Monday, October 3, 2011

Hooray for Hollywood!

I will always remember that moment as the ultrasound technician quite confidently informed us that we would be having a girl, instantly thinking about all things frilly and girly...especially about a room full of dolls! Now seven years later, as we celebrate our Anna's birthday I get to live the dream...a trip to Los Angeles to shop for the best doll ever...The American Girl Doll! I had been to the American Girl Doll store in Chicago but since Anna wasn't with me it just wasn't that exciting, so I couldn't wait for the chance to take her! Anna was so excited about the trip that she put a big smiley face on the 24th day of her calender and religiously marked off each day right before bed. She packed her suitcase three days before our trip and she was surprised and a bit annoyed that I waited until the morning we left to pack. She could hardly stand the wait at the airport and was on the edge of her seating waiting to board. Once we arrived in LA we had to wait another 30 minutes for our shuttle and she stood there trying so hard to be patient with her little foot tapping on the sidewalk. When we FINALLY got to our hotel room, so was thrilled! She unpacked her suitcase and hung up her 1 outfit. She laid in the bed and checked out the room inch by inch. I was ready to start walking over to the shopping area right away but she was as content as can be to chill in our hotel room! After a little while she agreed that it was time to start shopping. The walk was a little longer than I had thought it would be but the weather was gorgeous and our hotel was located in the middle of a beautiful West Hollywood neighborhood. The American Girl store is located at The Grove shopping center, and it is a very cool outdoor shopping area (they actually film the TV show Extra here). As we rounded the corner and spotted the red awnings of the store we were both so excited we could hardly stand it. It took everything for Anna to pause long enough for a picture! She ran inside and didn't know where to look first. I was immediately side tracked as standing right near the entrance was the female Dr. Sheppard from Private Practice. As cool as that sighting was, I had to compose myself once again as at the top of the stairs was Jessica Alba and her husband! After I recovered from my moment of being star struck, I followed Anna around as she looked at each and every display case. I thought it was going to be a very hard decision for her to make as there A LOT of dolls to choose from, but it didn't take her long before she chose Kit Kittredge, one of the historical dolls, who happens to look like Anna's mini me! While the doll was an easy choice, which outfits to purchase was a bit more difficult. She definitely wanted to find matching outfits and there were too many choices. She finally settled on matching pink skirts and American Doll t-shirts. Immediately after purchasing her new doll, the salesperson took it out of the box and we ran back upstairs to the dressing room so Anna and Kit could change into their new outfits! Very cute! We then headed off for lunch and shopping around the Grove. I was exhausted when we finally made it back to our hotel room, but Anna was dying to go to Hollywood Blvd. to see the stars and visit the wax museum. So we hailed a cab and off we went! I had been to Hollywood Blvd. after high school with some friends and I remember thinking it was kind of a let down, so I wasn't sure what Anna would think. As soon as we arrived, I was immediately overwhelmed by the huge crowds and very weird people! But Anna didn't seem to mind any of it as she was busy looking down at all the stars on the sidewalk hoping to find Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber. As we walked she asked, "who is this one?" to every single star! I felt so bad as none of them were of anyone she knew! We never did find the young cool section of stars or hand prints! The wax museum was surprisingly very fun. Most of the statues look so real, and Anna had a great time posing with each of them. My favorite was when she found Zac Efron and acted like a smitten teenager! After the museum we walked around a bit more, stopping for sundaes at the Disney Diner. Nothing better than ice cream for dinner! Right after our quick treat I decided it was time to head back as I was a little nervous about being around the freak show after dark.
Just killing some time at the airport!

The following morning we packed up our suitcases and walked back down to the Grove. Unfortunately, nothing was open for a couple of hours so we happily wasted time at the Barnes and Noble. As soon as the American Girl store opened we headed over there for a little more shopping and lunch. Kit had her ears pierced and we bought her some more clothes! I had made reservations for us to have a very small birthday party (just her and I :) at the Cafe inside the store. It has to be the cutest, happiest place on earth! It is all black and white and hot pink! On our table was matching crowns for Anna and Kit and there was even a special chair for Kit to sit in at the table! They brought us warm cinnamon buns and a fruit appetizer followed by a yummy lunch. For dessert, the waitress brought out the  most delicious birthday cake, from Hansen Cakes, and they sang happy birthday! The wait staff was incredible and they sure know how to make the birthday girl feel very special.

After our super fun lunch, we did a little shopping and rode the trolley.  As we walked back to the hotel, Anna did not stop talking the whole way! I loved every minute with her! It was so fun to have that time alone to chat and hang out. It was a very memorable weekend and a birthday she will most likely never forget!

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