Our Charlotte American Girl Trip

Wow! What a start to the year it has been. From what felt like a gazillion snow days with kids home every day to pulling out my back for a couple weeks to just generally busy life as a mom & business owner!! BUT… it’s time to get these blogs a flowing again!! Before I start sharing some of the sessions done so far this year, I need to step back to December for a moment to share an extraordinary Charlotte American Girl Trip my Lizzy & I took. Both of the places we went on this trip to Charlotte, NC have such an exceptional level of detail & customer service (something that means A LOT to me & I really genuinely respect) that despite being a ‘few’ months after our trip… just wouldn’t feel right to not acknowledge & share!

We’d all decided that Lizzy was ready for her 1st American Girl doll as her ‘big’ Christmas present of 2014 (in other words, she would not suffer the unfortunate hair fate of her entire collection of Toddler Princess dolls 😉 ). My sweet, sweet girl had also been struggling for a while with the reality that due to school schedules, little brother gets much more 1:1 time with Mama than she was. With discovering that a brand new American Girl Doll store had opened just a few hours away from us, I came up a with a plan!! THE.PERFECT.PLAN! A bit lavish for a 4.5yr old? Ehh… maybe. Worth it anyway? Heck yeah!! Lizzy is such an exceptionally well behaved, sweet & hard working little girl that she totally earned this (and we really did need something extra special for just us at this point). So… here’s our trip & oh yeah, I should warn you, it will absolutely be a long posting – too many wonderful aspects (also LOTS of cell phone/not best quality shots – Mama trying to stay in the moment while still capturing it – sorry, sorta 😉 )…


We hit the road E-A-R-L-Y in the morning! Well before breakfast, so when it did come time to eat, of course, we had to stop at Panera for our fav souffles along the route (which was perfect timing as it had POURED the whole drive until that point!)

With a little longer ride than we’d expected (thank you rain!) we finally made it to Charlotte. STRAIGHT to the American Girl Store we went!! LOL… there were even some Dads in the store we cut through that guessed exactly where this little girl was headed!

“Mom, we don’t just get to do things like this very much. I really, really LOOOVE spending time with you like this!!!”… OMG – cry!!! LOVE MY GIRL! <3


My little ballerina was a tad ‘starstruck’ by even a stand out of Isabelle! 😉


Not too bad, right? Only one bag 😉 She was permitted one matching outfit (she had her heart set on getting some) & an extra doll outfit (then when she wasn’t looking I slipped in a couple small things she adored to later wrap up for Christmas… the clerk handled my sneakiness PERFECTLY 😀 ).

The cafe books weekS in advance, at least at the holidays anyway so we had a ‘few’ hours to hang out, play & come up with a name for Lizzy’s girl. She settled on ‘Charlotte’ since it’s not only a pretty name but also where we got her.


My usually shy girl EVEN proactively went up to other girls while we were hanging out to make friends & share doll stories. It was the sweetest thing I’ve seen!! <3


The trip wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the hair salon to start Charlotte off right, of course! Even though it wasn’t on ‘the list’, they happily did her hair to match Lizzy’s. When all done, Lizzy even signed off on it herself… such a big girl!!


The Cafe… oh this sweet little girly treat of a place!


We had SUCH a fun time playing this game they had on the table!!!


Couldn’t ask for a more perfect, appropriately sized & ‘us’ kinda appetizer! Blueberry mini muffins, fruit kabobs & a sweet little flower pot yogurt.


Lizzy then picked HOT CHOCOLATE as her drink with lunch!! 😉 It’s a special outing so I said yes. MY treat was the entertainment of watching her eat it 😀


After lunch, we indulged one more time & had the mini ice cream cone sampler for dessert (Lizzy stuck me with the Chocolate one & enjoyed the other 2 herself… I just smiled & let her have at it)


Time to finish up our experience at the store. Thanks so much to our waitress for grabbing a few non-selfie pics of us together (even though Lizzy was still shivering from her ice cream… LOL 😉 )


The 2nd part of our trip… A night away at the Renaissance Charlotte Southpark Hotel, with yep – an American Girl package!!! By some chance when looking for a place to stay I just happened to stumble upon this offering. Had no idea anyone did such a thing. Soo, so, SOOO glad I did!!! It completed our experience in the most perfect way…

To start off, they literally had an official check in for the girls to do! Lizzy thought she was big stuff!!


She was even given a sweet welcome letter & her own room keys! THEN… she got into the room!!!…


Pink, pink, pink everywhere… a pink bean bag that she immediately jumped into, next to a pink lit lamp that she LOVED, pink bedding, even a pink Christmas tree and pink towels the bathroom!


Even got to borrow a pink robe & KEEP an American Girl travel bed, robe & slippers for Charlotte!


Daddy doesn’t do room service… so, shhhh 😉 … since it was our girls outing & he wasn’t there, after swimming we got our pj’s on & had our dinner brought to the room to have with a little Disney channel evening entertainment.


Part of the room package was bedtime cookies & milk for both us AND Charlotte 😉


There were surely some SWEET & happy dreams going on as she slept in this comfy bed of pinkness!


And when morning came… we enjoyed that comfy bed for just a little bit longer even 😉


I’ve never done this before but yes, I let her jump on the bed! It was just too irresistible 😀


Last ones down for breakfast, we pretty much had the place to ourselves by then… amazing service & perfect time for some morning silliness!! 😀


After breakfast we went exploring a little & had quite the unexpected find! A piano tucked away around the corner next to the bathrooms. Had never seen Lizzy play before or really show an interest (though she is always quite interested in music, arts, etc – so not surprising)… she sat right down & started playing away! It even sounded good. What looked even better than it sounded was the BIG smiles on her face!!


Every where we turned the hotel had beautiful features… from the regular decor to their holiday additions! Lizzy was particularly enthralled with the purple & orange Christmas trees (surely they must have a Clemson Daddy & love all things purple & orange too?!?!!! 😉 )


This beautiful sofa greeted us every time we got off the elevator of our floor, so before leaving, my Diva had to do her thing and have some pictures posing on it too!


Good Bye, Charlotte, American Girl Store & the Renaissance Charlotte Southpark… Lizzy, Charlotte & I had the MOST wonderful time and sincerely THANK YOU for all that you did to make our memories even more fabulous!!! While it ‘should’ be a once in a lifetime kinda experience… yeah, I’m kinda hoping we can find an excuse to DO IT AGAIN!! 😀


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