Sunday, September 28, 2014

Guest Post by Alice: My Trip with Mama

Hi, this is Alice.  Maggie told me you guys would probably like to hear about the trip I took last weekend to the American Girl Place and other spots when I traveled with Mama.  She had originally planned on interviewing me, but I guess she thought this would be an easier way to do it.

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. ;)



Emily Bennett said...

Hi Alice!
It looks like you had a lot of fun on your trip! Someday I hope that I can go to the American Girl Place with my owner.... Anyways, I TOTALLY know how you feel about being the only Whovian in your doll family! My owner likes to watch Doctor Who with me, but she doesn't watch it as much as I do. I guess that it sort of makes sense, considering the fact that I used to live in London :P I still haven't finished the 7th season yet, but I'm getting very close!


P.S.- Does the surprise with mini Addy have to do with Martha on Doctor Who? I have a feeling....

Meritre said...

It must have been a great trip! And your new little doll looks really cute! Unfortunately I do not watch Doctor Who so I can't say anything about it.:(
They all look adorable but I think my favourite is Rebecca :) But I should make some clothes for my Sallie first (she's not an AG doll, we picked her up at a store that sold a lot of random stuff, including some old looking dolls - just before going to the theater)

The Dolls said...

Samantha here, (No, not the newly released Samantha, the old Samantha, very old Samantha to be precise.) I ABSOLUTELY ADORE DOCTOR WHO! I can never decide if I like 10 or 11 better, and I have only seen one episode of 12, but he isn't too bad.

KrissyLou said...

Whovian here! :) Just watching the latest ep - love the line "Why do you have two jackets!?! Is one of them faulty??" Lol.... 10 min in and it's my fav episode so far already! :) You're going to love it! :)

Mary Hannah Grier said...

I'm totally obsessed with Doctor Who, and so is Emma! :D I haven't gotten to see the 8th season (I have to wait for the DVD), but I've heard so many wonderful things about Capaldi.

Who's Your favorite Doctor? I haven't really decided on one yet because I think they're all "Fantastic!" ;-)

Your trip looks so much fun!

~Mama Hen

Lainey Dunlap said...

WE just got into Doctor Who! we're still on the ninth doctor, but we like him a lot! Your trip looks like a loooooot of fun! those barretts are sooo cute! and I love the pictures of the AG store!
great job!

Anonymous said...

Lol, Alice, about the Isabelle being a bjt stuck up- just what I need after a hard days work ☺

beastsbelle said...

Wow, thanks for all the comments! :D

Hi Emily! It's great to meet another Whovian. Enjoy the rest of Season 7! I can't wait to hear what you think of Season 8 when you get there. ;)

Oh my goodness, a Martha-related surprise with mini Addy would be AWESOME!!! Unfortunately, that was not what I was referring to...and I'm not sure how Mama would feel about me customizing her. Hmm...maybe I can ask Mama to keep her eyes out at thrift stores and things. Can you imagine a whole mini cast of Doctor Who?!! :D Oh, the possibilities!!!

Thanks, Meritre. :) It was a great trip. Hayden LOVES Rebecca, too. I think she's hoping Mama will get one for her someday. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. ;)

Hi Samantha, thanks for stopping by!

While I do enjoy 11, I have to admit that 10 is still my very favorite Doctor. I wasn't sure I liked 12 at first, but now I really love him! 10 is still the best, though. ;)

Thanks, KrissyLou! I actually got to watch the latest episode yesterday, and it was one of my favorites of the season so far! :D That line was classic. ;) On the same subject, I loved the fact that the Doctor was surprised Clara recognized him in a different jacket. ;)

Hi Mama Hen! Thanks for stopping by. Hooray, another Whovian! :D I guess I answered this a couple of paragraphs up, but 10 is my very favorite, with 11 and 12 as close second and third. ;)

Thanks, Lu! It was really fun, and yes, I LOVE my barrettes. :)

The 9th Doctor had his fun moments, too. I tend to prefer the "happier" Doctors myself, but 9 definitely had his merits. :)

Lol, glad to cheer you up, Anonymous. ;) She really was a bit of a diva. Maybe she was just having a bad day. ;)

Thanks again, everyone!! I never expected to receive so many comments!


Chrissy said...

If I had the time, I'd blog Dollie Who all day...alas, no time. There are a lot of us "crossovers" out there. I actually told my daughter I think I'll dress up as an AG for the next Comic Con (in Philly) and then carry around my sonic. :)

beastsbelle said...

That would be so awesome, Chrissy! :) I hope to find myself a sonic screwdriver sometime. ;)

Thanks for stopping by! ;)


Anonymous said...

I'm getting a #25 soon- I'm the one who asked you about getting #55 or #25. Only because I travel a lot so I would not like to do my doll's hair all vacation!

beastsbelle said...

Hi Anonymous! Cool, you'll have a doll that looks just like me! My hair is pretty nice and manageable for trips, and Hayden's takes a lot more upkeep, so it sounds like you made a good decision. ;) I hope you and your #25 have lots of great adventures together!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Alice! I found a 25 on eBay for a great price. I hope she gets to Miami quick!!!

Ruth Pevensie said...

Sounds like a fun trip! :)

I've never seen Dr. Who, although my Momma's friend likes it. :)


Isabelle said...

Hi!! Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for my updated blog of the month award. The questions are:
1. How long do you plan to blog for?
2. What is your favorite doll brand?
3. If you had 1 million dollars, what would you spend it on?

You can also nominate other blogs if you want to.

P.S. My blog that I nominated you on is: agdolllover4ever.blogspot.con

beastsbelle said...

Thanks, Isabelle! I'll let Tess and Maggie know. :)


beastsbelle said...

Hi Ruth! Thanks for stopping by. :) Mama always likes me to mention that there are a few content issues with Doctor Who, especially for younger readers, but the characters and stories are really fun. :)


Kathleen said...

Hi Alice! I've never commented on Tess and Maggie's blog before, but I have on your mom's blog a few times.
Heehee, I don't watch Doctor Who (sorry) but that sounds exactly like me with Harry Potter! If you stay in the room for long enough, I will eventually talk your ear off. ;)
I really wish I could go to AGP again. I haven't been for a year! Yikes!
Oh, that is unfortunate that you met one of the stuck up Isabelle non-humans. Not all Isabelles are like that, thankfully.
I am sorry that they were talking about 61 in front of you! As my dolls will tell you, I do the same with about 5 different dolls. I am sure that they could tell you the names nd personalities they each have too, heehee.
Kalaini? Do you know what kind of non-human she is? She is very pretty. :)


Kathleen said...

Hi Tess and Maggie and Alice!
This is Kate and Hally here. Kathleen left this tab open, and we decided to read your blog! Heehee.....*evil grin*
Neither of us watch DW, sorry.
We love Despicable Me though.
Neither of us have ever been to the AG store. Kathleen took Emily and Becca Ana twice (two trips, but she and Claire were each allowed to bring a non-human) We are kind of upset that we can't go just because we didn't come from AG's place. We came from Targets place.
Kathleen and Claire have been gushing over how much they love Rebecca's new stuff and Sam's Frilly Frock. It gets rather annoying. Is she the only human person that does that, or do other people do that too? Anyways, we have to go! I'll comment more later!

Kate and Hally

beastsbelle said...

Hi Kathleen! Thanks for stopping by! :)

It's nice to know there are other obsessive fans out there too, even if it's for a different fandom. I'm not the only one! ;)

I hope you get to go to AGP again someday's pretty incredible!

I figured not all Isabelle's were stuck's nice to know they're not. ;)

It was a little awkward having them gush about #61 like that, but it's not the end of the world, I suppose. Mama seems to love me even though I'm not the prettiest doll in her collection. What I wouldn't give for awesome red hair like #61's, though! ;)

Kailani is a Josefina with Kanani's wig. Mimi really wanted a Kanani but wasn't able to adopt one of them. She loves Kailani just as much, though. :)

Kate and Hally, it's so nice to meet you! :) Hee hee, isn't it nice when the humans leave the computer and we can take over? ;)

I haven't seen Despicable Me yet, but Maggie, Rachel, and Charlie have and they really like it. :) I guess I'll have to try it for myself someday. :)

I'm sorry you two missed out on the trip. Tess could completely relate...she really wanted to go too, but Mama wasn't sure if it would be a good idea since she wasn't from AG. :(

Oh, the humans here gush about stuff all the time too! You're not alone! ;)

Have a great new year!


Kathleen said...

I am going to let Kate and Hally post first:
IT is nice to meet you to. ("I know, Becca. We said nice to meet you. Happy now?") Yes! Heehee, the other day Kathleen left Pinterest open. She came back to find about 50 more pins.

We like it a lot! Kathleen and Claire's grandparents gave them a new sewing machine, and Kathleen said she would sew us non-humans a minion outfit. :D :D :D

Tell Tess that we are sorry and that next time someone else gets to go all three of us can hang out in the comments on Kathleen's blog and post dramatic comments of self pity. I stole that from a book Kathleen is writing. (That is what a very melodramatic character says)

Kathleen said that next time she goes to the AG store she is taking Isabelle though (Our Generation KAylee) since Ag needs to make more biracial and non-Caucasian dolls. It is really unfair, because I (Kate) has been here for 5 years and 7 days and Hally has been here for 4 years, and Bella has only been here for 7 days!


You too!

Now I (Kathleen) am writing.

Heehee, your Mom can tell you how many HP pins I have (I follow her on Pinterest @Kathleen O'Brady)

Yep! I went this past January, but I really would love to see Grace and #61 in person! Ack!

Hopefully Grace isn't either.....Hmmm...

Yeah, I would love bright red hair, too. I have since 2009!

Ah! Hmm.....I am hopefully going to get Josefina this March, so maybe I could find Kanani's wig before then.