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Old 01-20-2014, 12:55 PM   #1
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An American Girl Adventure

Welcome to my short weekend trip report. I am Jen for those who don’t know me.



I have 3 children, Michael, who is almost 25, Paige who is 21, and Claire, who is now 9. I am married to Skip. We live on a dairy farm in Ohio, about 30 minutes or so away from Toledo.







And this is what my backyard has looked like the last few weeks….YUCK!







Snow is not a dairy farmer’s friend, I can tell you that!

This past year has not been the greatest and I was very happy to say goodbye to 2013. May she never come knocking back at my door again!

But that being said, we had some great times as well. Claire and I went with my parents and my sister Amanda to Williamsburg, Virginia and had a great time with new experiences. But as many of you who know me, that’s not quite the same as a Disney trip.

Over the summer I started looking at a fall cruise with some girlfriends. It just never worked out. The rates weren’t where I wanted them to be, many of us could not coordinate the dates to work for all of us and in the end it just wasn’t doable. My Mom also talked about cruising, but she was in Union negotiations at her work and she was one of the top people doing this. She had hoped to be done by mid Oct. but it took longer than expect, so the cruise dates we looked at came and went as well.

In the meantime, my daughter Paige was in a very bad car accident, so I spent a week at the hospital with her and then she recovered at my home as well. During that recovery time I was in a car accident and though I was fine, my car wasn’t and we had to buy a new car. Things just were not looking good for any type of vacation.

We really needed to get away though. I was about to go stir crazy.
An American Girl Doll Store had opened up in Columbus, Oh over the summer. Columbus is where my sister Amanda lives and is about 2 hours away from my home. My other sister, Gail, went down to visit Amanda with her girls and visited the store not long after it opened. I showed Claire the pictures that Gail had posted on facebook. Instead of excitement I got a full out crying session. She has always wanted to go to a store, it’s not fair they went without her….you know all the drama an 8 Year can muster up.
So I told her we would plan a trip there in the near future. Of course all the accidents started happening and we just couldn’t set a date, even though she constantly reminded us of it.

After things started to calm down, my sister Gail told me she did have a reservation at the Bistro in the American Girl Doll store for Sept. 21. Since they had already gone down, she would give it to me. That sounded like a nice plan and we started to plan a weekend trip. My mom decided she would like to join us as well. We then realized that Claire had that Monday off from school so we could make it a little bit of a longer weekend. Mom however had to work Monday, so she decided to drive down separately so that she could return home on Sunday evening. It was also a great chance to see how my new car would handle its first road trip!

Please join me as I relive this quick, but fun weekend trip in Sept.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:48 PM   #2
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Great start Jenn and how cute are those adorable cows of yours! I hope they've been Ok in the snow... I know that's no friend to dairy farmers.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:56 PM   #3
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Great start! I also adore the photos of your cows!!! So cute!!!
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:32 PM   #4
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Great start. I will have to show the farm pix to my wife.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:47 PM   #5
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Great start! I'm jumping right onboard so I don't get too far behind (I still have to read your Williamsburg TR).
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:09 PM   #6
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Oh you are so lucky to have an American Girl Doll store that close. I have two granddaughters (6 and almost 6) who really love their dolls. I would love to take them both to one someday. Looking forward to your adventure.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:52 PM   #7
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Great start Jenn and how cute are those adorable cows of yours! I hope they've been Ok in the snow... I know that's no friend to dairy farmers.
I knew you would enjoy those pictures.
The cows are not a fan of the cold weather we have been having...nor is my husband.

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Great start! I also adore the photos of your cows!!! So cute!!!

Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:54 PM   #8
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Great start. I will have to show the farm pix to my wife.
Thanks. I should get out and take more pictures of the farm some day (when it gets warmer), as I haven't done that in quite some time.

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Great start! I'm jumping right onboard so I don't get too far behind (I still have to read your Williamsburg TR).
Thanks for joining in. I am always behind these days too.

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Originally Posted by Grammy Grumpy View Post
Oh you are so lucky to have an American Girl Doll store that close. I have two granddaughters (6 and almost 6) who really love their dolls. I would love to take them both to one someday. Looking forward to your adventure.
It was nice to have one built not too far from us. But I am glad it is far enough away that I don't get roped into goin all the time. I know Claire and she would want to go every week.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:08 PM   #9
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Great pictures around the dairy farm! Can't wait to hear all about the trip.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:58 AM   #10
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Great pictures around the dairy farm! Can't wait to hear all about the trip.

Thanks
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:59 AM   #11
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Friday, Sept. 20,2013

Our trip started Friday, Sept. 20. The plan was to head down to Columbus after Claire got out of school.
I had an eye Dr. appointment this morning and I did that after I took Claire to school. And as I feared…I was in need of glasses……bifocals. I can’t do anything easy now can I?

I got us packed and put everything in the car in the early afternoon so we would be ready to head down. Since my car was brand new, I took a few pictures…of Tom. Yes, my car has a name and it is Tom. It is a Chevy Cruze and Skip thought it should be called Tom Cruze….yes he is full of laughs just like that every single day.









I picked up Claire and I believe we then headed into town to meet up with my Mother at my sister Gail’s house. I think she had to drop something off there and it was close to her work, so it was a good spot to meet. We set off shortly after that and I could not believe all the traffic. Normally after you get a few miles away from the Toledo area traffic thins out quite a bit, but this was not the case today. It was bumper to bumper for miles and miles. And let’s just say….mom was not in any hurry either. She seemed to be going under the speed limit and I was tempted to pass her a few times. But it was so heavily congested that I was afraid if we did, she wouldn’t be able to pull around and catch up with us.

Then came the rain…and I mean it was POURING hard. We had to slow to about 30 miles per hour because it was so hard and semi’s were not staying in their lane either. I had to honk more than once at a truck who felt that he was entitled to 2 lanes, even though other cars were in the 2nd lane he was trying to take over. It was kind of scary and this was my first time driving the new car in rain. I wasn’t even sure how to use the wipers at first.
We did reach sunshine again eventually, thank goodness. Skip called a few times and he just didn’t believe I had been through such bad rain….because I guess the world’s weather revolves around what we have at our home…

At one point we made a stop at a rest stop to use the bathroom and stretch a minute. It was just a very slow going trip, and I am not a patient driver.

I do pass the time by listening to books on CD when I make drives like this and Claire brings her kindle along to entertain herself.

As we got closer to Columbus the traffic really picked up again. This is normal. When you arrive in the rush hour time, this road is always stop and go, but today it was even worse than normal as well. We were only about 10 miles from Amanda’s but it was going to take us a long time to get there at this rate. And little bladders can’t hold it that long either, so we once again had to make a stop to use the bathroom for Claire before she exploded.

We did finally make it though. Amanda lives in a Condo complex and each place has 2 parking spots in front of their place. Amanda was nice enough to move her car over to the overflow area and let Mom and I park right there.

We unloaded quickly and then piled back into Mom’s car. We were starving and our favorite Columbus eatery was calling our name! The Cheesecake Factory. We let Amanda drive moms car since she knows the area best and she let us off near the front and I went and put our name in. It’s always a long wait here. I think it was supposed to be 30 minutes today, which wasn’t too bad.
We decided to wait outside since it was still a nice evening and enjoy the fresh air.













I was starting to get annoyed. The time had come and gone and I was noticing people who came out after us to wait were being called. I went in and stood at the desk and watched to see if our name was being called and then after a few minutes I asked if they missed us. They checked our buzzer thing and said it would be about 20 more minutes. Well I am not about to keep my mouth shut and asked if they were sure as I have seen people who arrived after us being seated and we were well over the 30 minutes we had been told already. They gave me some excuse that tables were not being cleared fast enough. But I saw them huddle around in whispers. I gathered the family and sure enough we were called next. I swear I must have something written on my forehead that says “Please lose our name” because this has happened more than once here.

We were seated and had a look over the menu. Amanda has been having some stomach issues, basically most of her life, but she went to a new Dr. who decided to try some new things to figure out what is wrong. I am so glad this is happening finally because her other Dr.s just kind of let it go. She is now on a diet to eliminate things and then she will slowly introduce them back into her diet to see if she has a reaction. She had just started this about a week or 2 before we came down, so she was still trying to figure out what she could and couldn’t eat when she went out to restaurants. I think this was actually her first outing. Several months later, she is now introducing things back into the diet. She is very excited and she thinks she has an idea on what might be the culprit. We have been teasing her for months now because we said her diet looked like it would consist of twigs and pinecones. Her birthday is in Feb. as is mine and just today we were talking about where we want to celebrate it with the family. She listed the places she could eat and we chose one, but then she said that week she would be able to have butter added back in her diet….so she requested a pinecone with butter for her cake! LOL

Ok, back to dinner. Amanda had to make some hard choices, but end the end she found some things that worked for her.
I didn’t take pictures at dinner, but I got the chicken parmesan, which is becoming one of my favorites there. Claire and I ordered cheesecake to go.
We had a nice time, but service was slow. It seems to be the theme here the last 2 times as well.

Amanda took this picture of Claire and I. Probably the only picture of me from the weekend.



We headed out and stopped at Meijer afterwards. Amanda wanted to get a key made for her house since I wasn’t leaving till Monday and would need to lock up after I left. Her spare key was with another friend still, so she made 2 extras tonight. We also bought a few items to have in the house during the stay since Amanda was only eating twigs and berries.

We headed back to her condo and watched a bit of TV and ate our cheesecake.






MMMMM! I love that stuff! Of course I was still full so I only ate a few bites and would just snack on it all weekend.

It was time for bed now. Tomorrow was the big day. I believe the store opened at 9 (I could be wrong on that time), but whatever it was, we wanted to be there at opening. Claire was almost too excited to sleep.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:03 PM   #12
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I'm glad you finally made it after that awful traffic and rain. I'm also glad they finally seated you - what a pain you had having to wait like that. There's nothing worse than watching people who arrived after you being seated.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:46 PM   #13
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Nice new car! All of our cars have had names, and my current Edge has been called Starship Enterprise from day one because of all its technology. I love Cheesecake Factory.
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:04 PM   #14
rhinohunter
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WOW what a start. Glad you finally made it and safely. Our granddaughter named my wife's car as soon as she saw it. It is a bright red Dodge Durango, now known as the FIRETRUCK. Well technically that is not a name but is close. Never thought to name mine. Sorry Amanda is having t live with such a diet. Not sure how anyone can stick with twigs and berries.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:18 PM   #15
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Tom Cruze... I love it!! I LOVE cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, which is definitely saying something because I don't care for cheesecake normally.
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My Countdown Counting down to: Returning to WDW!
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My Previous TripsMarch 1989 - offsite; April/May 2002 - Coronado Springs; March 2003 - All Star Movies; May 2003 - offsite; July 2003 - Port Orleans Riverside; April/May 2006 - Port Orleans Riverside; September 2007 - All Star Sports; August/September 2008 - All Star Movies and Pop Century; June 2009 - Pop Century; August 2010 - All Star Sports & Disney Wonder; June 2011 - All Star Music; April 2012 - Disney Fantasy; April 2013 - Port Orleans French Quarter; August 2015 - Disneyland offsite; April 2017 - Coronado Springs; December 2017 - Old Key West
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