Sunday, March 25, 2012

The five year old traveler goes to Atlanta

The five year old traveler loves spontaneity. Never one to sit at home and twiddle her thumbs, she is ever awaiting the next adventure. With this in mind we decided to surprise her with a new trip.
I became aware of the fact that her daddy’s next business trip was going to be in Atlanta. Remembering that the Traveler had an agenda to fulfill in GA, I thought it only fitting to turn this business trip into a mini vacation and a wonderful surprise.
Sidebar: Her daddy often works on privileged and confidential matters for different organizations providing them with mitigation of alleged problems. (If I told you anymore I would have to kill you).His job takes him all over the United States and abroad. We live in a reality where at the drop of a hat he may be flown out to California or Puerto Rico, Alaska or New York to resolve one of these cases. The really awesome part…sometimes we get to go too.

Back to the story: Needless to say, she enjoyed yet another stay in a five star, five diamond hotel and dined on top notch cuisine, but the most fun part of her adventure was her visit to the American Girl Boutique and Bistro.

On a calm, unseasonably warm Sunday, we arrived at the American Girl Doll shop where she and her American Girl, Kanani, experienced the hair salon, mid afternoon lunch at the bistro and wall to wall American Girl Doll fun. She had a blast and so did Kanani ;-).

By the way, the brain child behind the whole trip was the Traveler’s Mimi. Ever since she received her doll on Christmas, Mimi has wanted her grandchild to experience the fun and excitement of the American Girl store. She even drove four hours from Charlotte, North Carolina to meet us there (a fact the Traveler was also unaware of until she laid eyes on her). Her arrival was a marvelous surprise and made the experience all the more special. I think Mimi enjoyed the store almost as much as her grannie!
The five year old traveler with her American Girl Doll
given to her as a Christmas gift by her Aunite Ray

The American Girl store is located in Alpharetta, GA about 23 miles outside of the Atlanta city limits, within a quaint little mall called North Point. We also explored other sites while in Atlanta those two days. It is a beautiful city with good shopping and interesting culture; a very nice place to visit.

Who knows where the Traveler will take us next, but when she goes we will be right there…

Below is an excerpt taken from my travel page, Nashville Budget Travel,

If there ever was such a thing as sugar and spice and everything nice, then it lives inside a red and white box. The American Girl doll comes complete with clothes, accessories and lifestyle sets like sports, swimming and bathing. One can purchase just about every theme an imagination can dream up in the store of the American Girl Doll. Floor to ceiling American Girl paraphernalia line the walls and fill every square inch of the fantastical little shop in Alpharetta, GA (a suburb of Atlanta).

Rest assured the magic does not end once you reach adulthood. Even the grownups who pass through those big glass doors seem to mystically slip back into the fairy tale land of youth. This outing, which is a short 3.5 hours from Nashville city limits, could be turned into a wonderfully economical and memorable trip for the whole family. Oh ,but one must guard their wallets and pocket books with care as the fairy tale is not cheap once you go inside.

In short, the American Girl Phenomena is an all encompassing idea that is centered around a little girl and her “best friend” doing all the things together that girls do. The concepts are endless. There is a girl of the year, who is currently Mckenna. Mckenna is featured in all the flyers magazines and in the window of the stores. This year the focus is on all of Mckenna’s activities and adventures. Young girls can join the fun by purchasing her books, her lifestyle themed sets and by playing games on the internet via the site.

But that’s not all. The “best friend” who is always there, can also be arranged to look just like it’s owner. Droves of circulations are released with pages of dolls who could potentially be the one. If a girl wears glasses, her American Girl Doll can be fitted with the same kind of glasses. If she has braces, there are American Girl Dolls with braces too. Even if an unfortunate mishap has befallen a child like a broken leg, she can be comforted that her American Girl look alike has a cast and crutches too.

Once in the store, a salon and bistro round out the full offerings of what you can do with your American Girl. For the salon, you make an “appointment”, just like at the real salon. Then the American Girl waits for her turn in the salon chair as real live stylist create fabulously intricate styles on doll hair. For the bistro, a reservation must be made in advanced of your visit. The dining experience is nothing short of spectacular, for a doll shop. The American Girl doll gets a place setting at the table just like her owner and the girl and her doll dine together on surprisingly tasty fare.

The note about price cannot be over looked. Even though one may pay 50-70 dollars for a tank of gas to drive to Alpharetta and an investment of a hotel may also be included (if this is not a day trip), but don’t blow your budget on the truly exurbanite merchandise in the store.  Be sure to look at the price tags. Don’t assume that the price of a dolls accessory is on par with that of Toys R Us or Target. Quite the contrary, these doll’s clothes, shoes, furniture, games, books, etc are closer to the price of real clothes for a real girl (or a real woman for that matter). The doll its self is over $100. (There is a newer less expensive addition to the American Girl Family, a “baby doll” called Bitty Baby)

One of the most sincere perspectives about the American Girl brand is the concerted effort to put forth diverse and true to life dolls that girls can accurately relate to. Every girl from every race and back ground can choose a doll that looks like them. The races represented in the collections include, African American, Pacific Islander, Caucasian, Asian and Hispanic. There are outfits that match the different nationalities that the dolls can wear with pride (and in many case matching ensembles for her owner are available too). Historical characters like Addy and Kaya have accompanying books that tell their cultural story. These dolls do a great job of promoting self love in a big way.
Photo courtesy of American Girl

Once you have exhibited self control relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Visitors are made to feel special. Staff members are friendly and extending. You could forget that you are just in a doll store. “Security agents” with ear pieces stand guard at the door like the ones in Tiffany. It is truly a high end, once-in-a-lifetime experience for a little girl.

As stated before, the best thing about this excursion for Nashvilleans is (if one exhibits self control within the store) the American Girl Doll store trip to Alpharetta, GA could really be a budget friendly trip to remember and one that won’t break the bank.

For many more details on the American Girl Doll Store CLICK HERE