Sorry I didn't get to this post yesterday like I'd hoped. The cold symptoms are slowly making their way through the ranks (today I have 3 kiddos home from school), so it's been a bit difficult to get to the computer. :}
Friday morning, my aunt and I started off for Nevada, where one of my very dearest friends lives. I haven't had a chance to see her house yet, and there's a big possibility she'll be moving in the next few months, so I wanted to take this chance to see her before she moved farther away.
I brought Hayden with me for some photo ops, just in case. Mimi (my aunt) borrowed one of my mom's dolls because she forgot to bring Kailani with her. Enjoy this picture, because it's pretty much the only doll picture I got the whole time. :} It was just one of those trips where taking a doll along to every place we went wasn't conducive to a smooth, enjoyable visit. ;) That's okay, though. I was there to see my friend first and foremost. :)
We had beautiful weather for our trip, and the scenery was lovely.
My friend is the queen of clean and organization. I'm always amazed by her ability to keep everything looking "just so" (which is pretty much unheard of in my house!). :) This is where I stayed while I was there. Doesn't it look as fancy as a hotel? This room is part of a really cute guest suite that is located above her garage. Mimi and I were quite comfortable in our own little suite. :)
Of course, one of the things I looked forward to was visiting the local Disney Store. :) I didn't get as many pics this time because I didn't get around to asking permission first (which I prefer to do). We were also there with my friend's two little girls and I didn't want to take too much time getting photos and making everyone wait.
One of the Cinderella displays.
They had lots of the Singing Princess dolls...
...and the regular sized Princess dolls too (both on sale). :)
Apparently I should have taken some pics of the Disney Animator's Collection Dolls, too. Little did I know that would possibly be the last time I would see some of them! :( (If you don't know what I'm talking about, click HERE.)
After the mall and a few other stops, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at BJ's. Mimi and I don't have one of these restaurants in our area, so we enjoyed trying something new.
We had to wait for about 30 minutes before a table was ready, so I entertained myself with taking random pictures of the building and the beautiful sky, watching the people going by, and enjoying the chatter and antics of my friend's daughters.
When we got inside, we all had a delicious lunch. This was mine (it's partially eaten because I forgot to take a picture before I started). ;) Yes, it was delicious. And yes, sadly, I did eat all of those french fries. :}
After lunch, we headed over to a store called "Scheels", which Mimi and I had never heard of. It's pretty much the ultimate sporting goods store with a lot of other little shops thrown in. It had this really cool aquarium in the entrance that you could walk under.
It also had its own Ferris wheel. :)
Not to mention a really cool display of different animals from the area.
The back of the store led to some other outlets. There were lots of these really nifty statues and sculptures on display beside the stores.
Here's a tower, complete with airplanes.
This sculpture made me think of "Finding Nemo". ;)
The beauty of these sculptures was amazing.
My favorite stop here was the Sanrio Store! :D
One last view of Scheels' aquarium.
At the Sanrio Store, Mimi got a surprise grab bag.
It had a fancy Hello Kitty cell phone charm, some stickers, a set of 3 lollipops, a journal, a marker, and a plastic holder to store the journal and marker.
We had a wonderful time. It was great visiting, shopping, and watching Christmas movies with my friend. Her home was lovely and her girls were adorable. I'm so glad it worked out to take this weekend to see her. :) I'm afraid I didn't get any more pics, because we were too busy enjoying life to take the time to document it. ;)
Here are a few shots of our beautiful ride home, though:
I brought a little bit of spending money along and found a few fun things to take home as a memento of my trip.
At the Disney Store, their reusable shopping bags were on sale for 2 for $5. Mimi got a Minnie Mouse one, and I picked up this "Wreck-it Ralph" bag.
Here's the other side, with the full picture.
The narrower sides look like this.
You're probably surprised that I didn't pick up a Princess bag. I almost did, but I didn't care for the design as much on their current Princess bag (Belle was NOT front and center where she should have been), ;) and I really enjoyed the "Wreck-it Ralph" movie. Besides, I can't have ALL Princess stuff. I've gotta change things up every once in a while. ;)
I really love these bags from the Disney Store. They're fairly inexpensive and they're great for holding my toiletries or doll accessories when I go on trips. :)
But don't despair: I didn't leave completely Princess-less. ;) The mini plushies were on sale for $6 each, so I decided to bring a mini Belle back home with me. I had originally intended to get a mini Rapunzel (I've been a fan of those since my trip to LA in July), but there was only one Rapunzel left and she had kind of a wonky face. Belle was a good substitute.
This is probably the first mini plush Belle I've seen with a face I actually like.
I decided to try her out with a couple of my Beast stuffies. She's a little big for this one, but it works.
And she's slightly small for this one, but again, it works.
I decided to put her on the shelf with both of them. They can fight over her, I guess. ;)
I also purchased something at the Sanrio Store. Don't you just love this adorable bag my purchases came in? I'd like to figure out a way to use it in my doll rooms or something. :)
I found these two super cute cell phone charms in the clearance section (with the help of a sales associate).
I've been looking all over for a My Melody charm to go with the Chococat charm I found for Jenna's necklace. This one is perfect!
I was also a huge fan of Spottie Dottie when I was younger and couldn't pass up this adorable charm. Not sure what I'll use it for yet, but I'm sure I'll come up with something. ;)
Here's how the My Melody charm looks with the rest of Jenna's necklace.
They gave me a free poster with my purchase. I've never heard of the "Strawberry King" before (although I'm assuming he's the guy with the ginormous strawberry on his head), but there were several other characters I recognized:
Keroppi and My Melody...
...Dear Daniel and Hello Kitty...
...the Little Twin Stars...
Whenever I see these characters, it brings me back to the wonderful times I had with my Japanese exchange students growing up. :) I'll definitely have to find a special spot for this poster.
Okay, true confessions here: I've become a HUGE fan of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I let my girls watch a few episodes, but not a lot of them. There are too many episodes that are either too scary, too full of ponies yelling at each other, or have a little too much of an emphasis on magic or spells than I'm comfortable with for my kiddos. I just love the show for ME. So many of the characters remind me of myself or my friends from high school. Plus, it's a children's show that's almost more fun for the parents than for the kids. ;) The writing is great, the voice work is amazing, and the songs are fun and catchy. Plus, the ponies actually have personalities, flaws, etc...and aren't just sitting down at a tea party being all nice to each other in that syrupy sweet way.
But moving on...I already discussed most of this already in my earlier Blind Bag Ponies review. (Although I've become much more of a fan myself since then.)
Anyway, on our way to our destination, we stopped at a Walmart for a potty break and I noticed that they had the newest Blind Bags out! And I got...
...Princess Celestia! And not just any Princess Celestia, but one that was actually the right color! Yay! :)
I'm so glad I found this pony. :)
As you can see, she's not quite the right scale for the other Blind Bag ponies.
My McDonald's Princess Celestia is much better. She's also the same strange PINK color that Hasbro continuously decides to make Princess Celestia. (Why, Hasbro? Why? Have you even seen your own TV show?)
A comparison of the two together.
The My Little Pony fun didn't end there: while at the mall, I found a store that had a TON of My Little Pony stuff. Most of it was too expensive, but I snagged these 4 mini buttons:
Scootaloo, Apple Bloom, and Sweetie Belle, the "Cutie Mark Crusaders"
The "Mane 6": Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie.
Mimi can attest to the fact that I searched high and low for a Rainbow Dash 4" pony to go with my slowly growing collection (so far, I have Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Applejack, and Lily Blossom...all but Twilight Sparkle were Goodwill finds for 49 cents each!). Sadly, there were no Rainbow Dashes to be had anywhere. Then, of all things, my mom found one right here in my hometown at Walmart yesterday. She brought it to me as a surprise, which was a nice end to a rough day. More on that story and more on my ponies in a later post, though.
Of course, the find that I was the MOST excited about was my ultimate Goodwill squee I mentioned earlier! :D Mimi and I found a Goodwill on her phone just before we left town and decided to check it out. I'm sooo glad we did. At first, there didn't seem to be anything there, but then...back in the section with the porcelain dolls, I found:
an American Girl Molly Doll!! (As far as I can tell, she appears to be the Mattel version.)
I could hardly believe it! She was exactly like she is pictured above, dressed in her green velvet Christmas dress with her socks, shoes, and her bloomers (although the elastic is worn out). She was...get this...$2.99!!!
I can't even tell you how excited I was about this find. I could barely form words when I showed her to Mimi. ;) What makes this find even more special is that Molly is Little Gal's absolute favorite doll of all time. A couple of Christmases ago, we got her a stand-in Gotz doll which she named Molly. I've always wanted to get her a real Molly someday. I never dreamed I'd be able to find one for just $3! :D
Molly does have some condition issues. Her legs and arms are really loose and will need to be restrung. Her lip color seems to have faded completely. Her skin was pretty filthy too, but everything came up really nicely with a Magic Eraser. Her hair was in surprisingly good shape. I don't think she's been played with very much.
Hubby and I are giving Oldest Gal a used AG Elizabeth doll for Christmas this year. She was a Craiglist purchase that we've had since last year. Originally, my plan was to give each of the girls a doll on their 8th birthday, since that was the year they were officially within the target age for American Girl. However, when Oldest Gal's birthday came around, the timing just wasn't right, so we decided to do it on her 8th Christmas instead (well, technically her 9th, but you know what I mean).
So the plan is to hold onto Molly until Little Gal turns 8 (so a little over 3 years from now). In the meantime, I hope to either restring her limbs myself or get them restrung. I'd also like to get her glasses. Really, aside from that, she's pretty much perfect. I was able to get her hair back in its original braids and clean her vinyl, and she looks as good as new:
Now I can hardly wait until Little Gal is 8! ;)
Of course, I realize that tastes change and she may have a new favorite by then. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. ;) No matter what, this will always be a fun memory. :)
I had a great time on my trip, but it was nice to come home to my family again. They all missed me a lot while I was gone. It sure is nice to be needed. :)