December 1, 2011—A Very Fun Gluten-Free Day!!

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Yesterday, we left beautiful Ashdown, Arkansas, which is near Texarkana. We stayed at Millwood Landing RV Resort and Golf Course .  (I’ll explain in a later blog how we afford all these resorts.) There weren’t many of us campers which made for a very peaceful 10 days which included Thanksgiving. We loved the whole area but were especially taken with Millwood Lake State Park. We didn’t see any alligators (Barry and Mikayla may have seen one from the car) but we enjoyed many varieties of birds and fauna. The lake itself is very interesting because of the trees that grow in the middle of it.

The minute we crossed into Texas, things changed. We definitely were in the prairie lands. We drove through miles and miles of cattle ranches until we reached Dallas. We spent the evening shopping and catching up on laundry!

We looked into several things to do in the Dallas area but they were all expensive. When an attraction is over $10/person and there are five in the family, plus parking and gas, it really adds up fast. We decided to get some shopping done and investigate downtown Dallas.

Barry got some binoculars for his birthday last month. They were from Cabelas. Somehow, they ended up getting lost in the mail. We finally got them Wednesday morning before we left Arkansas but they were the wrong kind. He called Cabelas who suggested that we exchange them at their store in Fort Worth. It was quite a drive from where we are staying but it was an interesting trip. Texas expressways are really something with the stars and outlines of the state. Everything really is bigger in Texas! We loved the diverse buildings in Dallas and the beautiful homes. Cabelas in and of itself is always fun. The girls enjoyed the laser shooting range. We made a couple of stops on our way back to Dallas before hitting the American Girl Store.

We’ve been to the American Girl Store in Chicago a couple of times. Once when Eva was very little and another time at Christmas when it was so busy that we walked through and left. This was Eva’s day! She, along with her two dolls, enjoyed the store immensely. We looked through each exhibit at least twice before going to the Doll Boutique where one of her dolls got a new do! The doll hair stylists were amazing and made the experience so fun. The hair salon is right next to the Bistro. I saw Eva eyeing it but she didn’t say anything. I really didn’t think they would have anything that was gluten-free but I decided to ask anyway. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they actually have quite a bit that is gluten free! We decided to have dessert.

If you’ve ever eaten at an American Girl Doll restaurant, you know that they go all out for the girl and her dolls. The dolls get special seats that clip onto the table. They also get a little cup and saucer. The décor and presentation of the desserts were definitely all girl.

Eva was so excited. She is very used to not having the same food as everyone else. I try my best to make things special but a lot of times it’s just not the same. Her eyes were shining as she got her dessert. She told me that she had peeked into the restaurant but thought, “There’s no way it’s g-free so I won’t even let myself think about it.” I write a lot of letters trying to educate stores (and the government) about the necessity of safe gluten-free foods. American Girl Place in Dallas will be getting a letter from not only thanking them from the bottom of my heart for offering gluten-free menu choices but also for making the day so magical for my little girl!

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