Yesterday was finally our "official" visit to the new American Girl store at Alderwood Mall. The girls had no idea as I told them we were just headed to the mall to see the weekly summer movie at the theater. They were rather surprised as I was rushing them past the store so we "wouldn't be late for the movie", to see our friends hanging out at the entrance. It didn't take long for the screaming and jumping to begin! Trying to take pictures of girls in a new doll store is a bit like trying to capture a gazelle running from a pride of lions. They go this way and that, only looking back at you for a second to make sure you're still around.
Genna and Bella posing with Kanani at her shaved ice stand
she's adored these Bitty Babies for a few years now, so it's quite a treat to finally get to hold one
checking out the display
Bell and Kanani
she's just tickled to bits to be here!
Admiring the horses, and Genna announcing she would rather buy a horse from Target or Walmart since they would be much cheaper, haha!
what's over here.......no, what's over here........... wait for little Brie!
The very helpful staff found a doll "just like Genna"
She's so happy to be bringing home Kanani she can't even keep her eyes open!
Somehow I managed not to snap a pic of the girls with their new dolls, but I'm sure I'll have one to post soon since I've pretty much turned into a stalker with my new camera. I'm equally as certain there will be many trips to American Girl in our future, and many more photo opportunities. Now I must go cuddle with Bella and read her new Kanani book to her and her dolly.
Did you miss me? Sorry about that, I've pretty much moved into Leading Edge Gymnastics part time. And when not there, I've been trying to keep my kids busy with summer rainy day activities since it seems we're going to have a rather moist summer. (oh, and I'm NOT complaining! Right now I much prefer rain to heat, but my kids are bummin' big time) On the rare chance I don't actually have anything on my calendar, I've been busy buying buckets of pink. (buckets being about the size of a sand pail though since I haven't actually had much free time) In a nutshell, I'm a little short on time these days. Anyhow, I have an announcement:
The moment every little girl dreams of is finally here: American Girl has opened a store at the Alderwood Mall! I think there are still less than a dozen of these stores in the entire country, and if you have an American Girl fan, it's a big deal to get one in your neck of the woods.
Now, I had ZERO intention of going there on opening day. I knew it would be a mad-house, and we have plans to visit with some dear friends after the initial hullabaloo settles down. I've been in need of some new maternity tops, and due to aforementioned crazy schedule, I found myself headed to the mall on launch day. I had Bella in tow, but still no plan to visit wonderland. For some stupid reason, I was taken by surprise at the hundreds of little girls milling about holding their dolls, signs plastered on every surface, balloons galore, and, of course, a DJ for radio Disney in the parking lot. Bella wouldn't have said a combative word if I told her we weren't going to visit, but that's just not the kind of mom I am. So, we paraded across the parking lot, in the rain, and got our admission tickets. (tickets were free, this was simply a safety and crowd control measure) We were told our ticket number would probably be let in the store around noon, which was fine because we'd come to the mall to shop anyhow.
Since we were already in the parking lot, we decided to head over to the tent where the music was coming from and see the happenings. Jamba Juice was set up with free smoothies for everyone; a perfect treat at 9:30 am! There were tables set up with crafts, and Bella was able to make a crown to take home to one of her dolls. They also had karaoke set up for the brave young ladies to take turns dazzling the crowds, and each participant won a prize. They even had the girl of the year set up on a table in the tent, much to Bella's excitement:
(she's been admiring Kanani in the catalog since January!)
We made our way back inside to do our shopping and have some lunch while we waited for our turn to tour the store. Despite the massive crowds, it was fairly well organized. When we came back they were already passed our number, so we simply showed our tickets and walked right in without having to stand in line. Bella was immediately handed a free gift just for coming in the store. Super cool!!
I think it took her a good 45 seconds to even speak after walking in, and even then it was more a jumble of sounds than a complete sentence. The fact that the place was so jammed you had to shuffle around made no difference to her- all she could see was a world of dollies. (thankfully Bella is small, so it was easy for me to just park myself in an empty corner and watch her weave in and out to all the different displays; oohing and ahhing equally at each one) In true American Girl style, it was a pink paradise. Being a bibliophile, I was a bit disappointed in the "book store" section, but I noticed they had most of the historical character books displayed with the dolls instead. I didn't get more than a peek at the bistro, but what I saw of the menu looked pretty good. (hopefully it'll taste good too because I'm planning a surprise lunch party for Genna on her birthday!)
The store also features a doll hospital, a doll salon (which includes ear piercing and hair styling for the doll), and a "Tee for Two" station where you can have matching T-shirts designed for you and your doll.
The staff seemed genuinely happy and helpful, and I was amazed at how well behaved all the children in the store were! No tantrums or whining, no rudeness of any kind despite the overwhelming excitement. It was also really neat to see the wide range of ages of the girls in the store; I guess appropriate toys and books which encourage girls to be independent ladies has wide appeal........ are you taking notes toy companies????? The parents on the other hand............... wow. They were pushing, smacking into people, barking at their kids and the employees. Yes it was busy and the line to purchase things was very long, but what did they expect on opening day?
No matter, it was the perfect end stop to a lovely shopping day with my sugarbell. I just love seeing that childhood amazement come over her, and can't wait to go back with our friends soon!