I guess to start this blog post, I have to back up about a month or so...For Chloe's birthday at the beginning of October, we decided that her present from us (other than her birthday party) would be a trip to the American Girl store in Atlanta where she could spend her birthday money. I made a reservation at the American Girl Bistro for a birthday lunch and our plans were set. However, closer to her birthday, we realized that due to all the birthday activities (Let's face it. Chloe's birthday ended up being more of a birthday week!) and finances, it would probably be better to postpone our trip to the following month. I cancelled and rescheduled reservations and we were set for our trip on the first Saturday in November. However, a week before our trip, Chloe got a birthday invitation from her preschool bestie and decided that she'd rather go the party and postpone her trip yet a second time. Since I had a work trip the following week and needed a few of my weekend hours to work on it, I decided that it was probably for the best. Luckily, I was able to make a reservation for the following Sunday, which also happened to be same weekend of my wedding anniversary
So here we were, over a month later, and we were finally going on our trip to Atlanta. As a bonus, Chris surprised me by booking a suite, so we could stay overnight.
We got up bright and early on our Sunday morning. I completely forgot about the one hour time difference when making reservations, so we were in a rush that morning since we would be losing an hour. However, it was all worth it! Chloe was completely enamored with the store and restaurant. Before seating us, the host asked if we were celebrating a birthday (we had a regular lunch reservation by this time) and we let him know that the lunch was actually a birthday present.
The littles were so excited that we would be able to eat lunch with their toys. Our plan was to let Chloe pick out a doll before lunch, so she could eat lunch with us, but we arrived at the store just in time for our reservation, so we borrowed a loaner doll. Evan brought his stuffed monkey to join us for lunch.
My sweet girl and I
And our waitress surprised Chloe with a sweet birthday treat.
It was such a joy to eat at the Bistro. Chloe was so dainty and wanted everything "just so" as she ate. Evan was so funny with his monkey. After we were seated and the waitress left our table, he asked, " Where's monkey's menu?" He's a nut!
Afterwards, Chloe and I went shopping.
We ended up getting two dolls, one with characteristics similar to Chloe's, and Saige, the American Girl doll of the year. I asked Chloe what she was going to name her first doll, and her response was, "Sassy," which was the one word that I used to describe Chloe's personality during lunch as we read conversation cards that were left on our table. Daddy didn't really like the name, but Evan came up with the name Marin and it stuck. We didn't end up getting any pictures of Marin on this day, but I'm sure that we'll have plenty in the years to come:)
Although Evan did enjoy eating lunch at the Bistro, we didn't want to make the trip all about Chloe. While Chloe and I shopped, Daddy and Evan picked out a few toys at the mall with some of his saved birthday money. He decided (or maybe Daddy decided) to buy legos.
That same day, the North Point Mall was having its Annual Christmas Parade to welcome Santa. By chance, we decided to ride the carousel at the exact moment that Santa was starting the parade and somehow we were drafted into the parade. We made a quick getaway at one of the turns:)
After a quick check-in and rest at our hotel, we headed over to my friend Katie's house for dinner. Katie and I were roommates for two years in college, but it has been over ten years since we've seen each other in person. I'm able to keep up with Katie and her family through Facebook, but it was nice to see her face to face and meet her family. For the most part, the kids got along well. Also, Chloe got her first kiss on the cheek from a boy!!!
I wasn't able to get a good photo of all the kids sitting, but I love all the bright smiles in this one! Oh, and look, Marin made it into this photo.
The following morning after check-out, we ate lunch at the Bone Garden Cantina, a restaurant that was featured on the Travel Channel. It was delicious! I got a barbacoa quesadilla, which was yummy to my tummy. However, I had a bite of Chris's enchilada, and that had to be the best thing on the menu! By far, the best enchilada that I have ever tried. And that is saying a lot considering that my Auntie Tina is one of the best cooks out there, and can whip up some of the best Mexican dishes like nobody's business!
We decided to make one more stop before leaving Atlanta at the Centennial Olympic Park that was built in honor of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games that were held there.
We stopped at the Fountain of Rings and played for a while. I managed to stay dry, but the littles didn't fare so well.
These people were filming a promo for a show or a commercial. I didn't recognize any of the ladies, but maybe you do.
We walked around the park for a little while longer and took in some of the sights and sounds.
Our trip the ATL was a good weekend getaway. I'm so glad that I got to enjoy this time with my family and catch up with an old friend. I feel so blessed.