Every once in a while, a girl just has to splurge.
So my sister-in-law, Janet, and I decided to pack up the girls and head to Chicago. After a day of driving from Minneapolis to the Windy City, we managed to precisely hit rush hour traffic, leaving me to believe that Atlanta may not have the world's worst traffic after all! Finally, we pulled up to The Talbott Hotel in our gray, rented, Town and Country mini-van. Let's face it. If you pull up to a hotel in a mini-van, you're probably not traveling light.
As four girls and two moms piled out of a mini-van in the heart of Chicago's Gold Coast, we were politely greeted by our bell-hop, Andrew. He looked inside the mini-van. "Does everything go in?" he asked. "The suitcases? Yes. The duffle bags? Yes. Both coolers? Yes. The 12-pack of diet Coke? (Do you have any idea what that would cost out of a mini-bar?) - Yes!" My philosophy? A nice tip covers a multitude of sins.
After unpacking, we decided to re-fuel for the next day with some famous Chicago-style pizza. Upon leaving our hotel, the girls noticed a peculiar lady-bug cow climbing the side of our hotel. When we asked Andrew about it, we learned that it was, indeed, a ladybug cow which was bought at auction after the 1999 Chicago exhibit, "Cows On Parade." If a ladybug lands on you, it's considered Good Luck. The LadyBug Cow was purchased for charity to bring Good Luck to the Hotel - Although it makes one wonder.... how lucky could you possibly be if a cow lands on you? We decided to just go with it.
Off for some world-famous Giordano's Chicago style pizza.
Walking into Giordano's brought me back to my college days when I could - and would - eat not one, but two whole slices of this tasty - cheesy delight. (And, no, that is not my arm in the picture!)
What makes this pizza so amazing is the tender, flaky crust piled high with toppings and an enormous amount of cheese topped by yet another crust with delicious sauce on top of that! One pizza fed the six of us (with leftovers for breakfast!) I knew those coolers would come in handy!
After a good night's rest (it always helps to have chocolates on your pillow!), we arrive at our Mecca - The American Girl Place. Note that the sign does not say American Girl Store, because it's much more than a store - it's a destination.
Located in the former home of Lord & Taylor's at Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue, The American Girl Place has an entire day's worth of offerings:
The Historical Character Museum,
Doll Spa Treatment,
Girl-sized and Doll-sized treats,
Magazine Photo Shoots,
And, of course, The American Girl Dining Experience -
Complete with doll chairs,
Porcelain Tea Sets,
And a Garden Trio of desserts.
After an entire day of wonderment, the contented shoppers return to their hotel.
But wait - the night is still young........
(To Be Continued...)