We were not supposed to be home this week. We were supposed to be out of town visiting cousins like we do every year at this time, but plans changed. When I asked my daughter what she wanted to do on the very first birthday she has celebrated at home in years, she said, “go to American Girl.” Knowing that time in the Bistro was an essential part of any American Girl trip, I called to see if we could get reservations. The answer was “no, we are completely booked.” Bummer.

When we got to the store we asked to be put on the waiting list – they said about an hour wait. They gave us a beeper and off we went to check in with our Personal Shopper and start exploring the store. Not even fifteen minutes later, our beeper went off and into the Bistro we went.

We got seated – Treat Seats for the dolls and all – and started to plan what to order. We decided that because it was 4 in the afternoon, that tea would be a perfect way to start our adventure.

Calista (MyAG #39) looks so pretty in green so she wore the Irish Dancing outfit for the day.

Chrissa (who belongs to my daughter’s very good friend who joined us) was also really thirsty and glad to have a cup of tea of her own, too.

When you order “tea” you can actually get Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Pink Lemonade, milk or soft drinks. Megan wanted Hot Chocolate – looks yummy!

Each guest for the tea gets a teapot filled with whatever they happen to be drinking so they can top up their drink throughout the afternoon.

The afternoon tea option is $11 per person and includes one of each per person – a fruit skewer, yogurt, mini muffin, mini turkey star sandwich, mini ham sandwich, mini cucumber sandwich on a bagel with cream cheese, oranges filled with jello, a cake pop and a mini cupcake – and of course, a drink. You can also see Calista wearing a hat – they brought the girls little tea bonnets to decorate for their dolls.

An American Girl birthday cake. We did not order one for Natalie – I am glad we didn’t because we were all full after our tower of tea treats! This was one headed for another table and I just took a photo of it.

Instead, Nat got a candle for her cupcake so she could still get a birthday wish! It was perfect!!

Then it was off to meet up with our Personal Shopper and start working on that shopping list.

After we finished shopping, Nat doubled checked her purchases, made sure she had enough birthday/Christmas/cat-sitting money with her to buy what she had on her list. One of the biggest benefits of working with a Personal Shopper is that you can check out in their special area of the store without feeling rushed. Another benefit is that the Personal Shoppers know what is in stock, what is out, can call to the back at any time to check on sizes and can give you great insight into the various products, too. Not to mention, our Personal Shopper was just A LOT OF FUN and really made the trip extra special.

After all that fun we took a few minutes to pose with one of our favorite girls – Julie! Too bad this photo turned out blurry – I really love it.

One of the items that has been on Nat’s list for months is a Treat Seat for her dolls so they can keep her company at her desk in the playroom. The Treat Seats were sold out online, and there were none in the store either…

Until just as we were waiting on the sisters to return from their favorite stores, we noticed an employee unpacking a huge box of Treat Seats right in front of us. I really thought Natalie was going to scream she was so happy! We went and purchased it quickly and then headed home – six happy girls (2 Moms, 2 teens, 2 awesome 10 year olds) who had just had an amazing day. And the Birthday Girl – she was the happiest girl ever and was oh, so appreciative – giving me lots of hugs, thank yous and “that was the best day evers!”

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! More photos, giveaways, fun and friendships coming to Doll Diaries in 2012! Thanks for being part of the fun and community this year!