Chicago, Day 2

We began this day by trekking over to Water Tower Place. Our mission was two-fold: check out the American Girl Place and get Maddie’s ears pierced at Claire’s (which, yes you can do anywhere, but we decided to do it on this trip).

American Girl Place

We arrived a little too early for Claire’s, so went down to the AG Place. That store. I mean, I knew what to expect and I didn’t. It was big. It was rich. It was…hard. I think that’s a post for another day. I was excited to give my daughter this amazing experience in a great city, doing things we’d never otherwise do. I was also acutely aware the entire time that these dolls were being better cared for than children in third world countries (or probably even many children in our own country). I couldn’t get away from that.

Doll Hair Salon

After looking over all the options, Maddie decided to use birthday money to get her doll’s ears pierced too. I sprung for the extra $5 to get her cleaned up. That was well worth it, I think. Poor Kit hadn’t had a bath in three years and she really needed one. They brushed her hair for us for free. Nice of them.

Brushed Out

Then it was back upstairs to get the real girl’s ears pierced. She wasn’t nervous until they pulled her hair back and loaded the guns.


And then, before we knew it, it was over.


She teared up when it was all done, but she was brave. I told her it was okay to cry. She was glad it was over. She dressed Kit in a new outfit and glasses and with the two newly pierced ladies, they pretty much looked alike.


From there we walked to a local Italian diner, had a nice lunch and grabbed a train to the theater.


The show – was amazing. I’ve heard people either really like it or really don’t. I’m in the former group. Really, really, really liked it. Maddie did as well. What a way to go for her first experience with major Broadway! (And let’s be honest, one of my first experiences with it too…)


Had to take a tourist shot of this Chicago sign on our way back to the train.


Caught the train and went back to the American Girl Place.


We had a nice dinner. A little over-priced, but I didn’t struggle as much with the fancy dinner as I did with the store.

Fancy, Schmancy

I could have taken her to a nice dinner anywhere and paid a comparable price. I didn’t mind so much that we did it here where her doll could also come and have a seat at the table.

Dinner at AG Place

Blurry, but necessary:

American Girl Place Chicago

We walked back to our hotel, found a movie Maddie wanted to watch while I read a good chunk of the book I brought and relaxed after an incredibly busy, but fun and full day.


10 thoughts on “Chicago, Day 2

  1. Tara Barthel says:

    SO fun!
    Fred and I had the exact same creeped-out feeling the first time we went to American Girl Place … but yes, the “and how many people? and how many dolls?” hostess question for the teas/meals is a blast. And we LOVED Wicked!
    THANKS for the sweetness of celebrating M10’s happy 10th! And the fun trip down memory lane too.
    Love to you all!
    Tara B.


  2. Mom says:

    WOW!! What a FUN time you had. M10 was very brave. I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 30-ish, and I almost backed out after the first one. And I did cry. It looks like M10, Kit, and Mom Megan had a wonderful time.


  3. Keri says:

    You know, I’d love to read your future post on American Girl Place. I took my K there this summer when we were in Chicago for vacation and had a hard time too. I’d rather she was interested in something wholesome like AG rather than Barbies or some other (even worse) option, but it just seems to smack of materialism at the same time…


  4. Edi says:

    We went to see Wicked a few years ago – being that I’ve always disliked “The Wizard of Oz” – I didn’t have very high expectations – but I totally LOVED it!
    I know my 9 yr old would love to go to the AG Place – I’m sure it’s a dreamland for all the AG fans out there.


  5. martha10 says:

    interesting to read your reviews of american girl place. the last time we were in chicago, i decided i needed to see the place to be a well educated grandma. i had very similar impressions as well. i think i’m encouraged. i feel like i’m in good company with tara and megan:) i love the idea of this trip when your girls turn 10. it is a GREAT idea. m


  6. Jamie says:

    Wow, sounds like you had a fabulous trip! I think it’s a great idea — doing a special mom/daughter thing to celebrate the big double digit birthday.
    Congrats (and belated Happy Birthday) to M10 on her newly pierced ears. What a trooper. Kit too. 😉


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