Sunday, November 9, 2014

You are only a little girl once

When the invitation for an American Girl Doll Fashion Show arrived in our mail in September, I thought " how did I end up on this mailing list?" Then, I realized, I have a little girl and they want my money.  Even though it was in Gulfport, MS, I figured it would be a great opportunity for Abigail and Adeline to get together.  Angela was all for it, even though Issac would only be 3 weeks old.  I also called Adeline's little friend Molly O'Sullivan, who loves American Girl Dolls as much as Adeline.
So October 11, 2014 I set out for the 2.5 hour drive through 3 states to see some doll clothes.

When we arrived they had tables set up to buy clothes, enter raffles, have your picture taken and also have your dolls hair done.

Adeline and Abigail(7 yrs old) both picked the flip ponytail to have the lady do to the doll's hair.  Anna-Kate came along also, and Adeline brought her blond doll along for Anna-Kate to hold.

Fancy hair, fancy clothes, ready to head into the fashion show

Didn't realize we would be sitting at separate tables from Angela and Abigail.  We were in a corner near the front, while Angela was right near the catwalk.  There was a beautifully wrapped pink box for each person.  The decorations were beautiful with pink starts hanging from the ceiling and little pink cupcakes in the middle of the table.

Getting ready for the show to start
We dug into the pretty boxes and discovered our lunch.  Tiny cucumber sandwiches, a scone, cookies and other adorable foods.
Even the chairs were fancy
After the first half of the show, there was a brief intermission.  I took Abigail and Adeline up to t he catwalk to snap a few pictures, while there the director of the program, asked if our girls wanted to help with passing out the door prizes.  So, Molly, Abigail and Adeline all got to choose a number and then walk it to testable of the winning girl.
After the show was over we went up on stage and stood in front of the pretty star
The girls glammed it up and looked fierce

Adeline was bored most of the show as, it was girls carrying dolls dressed in outfits for 2 hours.  But, had fun with her best friend and as a treat for helping with the door prizes, the girls were allowed 5 minutes to walk the catwalk with their dolls for the audience.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Where ever the wind takes us

We left our house Friday afternoon on the 2pm Southwest flight to Houston. Upon landing we tried to stay on the plane as it was heading to Los Angeles, and it would give us a chance to at least be on the west coast.  Apparently the flight was oversold,  so they kicked us off.  We tried to jump on a flight to Seattle, yea that didn't happen either.  Our last flight that we did get seats for was the San Diego flight, but literally just as we were to jump on the flight, we decided that San Diego was too far south, so we didnt jump on.  We spent the night at a Doubletree hotel right near the airport.  They had a great pool and we ordered steak sandwiches. Rick and I sat there and tried to decide our next plan of action.  He wanted us to jump on a flight to Hawaii, but I didnt want us to get stuck.  So, we were looking at an early flight to Los Angeles or another one to Albuquerque.  I chose L.A.  We landed early by 9am and immeadiately rented a car and drove to Venice Beach.  We hit the marine cloud layer and walked out on the pier.  Below us floating in the Pacific, were tons of surfers waiting to catch a wave. 
We walked down to muscle beach and played on some of the equipment outside.  Emma and Reece climbed the ropes in the sand.  They were playing loud music from the muscle beach gym and there were lots of guys playing basketball.  Lots of t-shirt stores and souveniers stands lined the walkway.  The beach front homes were incredible.  All were without front lawns, just a wall that ended up atteh sidewalk.  Dogs were everywhere.  And bikes.  Seemed like a very carefree lifestyle.
The kids wanted to see some of the iconic parts of Hollywood, so we headed to the Hollywood sign and to get lunch, since we walked so much around Venice Beach.  Weird occurrence with Venice Beach, the day after we left, they had a freak lightning storm blow up and killed 2 people on the beach and hurt like 7 others.  Upon returning to the rental car, we also realized we had parked in a paid parking area and received a nice, fat ticket for $64.  Ouch
Drove inland to find the Hollywood sign and drove right past a Hollywood institution, Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles restaurant.  There was a short wait, and the place was packed and the food came out quickly.  Reece just wanted a waffle, Emma and I got s combo plate, with 2 thighs, mac&cheese, collards and cornbread.
The kids all agreed we wanted to find Walt Disney's star on the walk of fame.  It was somewhere on the 6700 block of Hollywood Blvd. Rick parked and the kids and I started walking.  It was now pretty hot, where the shore had been cloudy and cool.  We immeadiately ran upon some pretty famous stars, like Johnny Depp, Marilyn Monroe and Tom Cruise.  That's where all the tourist traps were also, like the Madame Toussads wax museum and Ripley's Believe it or not.  We found Walt's star and then walked down to the Chinese Theater where all the hand and footprints are.  Didnt realize that the Twilight stars and Harry Potter stars all have footprints there. 
Decided that was enough so we started heading north.  It was very deserty, with not much to look at. Drove for about 2 hours and turned west again towards San Simeion.  The captain on the flight from Houston had told Rick, we couldn't miss the Hearst Castle on the coast there.  When we finally arrived, the last tour had just left, and we didn't realize you had to take a tour bus to the actual castle.  Also, it was pretty pricey. Night was fast approaching, we still had no where to sleep and thought we could make it to Monterey.  We soon found out, yea, not so much, Monterey was still going to be 3-6 hours up the coast along VERY windy roads and depending on traffic and clouds, could be even longer.  That's where we got trapped, by the local hotels and their high prices.  There was literally no where else to stay and we were forced to shell out over $250 for a room, but at least it had breakfast and was on the same side as the ocean.  It was called the SeaBreeze Inn and was cute.  The windows were all open to the cool breeze from the water.  We took a walk down by the ocean, along the rocky dunes.  The kids were exhausted from having been up since 4am, and Reece was quickly turning into a weepy mess.  None, of us had eaten very much, so we headed to one of only 2 restaurants in the small town, a Mexican one.   Got a quick meal and margarita, Reece was being impossible.  I downloaded a few movies from Amazon for the kids to watch the following day, and we all turned in for the night.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Spring Break Part 1

Since Emma has Spring Break during Easter and the little kids have spring break earlier.  We decided to do a little vacation for each break.  We drove to Tampa and Orlando for a few days and did Busch Gardens and the pool.
 In Sesame Street Town Adeline only felt comfortable on the little rides.  I had to force her onto this hippo ride.  She was too scared to go up the little hill.  Here she is nervous, as the hippo rounds the corner heading towards the " giant hill."  Thank God, it wasn't very crowded, because they only had 1 hippo going at a time.
 Oh, no Adeline here comes the hill!!!!!  And she was fine and even wanted to go again.
 Reece and Emma felt like being silly and climbed onto some non-moving animals in the little kids merry-go-round.  Here is Reece on a water buffalo.
 Busch Gardens tries to steal some of the Disney magic by transforming their plants into animal forms.  However, even though it was cool, we still love Epcot's gardens better.
Somehow we actually talked Reece and Emma onto the Sidewinder roller coaster.  It was like the old mouse trap type coasters that zig zag back and forth making it appear as if you are going to fall off the side.  I guess it was a little scarier than we thought.  When they hit the first hill, this was the picture of Reece trying to escape his fate and Emma screaming in terror.  We didn't buy the picture, but we should've.  The bottom picture is Rick at the Dublin Irish restaurant in Downtown Disney trying out a flight of Irish Beers.