The Excitement of Picking Out Your First American Girl

When Emily was young my mom and I decided that for her fifth birthday we would take her to American Girl to get her first doll.  We had the best time on her birthday trip we decided it would be a tradition and that one day we would do the same for Madi.  Madi is approaching her fifth birthday and our only free weekend was in April about a month before her actual birthday.  Both grandmas and Madi and I traveled down to LA for one night and had the best time celebrating our sassy girl.

We left early on a Saturday morning and headed straight to the store at The Grove LA.  This was our first time to this store and in comparison to the Palo Alto store we preferred this one.  The store is bigger but the main reason we liked this one was the restaurant was way more grand.

We walked throughout the store for Madi to get a feel for all of the dolls.  But in true Madi fashion she walked in the store knowing what she wanted and there was no changing her mind.  We showed her all sorts of dolls so she knew all of her options but she had her mind already made up.  The LA store has small rooms for each doll which is really cool but Madi was set on Nanea.  She's a gorgeous little girl with dark hair and greenish/brown eyes just like our Madi Goose.  Once Madi picked out her first American Girl doll and an additional outfit we headed to the cafe for a birthday brunch.  

American Girl has thought of every detail to make the brunch extra special.  I find the menu very reasonable for all the food you get which includes 4 courses.  The dolls get their own seat and place setting and Madi loved pretending to feed Nanea.  The staff is very sweet with their guests and made our birthday girl feel very special.

After brunch we did a little shopping and then headed to our hotel so that Madi could swim.  We had an early dinner at our favorite spot in the Grove, La Piazza.  It has amazing homemade pasta and has the best atmosphere.  We always sit on the patio overlooking the hustle and bustle of the center as well as the gorgeous water feature (similar but much smaller than the Bellagio one).  

On Sunday morning we had the BEST breakfast at Marmalade at The Grove.  May I highly suggest you order the Pineapple Upside Down Pancake.  It sounds overly sweet but it's not; it was to.die.for.  We filled the rest of our morning with a little shopping and then stopped for lunch at Villa Blanca before heading home.

We had such a spectacular weekend celebrating our girl.  Madi is always a comedian but holy moly when she is on her own without any competition she was a complete ham.  She kept us laughing hysterically.  I think she loved all the attention.

I don't expect my girls to remember their birthday party themes or what I served for a special breakfast but I sure hope they will always remember their childhood fondly.  I just want them to have warm memories that will last a lifetime.  

If you are able I can't emphasize how great it is to take a one on one birthday trip to celebrate a child.  It sure doesn't have to be every year but once or twice during their childhood is super memorable.  Thank you Voa Voa and Grandma for spoiling our Madi Goose!

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