St. Louis

I nailed it. We gave our girls the trip of their lives! I have never seen their faces light up so big with joy. We packed the car Friday morning and were on the road at 8:00. We arrived at St. Louis with no tears, not once. We checked into the hotel at 1:00. We stayed at the Drury Hotel and Suites which offers an American Girl package, which means the dolls will have beds of their own and cookies for the girls. The girls opened their packages and played with their dolls on the new beds.

After we got settled in, we went to go find some lunch. Our plans for the afternoon were to go see the arch, we ended up finding Schlafly Brewery downtown. We had a fine time looking at all the machinery. The kids split a delicious grilled cheese and fries. Michael got fish and chips, and I got a turkey burger. All was good. We bought a Chocolate Stout and a Barleywine to bring home.

After we ate, we headed to the arch. The girls were super impressed with the arch. Addison kept saying, “Look, its arch!” and would point when she saw it. We waited in line and made our way all the way up to the top. The windows could be a bit bigger to see out of, but we were super tall up there. Ella Kate asked if the things moving on the ground (people) were dogs. We went back down and walked around the museum and headed on back to the hotel. The hotel was fully loaded. They had popcorn and drinks all day, they had a full dinner and breakfast buffet. All super good and free! Only downside was that it was kinda packed. We needed a tray so we could take it back upstairs to eat. But we found a couch and mowed down hotdogs, meatballs, nachos, salad, and free drinks. The kids were pooped and hadn’t napped so we went upstairs and watched movies, stayed up too late and went to bed. We had a super busy day ahead of us Saturday!

We rolled out of bed at 7:30 and went downstairs for breakfast. Yum Yum! They had pancakes, donuts, and scrambled eggs. Ella Kate and Addison were in HEAVEN! I ate sausage biscuits and gravy. We headed back upstairs to start getting ready for our big day! Michael wasn’t invited to the shopping part of the day. So he had found a rugged trail to run. He was going to run about 10-15 miles while we were out and about. So he headed out and we got our pretty on and money ready.

We could walk to the AG store, which was fantastic for us (sort of…more on that later). So we headed out at 9:45 and were the first people waiting at the store. The music came on and the doors opened and we all walked in with our mouths open. I couldn’t believe it, wall to wall, floor to floor, AG doll stuff. Our first thing to do was get Carolyn (EK’s doll) and Carly’s (Addison’s doll) ears pierced and hair styled. We were the first to do so, after we paid and picked our hair styles I turned around and their was a HUGE line and people but to but. It was about the craziest shopping experience I have ever been in. After we got our dolls back I asked Ella Kate what she wanted to do and she said look around. She brought all of her Christmas, Birthday, and allowance monies. I asked her before we left if she wanted another doll and she said no, she thought one was more than enough. So we looked at all the outfits and accessories all throughout the store. Then she said she wanted to look at the dolls. I saw it coming before we walked into the store. She would get another doll. I knew the moment I saw the doll that she would want it. It was a beautiful doll with a purple dress on and long flowing curly blonde hair. She looked at it, looked at me, and said, “Mom, can I get another doll?” I told her I didn’t care, it was her money and if that is how you want to spend it then carry on. Funny thing about the doll she picked, she is a historical doll named Carolyn. I told her that her name was Carolyn and that we would have two dolls named Carolyn, crazy to me, alright with EK. We got a bag, and put the doll in the bag. Addison figured out what was going on and said she wanted one as well. Monkey see, monkey do type situation with Addison. So we walked around with her and I helped her decided on a long haired hippy doll, named Julie. The girls had around $380 to spend. So the dolls took out a good chunk of the cash. I told them they had enough for earrings, and a new outfit for their dolls. Ella Kate picked out two outfits and Addison one. They also got carrying bags for their dolls, each bag carries two dolls and some “supplies.” We went and checked out and I was thinking that they went over their limit but I would cover it. Their grand total was $384.00! Not bad at all! Insert big sigh here! The lady started putting everything in all these bags and I said, can we try and do one big bag? We had to walk back to the hotel with all this new stuff! Luckily it fit into one giant bag and I lugged that, my huge purse, camera, Addison, and Ella Kate.

We got back into the hotel and they wanted to open everything. American Girl doll and stuff fully took over our room. After the excitement wore down, we went back to the mall and to California Pizza Kitchen. Super Good. We ordered a thin crust cheese pizza. Delish! Michael called and said he was on his way back to the hotel, so we got a to go box and headed back.

The girls played with their new dolls and outfits and I could tell they needed a nap, we all did. It was an overwhelming morning. So we all laid down and Michael and I slept for about an hour and I told him I needed to go back to the store because I didn’t buy anything for her to actually open as a present from us. So I snuck out and went back for the second time. Ella Kate had her eye on an outfit for her new doll, a purple ball gown and a daybed for her dolls. I picked up that and some bedding for the bed. Then I quickly realized that Addison would want it too, so I picked up another outfit for Julie, a daybed, and bedding. Addison will get those for her 3rd birthday this summer. I went and checked out and asked if Ella Kate’s could be brought to the table after we ate cake and they said yes. Thank goodness for that, otherwise I would have made several trips with beds and the rest of it. No good.

I snuck back in the hotel and the girls were still asleep! YAY! I woke them up at 3:30 and we went and got popcorn and lemonade from downstairs. We had a reservation for 5:30 for our bistro birthday party. We started getting ready and all “dolled up” (literally) and walked back to the store. The mall was packed all day long. So we decided to walk again. We arrived at the hostess station and they said Ah, yes, Poole party of 8. We brought all 4 dolls and all 4 dolls sat in a high chair. This bistro is really any little girls dream, dolls, pink stuff, shiny things, pink lemonade. It was really fun. Michael and I just giggled the whole time. With our bistro birthday party everyone gets a drink, an appetizer, an entree, and cake and ice cream. They got the dolls all lined up and presented everyone with birthday crowns, including dolls. They brought out our drinks and they gave the dolls miniature tea cups and saucers, and the waiter put pink lemonade in them! I new a mess was coming so I drank all of it. Addison was pretty cool with that, and then the waiter came back and said oh the dolls were thirsty and I mouthed at him, pretend! Addison lost it. She wanted the real thing, but I knew better. I gave her a sucker and all was good!  Ella Kate and I picked pretzel bites, Addison got cheese quesadillas, Michael got spinach artichoke dip and pita bread. Everything was really fantastic! But after we ate, we were a little full! Then we were to pick our entree, Ella Kate and Addison got a big bowl of mac and cheese that was super yummy. Michael got a bistro burger and curly fries and I got a turkey club and curly fries. It was some of the best food we have had in a while and were completely impressed! After we ate, they brought out a small pink cake and ice cream. The whole restaurant and staff sang Happy Birthday to Ella Kate! That little lady was just in heaven, she had a huge perma-grin on her face the whole night! After we ate our cake, they brought out her presents to open. More smiles! They gave each girl a gift bag with an outfit, flower, stickers, and a red balloon for the dolls. We finished up with everything and headed back to the hotel.

Once in the room, we threw on our swimsuits and headed to the indoor pool. The water was a little warm, enough for EK to get in, Addison and I sat on the edge. They really liked the hot tub though, it was huge! Addison liked the bubbles and I liked the warm water! Michael and I took turns with Addison. We went back up to our room at 8:30 and the Little Mermaid was on. EK put her dolls to bed in the new daybed and Addison’s slept on the beds from the hotel. We stayed up way too late and slept in! I looked at my phone and it was 8:00 so I woke everyone up and we went and ate breakfast. Then we packed up everything and cleaned up the hotel cause it was a MESS and headed back to Memphis! Super fun trip and I highly recommend it if you have little girls! Now for the pictures…

Opening  travel beds for the dolls.
Sleepy dolls.
We could see the store from the hotel, its the red building.
Schlafly Brewing Company.

Walking up to the arch.

Riding up  the arch.
In the arch!
Two pooped kids and dolls! The hotel room was nice as well, it had the beds in one room with a tv, another room with a couch, recliner, and another tv. So we weren’t stuck watching kid shows!

Waiting till 10:00 a.m.!

Carolyn and Carly getting their hair fixed and ears pierced.
EK standing in front of her new doll, Carolyn!

The girls and all their loot they bought!

Three girls, 4 dolls, and one dad all dressed up for EK’s big birthday bash!
This kid is getting so big! Can you believe it? So fancy with her dolls!
Making sure her dolls are well fed.
Girl picture!
Happy girl!
Group shot of our family of 8!
Look at that face!
Mac and cheese…yummy!
Opening her presents from mom and dad.
Addison enjoying her balloon in her goody bag.
Pool time!

and trashed!

It was definitely one of my most favorite trips with my girls. Michael had fun too, with the hotel and running, he even had fun at dinner! I hope one day we can go back for Addison’s birthday when she is older. St. Louis is a really neat city. It seemed extremely large and they have a ton of things to do, most of which are free!

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