Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chicago Trip - Julianna's 6th Birthday!!!

The next three posts will be about our amazing trip.  Read and enjoy!!!

First, let me just say that I cannot believe that my baby is SIX years old!!!  SIX!!!  Where has the time gone?  I am so in love with this little girl, that sometimes I can barely breathe.  She is my greatest joy and makes me and her Daddy so incredibly happy.

I have loved watching her grow and learn new things and we are so blessed that she is ours!!!

She started out her birthday with a quick birthday breakfast date with Daddy.  Yes it was in the hotel, but she loved it!

I wanted to get an early start on the drive into the city after our experience the night before, but we lazed around and snuggled with the birthday girl a little too long and didn't get going until around 9:30.

It was actually a great drive into the city and we were there and parked at Navy Pier by 10:30. We decided to park there for the day instead of paying to park in downtown and then drive to Navy Pier and pay to park there anyway.

So we parked there and took their FREE trolley to Michigan Ave.  It was about a 15 minute walk to the American Girl store, even though it was only 3 blocks!  Jules loved the hustle and bustle of the city and so did Drew.  I didn't mind it too much either, but I had a tight grip on my little girl the whole time!!

When we arrived at the AG store, oh my word - it was spectacular!  Jules wanted to make a bee-line for the baby dolls, but we wanted to take our time looking at everything.  We had a great time and she had a hard time deciding between the baby doll she had wanted for months OR Kit, one of their historic dolls that looks JUST like her.  I mean it was uncanny.  She finally decided on the baby doll and the whole set that you could purchase with the doll.  Drew and I gave each other a knowing look that the Kit doll just may be on Santa's list for Jules this year!  ;)

After she made her purchases (with the money she had save for 6 months and her birthday money) we made our way upstairs.  I thought it was just the cafe upstairs, but no - it was a whole other store!  This is where they had the dolls that you could pick that really did look just like you.  They had slumber party sets, birthday party sets, horse sets etc.  It was incredible.  But we still all agreed that Kit looked the most like Jules!

We told Julianna that we were going to be taking her to lunch at the cafe, but she didn't know that we had booked the Cafe Birthday package.  When we got to our table, they had a birthday crown for her and one for her baby doll!  They knew her name and treated her like a little princess.  Once we were done eating, they brought out a delicious cake and the whole place sang Happy Birthday to her.  They also presented her with a gift bag full of things for her and her doll!  It was adorable and she loved every moment!  One little girl even came over to tell her Happy Birthday.  It was such a great experience.  One I would highly recommend if you are able to do it for your child!

After that we gathered all of our bags and headed back to Michigan Ave.  We talked about trying to get to the Trolley again, or splurging and getting a taxi.  TAXI!!!  TAXI!!!!TAXI!!!  We heard Julianna screaming, so we found one that she liked and piled in.  She was SO excited!  So, $8 later we were back at Navy Pier, ready to spend the afternoon. We dropped all of the bags off at the car (I love that I plan ahead so well) and went off to explore.

It was HOT that day and the Pier was SO crowded.  I mean it was insane!  I have been to Navy Pier quite a few times and it really hasn't changed much, so I didn't feel like we needed to see and do EVERYTHING, so we walked around for a little bit and let Jules decide what to do.

We were able to use our pass from my friend to get into the Children's Museum for free.  It was SO fun!  Jules loved every exhibit and it wasn't crowded at all, so I loved it too!  :)

After that, with some money still burning a hole in her pocket, Jules wanted to go to Build a Bear.  We don't have one here in Columbia, so she has been going through withdrawals.  :)  She was SO excited when she saw that there was one at Navy Pier.  I think she would have bought more with her money at AG, but once she saw Build a Bear, she was all about saving some back to spend there!

Now, when given a decision to make, Julianna can take FOREVER.  So it was quite the ordeal to decide on what to get.  Drew and I took shifts with her, it seriously took that long.  She finally decided on a pink polka dotted bear that was designed after Minnie Mouse.  It was completely adorable and she still had plenty to spend on clothing and shoes.

Once she chose her Bear, we filled her, cleaned her and named her "Bows".

After that we were all exhausted and ready to call it a day.  Jules wanted to eat at Whole Foods that night for dinner.  I know!  She is such a good little eater!  So we prepared ourselves for the drive back to the hotel and left the city.

It was actually a great drive and we made it back in record time.  Jules passed out about 10 minutes into the drive.  Which was great, because Drew wanted to surprise her with her favorite kind of pie for dessert that night.  She loves cherry and loves apple pie (cake, not so much) and said that she wished she could have a piece of both for her birthday.  Drew was lucky enough to find a pie at a local grocery store that was HALF cherry and half apple!  Perfect!

We got dinner, and relaxed in the hotel for the rest of the night.  Bob and Diane came over to pick up Bob's Father's Day cards and enjoyed some of the pie with us.  Jules was so surprised and so happy.

She said it was the best day ever and must have hugged us a hundred times each that day.

It really was a great day and an amazing trip!  I LOVE time away with my family and I am so thankful we were able to afford to do this trip!  One more great memory created!  :)

The next morning we got ready to go home.  I stayed behind while Jules and Drew went to get breakfast.  She was so sneaky and hid his Father's Day card in her shorts and presented it to him at breakfast.  He was so touched and surprised.  It was adorable.

After that we loaded the car and headed home!  I was SO happy to be able to sleep in my own bed that night and we enjoyed a great day of driving.  Seriously, I think my favorite moments as a family are when we are on a road trip.  I love everything about it.  Uninterrupted family conversations, beautiful scenery and fun music.  Perfect in my book.  


Lovin' her first cab ride!  :)

Bubbles along the skyline was the coolest exhibit!!  

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