Wednesday, September 23, 2015

American Girl Doll Store Visit

Arizona got it's first American Girl Doll Store!!! It opened up here in Scottsdale just a week or two ago. I've been dying to go check it out!!! Oh how I love these dolls. They were my childhood. I cherish my beautiful dolls and was excited to take my girls to one of these amazing stores. 

It's kind of the last year or so we have been getting the magazine. Kate has loved cutting out the dolls and have kept them as her paper dolls. She knows all their names and gets super excited when a new catalog comes. I still though wasn't sure how she would react at the store. Millie on the other hand has had no exposure so I figured she wouldn't really care. But boy am I happy to report it was a total hit!!! Like kids in a candy store! And heck I was as giddy as can be! 

Millie particularly liked the mini dolls for the dolls, the PETS of course, and she loved playing with the accessories.  They had this little hot dog/ice cream stand that she played with for at least 20 minutes. Oh she loved rocking the Bitty Babies too. It was darling! Kate loved recognizing each doll and I was proud how many of their names she remembered. Before we arrived she complained that it would only be fun if she got to bring a doll home. I tried to explain that we would most certainly not be buying one today and if she was going to get upset we wouldn't go. I guess that was enough because she was amazing. She ran from display to display pointing and just getting excited. There was no whining at all. Kate particularly loves each girls bed...especially Julie's! She told me later that night that she likes the beds better than the dolls. And now says she wants Julie's bed for Christmas for her pink jelly fish to sleep in! 

We spent about an hour and a half in there admiring all the pretty things and talking about my old dolls that we will get out next time we go to my parents house. Most of the dolls I have though have been retired so Kate won't recognize them. Boy I'm getting old!

We then enjoyed walking around the beautiful outdoor mall in Scottsdale (and the weather was amazing) and tried this awesome gourmet burger place. The burgers we top notch and we shared this Nutella Hazelnut Crunch milkshake that was to die for! I can't wait to go back! 

It was such a great family outing. The American Girl Doll Stores are so much fun! I would have died to have one in Salt Lake growing up. I loved introducing my sweet girls to something that was such a part of my childhood and we will certainly be making semi-frequent visits in the future! What have I done?! I guess my girls were just born to love AG Dolls just like their momma :)

Rocking babies
Kate with Grace, the Girl of the Year

Julie's bed
Millie loved the pets!
Finding all the dolls and accessories that she saw at the store in the catalog while we waited for lunch. 
Scottsdale Quarter is gorgeous! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Rise All Loyal Cougars...

How about those Cougars?! We are only two games into the season and man is it exciting! These close games that have been down to the last seconds have almost given me a heart attack...but it's so fun too! Fall and football is one of the best times of the year! I'm so glad it's here! We will be wearing our blue and cheering for our Cougars all season long!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Phoenix Zoo Day Fun

Last week some friends invited us to go to the zoo. We had a great time! The girls love the zoo...I need to get a membership! Kate was most excited to see the zebras and pet the goat named Mini Muffin (that she remembered from our last visit back in July). Millie loved running around with her little friends the most and loves riding the carousel. And both girls love playing at the splash pads! The splash pads at the zoo make going in the AZ heat bearable and the Yakulla Caverns one is awesome complete with caves, slides, and waterfalls.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Viva Las Vegas

We had SO much fun in Vegas! When we started looking into flights to Cleveland we quickly realized how much cheaper it would be to fly out of Vegas. I didn't love the idea of having to drive 4-1/2 hours to get there...I mean come on...wasn't that one of the perks of living in a big city now...we didn't have to worry about driving long distances to the airport and having direct flights?! But given how much less expensive it was to fly out of Vegas we would be able to use vouchers we had from a horrible experience flying back to Cedar Rapids at Christmas to cover all 3 of our tickets PLUS I figured we could make a little trip out of it and I was sold. Viva Las Vegas!

We left Monday morning and arrived in Vegas by 1pm. We went directly to the Bellagio where we checked out their amazing atrium gardens that we under the sea themed. The girls LOVED it! Kate loved the clam and opened and closed and the mermaid and Millie loved the seahorses the most. I loved the jellyfish that hung from the ceiling! We checked out the dancing fountains out front and walked along the strip a bit. Kate was excited to see the Eiffel Tower and the girls loved these awesome water whirl tunnel tubes at the Crystals Mall. Oh and we got gelato and pain au chocolates which were amazing! We ended up staying at the Stratosphere (that's what we got on hotwire). We swam on the roof top pool and the highlight was going up to the observation deck. The girls loved looking out the windows at the lights...especially Millie!

Thanks Vegas for a good time! We had to wake up early to make our flight to Cleveland on Tuesday and off we went to Ohio!

They loved looking over the edge

Friday, September 11, 2015

Other Ohio Fun

Here are the pics from our other fun Ohio adventures including hiking at Nelson Ledges, visiting the Amish, the Akron Zoo, and riding on the Cuyahoga Valley Histroic Railroad! 

The Akron Zoo was awesome! You could get so close to the animals, they had penguins, and they had this awesome aquarium + jelly fish exhibit...Kate and Millie especially loved the aquarium...hence the Nemo and Jellyfish stuffed animal souvenirs.