All American Road Trip

Lord willing {I don’t say that casually}, in a few days, my mom, Isabelle and I will be heading down the road for our first-ever girls getaway.

Were it up to my mom, it never would have taken so many years. She has taken many trips with her mom and the bond that it forged between them is beautiful to behold. I’m not entirely sure why it has taken me so long to make it happen for us, but I know it has something to do with the fact that I really don’t like being away from home when my husband is home. Is that normal?

Well it is definitely time for girl bonding, because our destination is Chicago for a day at the American Girl Store! Yep, my mom and I have been planning to take this trip for years. We’ve just been waiting for Isabelle to be the right age. I think we’ve found the optimum American Girl crazy moment, and I’m not taking any chances that she might outgrow the *Girls* next summer. So Chicago, here we come! It’s about a five hour drive. And while the miles go by we’ll talk a lot. And we’ll eat a lot.

Because it’s impossible not to fall asleep in the car if your mouth is not moving.

We’re going all out for this trip because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But it’ll be a whirlwind trip because with hotel rates that include $50 a night just to park your car, one night is our limit. So if it’s possible to go all out in a short amount of time that’s what we’re aiming for.

Isabelle has been been on the American Girl website countless times, looking at the clothes and doll accessories and she has a long wish list of things to spend her saved-up money on. She has also tried about five outfits on her doll to see which one is just right for her to wear for this big trip. Either she already knows exactly what she plans to wear, or it hasn’t crossed her mind, because she hasn’t mentioned a thing about her own wardrobe.

We’ve been having a blast planning all of the things that we are going to do. She told me yesterday that she’s so excited she could scream. I don’t blame her a bit.

So here is the list of the things that Isabelle is looking forward to:

  • seeing lots and lots of sky-scrapers
  • breakfast on the way at the Bob or Cracker Barrel {because both have delicious biscuits}
  • lunch at the American Girl Cafe where at every meal the appetizer is cinnamon buns, and your American Girl Doll gets her very own high chair {not hi-chair – there is a difference} to sit next to you at the table
  • a visit to the American Girl Salon so that her doll can get a fancy new hairdo
  • shopping for just the right matching outfits for herself and her doll
  • a visit to the Photo Studio for a photo shoot with beautified and matching doll
  • riding on an escalator in another state {because up until now she has only ridden an escalator in Michigan and Arizona – but last week she did get to ride on an outdoor escalator. WAY NEAT!}
  • finding revolving doors to go through {because she just discovered their existence last week and they are just too much fun}
  • the small surprise that is awaiting her at the hotel {I’d tell you, but she reads my blog}
  • eating famous Chicago-style pizza at Gino’s East
  • watching fireworks at Navy Pier

I think I’m just as excited for her. I’m sure my mom is too.

We’re also excited to do some grown-up girl shopping the next morning before we head back home. I think it’ll be mostly window shopping, but that is just fine. It’ll be like old times for us.

P.S. TO MOM: Do you think you could make some brownies to take with us like you always used to when we took trips? Those are sweet memories. {Love you!}

About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.


  1. desertgirl says

    Have a great trip! I'm sure Samantha will enjoy all the attention. My daughter is Isabelle's age and still loves American Girl, especially their magazine.

  2. lee says

    My nearly thirty daughter traded in my original 50s Barbie and her saucey wardrobe to buy an American Girl. I was so proud of myself when I found a pattern to make replicas of the retail outfits for that wonderful doll. I can't imagine a better destination!

  3. Shelli @ Hopefully Devoted says

    Kerry, you do know your American Girls! I thought that I must have said that her doll was Samantha, but noticed that I never mentioned it. You're right – Samantha will enjoy the attention.

    Isabelle really likes the magazine, too.

  4. Shelli @ Hopefully Devoted says

    Lee, you gave me an idea. I don't sew, but I distinctly remember my mom sewing some outfits for my baby dolls when I was young. Maybe, just maybe I could see if she'll make some for Isabelle's dolls. We already check out craft shows and get a lot of clothes at much cheaper prices.