I am blessed to have SEVEN beautiful, healthy, smart granddaughters. When the oldest (Allie, who will be 15 next month) was at the doll-playing stage, I was out of the loop and didn’t know about American Girl dolls. Don’t worry, though. She was definitely spoiled by her grandparents — just in a different way. But, by the time Maggie turned 7 — we share a birthdate, by the way — I was ready to start a new Grandmomma/Granddaughter tradition. It was time for an outing to the American Girl store near Atlanta to make a selection. Since we were BOTH celebrating and since the store was a long distance from Athens, I decided to make this an overnight trip. We checked into the Alpharetta Marriott, a place that “just happens” to offer an American Girl package complete with pink sheets and a doll bed.
We checked into the hotel, got “all dolled up,” and made our way to the store. What an amazing place for a little girl and her doting grandmother! After MUCH deliberation, Maggie chose Caroline and started reading her book and taking care of her immediately. By then, it was time for dinner, so I asked, “Do you want to eat fast food or go somewhere fancy?” She wisely requested “somewhere fancy,” and we found a Cheesecake Factory near the hotel. Thus, the second part of our 7th birthday tradition was born. Thank goodness for great kids’ menu AND for the free desserts they bring for Birthday People. Way to go, Cheesecake Factory.
Then, in 2015, two serendipitous things happened. 1) Our son Matt and his family moved to Franklin, TN and 2) A new American Girl store opened this spring in the Cool Springs Galleria. Hurray for not having to drive so far! Granddaughter Birti agreed to wait until the store opened to have her outing with me. After carefully deciding on Grace, we headed to the nearby Cheesecake Factory (also opened very recently), and Birti added the “touch” of including the doll in the lunch. We had a great time. . . and the lemon meringue pie cheesecake was to-die-for.
Just this past weekend, Granddaughter Megan turned 7 AND came to our house for the weekend. Birti got to come, too, because their brothers were going to Auburn for a football game experience with Granddaddy. (You didn’t think we’d leave the boys out, did you?) Birti was very helpful in showing Megan the ropes and pointing out dolls and accessories she might have otherwise missed. Megan took her time deciding on a doll. She went in thinking she’d get Mary Ellen, but as soon as she saw Julie, she was smitten. You could see it on her face.
It was another memory-making day that I consider to be “worth every cent.”
But, okay. I should probably confess that this whole American Girl doll/eating at the Cheesecake Factory event is allowing me to live out my own fantasies, besides having fun with the girls. I loved dolls as a little girl, and I guess I still haven’t outgrown it.
Three more granddaughters to go. Penelope will be 7 in February 2016, Bethany in February 2017, but Bethany just turned 2. She has awhile to go yet. Better keep saving my money.