, wishing I had been able to convince Mama that it was really okay. Finally, though, we got everything paid for and ordered. It was time to move on to our next stop!
After quickly checking into our hotel in Dublin (Southern California, not the one in Ireland), ;) we headed over to the nearby mall for dinner and more shopping.
Grandmama tried this supposedly awesomely healthy shake from "Vitality Bowl".
She let me try a little bit, too.
I decided I much preferred to share Mimi's nachos. ;)
The mall proved to be a bit of a disappointment. There was supposed to be a Disney Store there, but it was no longer open. There was a Build-a-Bear Workshop, but Mama decided she didn't want to go there before going to the Disney Store so she wouldn't be too tempted to come home with an Applejack. ;) (As it turns out, we never made it back to Build-a-Bear...when we returned in the morning, the mall wasn't going to open for another hour, so we gave up and moved on. A bit of a bummer...I've always wanted to go to a Build-a-Bear. I guess there are some closer to where we live, though, so it's possible I can visit one some other time.) We popped into a couple of stores and then left the mall to get to Hobby Lobby and Toys R Us before they closed.
Here I am in front of Hobby Lobby. We had a fun time looking through the store, and Grandmama and Mimi found some cute Christmas ornaments here.
You can't really see it, but in the distance is the sign for Toys R Us. This store had a really odd layout, so it was really hard to find all the stuff we were looking for. Mama found a couple of Zelfs for her daughters here, but that's about it.
By the time we got done in Toys R Us, we were all pretty tired. We went back to our hotel room and crashed. Isn't this huge bed amazing?
It was really comfy.
Of course, we dolls got our own little bed. For some reason, the humans didn't want to share. ;) Here I am with Nellie and Kailani, eating some yummy M&M snacks that Grandmama bought. (P.S. See my adorable Tenth Doctor Mama found for me? He's my most favorite toy EVER!!)
The hotel room also had a nice fold-out couch. It was a big, spacious room. The only thing was it smelled a little funny, kind of an old building smell.
The next morning, we got up, had a nice continental breakfast, and got dressed for the day.
Nellie, Kailani and I enjoyed the view from one of the windows while the humans finished getting ready.
Right before we left, Mama got some pictures of me in the enormous lobby.
It had this incredible chandelier hanging from the ceiling.
The bottom of the staircase railing was the perfect place to sit. ;)
Here I am on both sides of the stairs:
After looking for another local Toys R Us with no success, and stopping again at the mall (which is when we found out it didn't open until 11:00, and it was only 10:00 ish), we decided to head out to another mall several miles away that was supposed to have a Disney Store. Sorry, to be honest, I don't even remember what mall it was (and unfortunately, the mall sign is too blurry to read in this picture). :}
Success at last! It was really fun to visit the Disney Store. Mama didn't end up getting anything there, but it was still fun to look.
We had lunch at the food court.
And from here on out, there are no more pictures from the trip. We had to get to the airport by 4:00 pm to pick up some friends of Mimi's who were coming for a visit, so we had to use our time wisely after the mall. Apparently Mama didn't want to waste any of it taking pictures. ;) I can confirm that we did find another Toys R Us...and it was huge and incredible!! We got to the airport without a hitch and had a great drive home with Mimi's friends.
I thought I'd wrap up with pictures of my stuff I got.
Here's my hat from the AG Place.
I like the details on the sides, like the star and the snaps.
Here's the other side.
Here it is from the back.
Mama was also really sweet and got me a present from Hot Topic.
How cool are these? They're TARDIS barrettes!! :D
They look great in my hair, too:
I didn't have to wait long for my Addy doll to arrive. She came this past Wednesday, only four days after Mama placed the order. It was pretty fun having a package in the mail, just for me!
I opened the box, and there she was!
She really is an adorable doll.
She came with her first BeForever book, too.
I've never had an American Girl doll before, or had any mail before, for that matter. It was pretty cool.
Here we are together. She's a really pretty little doll, and I like her a lot. But I have an idea of what I might do with her. I'm not telling yet, though. It would ruin the surprise. ;)
Hope you guys enjoyed hearing about my trip. And please, calling all Whovians!! There's got to be someone else out there as obsessed as I am, right? ;D This may be my only opportunity. If I get too many Doctor Who-related responses, Maggie may not let me post again. ;)