Robin cashed-in her Christmas present on Sunday and Monday this week. On Christmas morning she opened her gift box to find a gift certificate to the American Girl store in Chicago and a "coupon" good for one free weekend in Chicago with Dad.
Robin has one American Girl doll she calls Riley. Isn't it wrong that a new outfit for a doll costs more than a new outfit for the little girl who owns it? I'm assuming that most of you reading this blog have never set foot in an American Girl store and possibly have no idea what "American Girl" actually is. Dolls. Dolls that every little girl between the ages of 5 and 14 think they need to collect. Dolls that cost upwards of $100.00 each. Dolls who have their own store that little girls and their mothers flock to in order to dispense of fist-fulls of cash on new outfits, hair styling and medical attention... FOR THE DOLL! Oh, and lunch or dinner if you get hungry and have an extra pocket stuffed with cash that is just burning a hole. I've never seen anything like it. I had to go find an out-of-the-way bench to sit on in an effort to stay out of the way of the the zombie-like mothers and daughters pushing their way through the crowds to get to the checkout lines with their arms full of boxes.
...anyway, I survived that and the rest of our trip was fantastic!
We arrived in Chicago at about 11:00am Sunday morning via I-290/Congress Parkway. We headed straight for North Michigan Ave to find parking, have a quick lunch and begin our shopping spree. After a yummy lunch at Big Bowl on East Ohio St. We headed for the American Girl store. After spending more than enough time there (for Dad) we hit a few more stores and then decided we should go check into our hotel. We walked about 6 blocks to East Wacker Dr where we checked into the hotel. We were upgraded to a suite without even asking. I guess because it was a Sunday and they had the extra rooms available. Whatever the reason, it was a very pleasant surprise. We settled in, unpacked our things and rested for a bit before heading out to dinner. It had already been a long day with the 3 1/2 hour drive and then shopping the Magnificent Mile.
1492 Tapas Bar was the destination for dinner. Robin is always eager to try new things to eat, unlike her brother who won't think of touching food that he's never heard of. We had a fantastic dinner and after a stop at Starbucks for a nightcap, we got back to the hotel around 10:00pm to rest up for the next day of shopping and sightseeing.
On Monday we did a little more shopping and then headed for Millennium Park to do some ice skating. We got there, took a few pictures and headed over to the ice rink only to find that we were 1 day late. Sunday had been the last day that the ice skating rink was open for the season. Robin was disappointed for a minute until I turned around and noticed the Sears Tower looming in the distance. "Robin, since we can't ice skate today, how about heading to the 103rd floor of the Sears tower"? She instantly forgot about the ice skating and said "really? Yeah"! So off we headed down Jackson St. The views were great because of the nice, clear day. By the time we reached ground level again, it was getting on in the afternoon so we decided to, once again say goodbye to Chicago and headed toward home. I know Robin really enjoyed her weekend. I lost count of how many times she thanked me in the car on the way home.
I'd like to take my son, Jeremy somewhere this summer but I'm having a really hard time trying to come up with a trip that he would enjoy with Dad. Where the heck do you take a 14 year old that he would enjoy going to with his Dad? I suppose, at that age it's just not cool to hang with your Dad anymore.