Twelve years ago I went to New Jersey on a teacher exchange programme. It was two weeks of fun, friendship and learning how things were done on the other side of the pond.
At the time America wasn’t somewhere I’d ever thought of going on holiday, and New York definitely wasn’t somewhere I’d ever thought of visiting.
Yet somehow during my two weeks there, living alongside Americans I changed my mind. I fell in love with the Big Apple, and realised that one day when I had a family of my own I would love to go back.
Last week, due to a combination of factors I was lucky enough to be able to do just that, to return to New York for two days with the children, my mum, and of course the Other Half.
We saw Time Square (yes including the huge Disney Store of course), the Rockefeller Centre, The Empire State Building and embarked on a spot of shopping on 5th Avenue. We spied both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from the water, which always seems far more apt than seeing them from land.
But number one on my list of things to do was a visit to the American Girl Doll store.
Having been taken there on my first trip and ordered numerous products from there for my daughter over the years, including several of their stunning dolls I couldn’t wait for her to see the Store in the flesh.
It’s a store that really does have everything that any girl and her doll(s) could ever desire.
From matching clothes, to a hairdressers salon, from historical dolls to those designed to look just like the girls who will bring them home. American Girl really have thought of everything.
As part of Number One’s birthday present we decided to take her for lunch at their special cafe. A cafe where girls and their dolls can eat side by side. With special doll seats that attach to the table, and a complementary cup and plate for each doll in attendance, it really is an experience like no other I’ve ever had.
As part of the birthday package we booked both girls and their dolls were given special party hats, and girls were given a special goody bag containing a doll sized balloon and T-Shirt to take home alongside a cupcake sure to delight even the most discerning of dolls.
The human sized food was delicious and the birthday cake was amongst the most delicious I’ve ever tasted.
The frosting was incredible, and I really can’t praise the staff enough for the effort they went to to make every girl in the room feel special.
Pink lemonade was every bit as lovely as I remembered, definitely something we should introduce as a new norm over our side of the Pond.
It truly was a special day, and one I’d definitely repeat if we’re ever back in New York.
So if you’re planning a trip and have a daughter under twelve this is one place you should definitely add to your to do list.
I will warn you though, the grown ups are likely to be every bit as impressed as the children.
Disclaimer: we paid for our visit to the American Girl Cafe ourselves, and as always all views and opinions expressed are my own.