Summer Fun (Part 3)

      This is my last road trip of the summer.  I think!!!!!    This was a girls only road trip with my
      daughter (Carrie), one of my best life time friends and sister-in-law (Gail), my niece (Jessica)
      and my four great-nieces (Rahel, Hermela, Caroline and Meron).   Our destination was Illinois
      for Makenzie's 5th birthday party.   Normally when I drive I do it in one day but 16 hours in
      a van with 8 people, well you get the picture.  We drove half way and stayed with our long time
      friends family, Denise and Art.  It was so much fun getting together and having her kids and
      grandkids come by.  Pizza, ice-cream and a house full of kids.  Just like the old days when
      all of our kids were young.  Jessica, Denise and I stayed up till the wee hours of the morning
      having a great talk.  What a special time.  Love you Denise.

Then it was on the road again for another day of driving.  It wasn't too bad.
I only heard about 20  "Are we almost there yet?"
I consider that a success.  ;-)

We ended our day with the girls having the first of several sleep-over parties.

We learned after the first night to separate the two in the middle.  They were still
talking until almost midnight.  

they're all so sweet sleeping with their babies 

these two cousins bonded and stayed together 
pretty much anytime Brody was allowed to be on our girls trip


The next day we had a trip planned to go to St. Louis to visit
their new American Girl Boutique and Bistro.

None of us had ever been to an American Girl store before
so it was exciting to all us "girls".  

We arranged a tour and our guide, Mandy did such a great job.  You definitely
have to do that when you go.  Makenzie's cousin in Illinois, Ella, lives close
by and able to join us on the tour.  

Mandy, our guide talking to the girls about all the dolls they have that might look like them.

I think Makenzie sees one she likes.

Next we visited the babies and their accessories.

Then the precious twins.

Last and probably my favorite were the historic dolls.

The girls have made their selections and we're in line to purchase our items.
Another good thing about the tour is when it's time to purchase, they
take you straight ahead to a register.  As you can see, the line is quite long in the back.

Their Aunt Melissa bought them each an outfit to go along with their doll.
They were really excited about it and took their time picking out something special.

The Bistro

After the girls got their dolls, we went to lunch at the Bistro.

It was so beautifully done and the girls had a great time.
They got to choose from the menu and everyone
was happy with their choices.  
Believe it or not, the prices are very reasonable and so if
you have the opportunity to visit an American Girl store
try to do lunch there.  It was delicious.

Makenzie choose the tea party.  It had tea sandwiches, yogurt, fruit,
macaroni and cheese and sweet desserts.

Meron choose hot dog, fries and fruit.

Hermela's choice was the same.

Rahel got Macaroni and Cheese and fruit.

Caroline got toasted cheese and tomato soup.  Yummy.

Makenzie's favorite part was working her way up to the top.

The girl's dolls were able to join in with special booster seats and their own tea cup.

Carrie, my baby girl, was such a great help.
Isn't she so cute.
Sorry Carrie, it had to be said.

Makenzie thought the lunch was a success.  

My girls
I wish Melissa and Taylor could of made it too.

Jessica and her girls.

Kelly and her baby girl.

The next few photos are when the staff and whole restaurant sang
Happy Birthday to Makenzie.  She's normally really shy 
but really did well with all the attention.

We had a great time at American girl and I look forward to another visit,
hopefully soon.

The "grandma's" and their girls.

Stay tuned for the second half of Summer Fun (part 3).

Remembering to be grateful in all things:

762.  fun summer trips.
763.  visiting cousins.
764.  coconut ice.
765.  movie date with Dylan.
766.  two different old friends visiting this week.
767.  much needed rain.
768.  humble and grateful olympic winners praising God.


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