We had a pleasant train ride, followed by a predictably scary cab ride (we always have to hold on for dear life) to the Water Tower, and made it to American Girl Place shortly after it opened. This is an absolutely magical place! Madi and I went to tea at this store after Christmas of 2009, and were excited to have lunch there 2 1/2 years later! Madi brought her doll Rebecca along this time.
The displays are breathtaking, especially for girls who are truly interested in the dolls and their stories.
Madi was enthralled by it all!
I was too - there is so much to take in! It was so early that the store wasn't crowded yet, and we walked around squealing and oohing and ahhing over all the little girl magic! We loved this bakery, but resisted buying a treat since we would be having dessert with our meal.
After browsing, shopping, and getting Rebecca's hair done in the doll salon (amazing), it was time for us to enter the beautiful restaurant. It is the perfect place for girls!
They gave us two doll seats for our table. One for Rebecca, and one for someone special - her new doll McKenna! This was an unexpected surprise! Madi had been saving up money for the past couple months for our trip. She had quite a bit saved up and was planning on buying a brush and an outfit or two. But then Grandpa surprised her with some souvenir money, and combined with her savings she had enough to by the new doll of the year, McKenna!! Madi has been admiring McKenna in the catalogs since January and this was an unexpected blessing.
One thing I really enjoy about the American Girl restaurant is that they place a little box of questions on the table. It makes for sweet conversations that help cement the memory you are making together with your girl!
After answering our questions and snacking our darling appetizers, our lunches arrived. Madi had a hot bowl of baked macaroni and cheese with a side of fruit skewers...
And I had a chicken cobb sandwich with a side of sweet potato fries. The food was delicious!
And then our desserts came. As you know, Madi and I are girls who appreciate our desserts, especially when they are both yummy and cute. We loved our Molly's Mousse, Bitty Baby's Birthday Cake, and McKenna's Star Cookie! We sampled them all, and both agreed that McKenna's star shaped sugar cookie was the best!
After our Mommy-Daughter date we met back up with Jimmy and Trev, who had been having some guy time in the Lego and Apple stores (smart marketing that these both happen to be right near American Girl Place). Trevor was over the moon when he saw the Lego store - he was waiting when it opened and had a ball spending his souvenir money from Grandpa!
We took in the lakeside charm for a few moments, then headed inside to the Chicago Children's Museum for the rest of the afternoon. This was definitely time well spent - there was a ton to do and the kids had a blast! They had a ball at the Circus Zirkus display, swinging on the trapeze and doing other circus acts!
Then they climbed high into a ship's cargo net tunnel!
And spent a long time in the construction zone.
Trevor was absolutely in his element here! He was focused and determined and kept busy for as long as we could stay.
He figured out how to use the bolts and washers and other tools by himself.
It was so sweet, as he concentrated and constructed, his little tongue would always pop into his cheek. Watching him work and figure everything out reminded me so much of Jimmy!
When we finally left the construction zone, Madi was thrilled to find an art table where she got to make spin art.
Then the kids worked as bus drivers and grocery store clerks...
Dug for dinosaur bones, went bowling, and had all sorts of other interactive adventures...
We left the Children's Museum having made a hundred new memories, and stopped for a moment as we left Navy Pier to take in the city splendor.
It was a beautiful walk as the late afternoon sun gleamed off of the tall buildings.
Taylor was playing around with my camera and snapped this photo of me doing my Bible study on the porch. If I had a porch like that, I can promise I would be spending lots and lots of time out there in the evenings and mornings! It is so serene.
Once everyone was up and had eaten breakfast, we got dressed and headed out for some more family time.