Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bringing Elsa home...

Hey, do you think Disney has a plan?

It wasn't my intention to focus on the Frozen Elsa doll all during our anniversary trip to Europe.
It began with kind of a curiosity: Could it be possible that the doll we wanted to get for a host of granddaughters for birthdays and Christmas could be found in England or Italy?
Maybe the obsession with the Disney movie and the dolls hadn't reached across the pond just yet?
We had routinely harassed the local stores for Elsa dolls for months. (We found Anna dolls a while ago and dropped in every day to the Orem store to buy two at a time until we had enough.)
We knew we had little girls who wouldn't be happy with just one sister.
So we stopped in London at the store on Oxford Street and checked.
"Oh. We just sold out. We had some," said the sales girl.
When we looked crushed, she leaned forward to confide, "I can't promise anything but we may be getting some in the morning. If you can ring us exactly at 9 a.m., we could put your name on the list."
So it began.
My son had provided us with a burner phone for emergencies and this became one.
Every morning we rang the stores. I have three European phone numbers memorized now.
 Every time we got on or off the tube near Covent Garden or Oxford St. we stopped in to look for Elsa. (There was another one that was a long ways away. Fortunately they never got in a shipment or we'd have made that ride too.)
Nobody wants her in this dress
When we went to Hamley's toy store with our grandson for a race car, we looked for Elsa dolls.
"Finished!" said the clerks. "We are finished!" (Apparently that's the word for "Sold out!")
It became a kind of obsession that carried through to Italy.
We found a tiny toy store in Sienna that had finished with Elsa as well.
We found another in Florence that just finished a few minutes before we arrived!
On the last day before we left London, we made a final call.
Elsa is magical.
"Yes," said the harried clerk. "We may have some Elsas in the morning."
We stopped in the next day and joined a little huddle of moms and small girls in front of the store.
Once in, we all flew to the display and to our amazement, there were beautiful, 11-inch, authentic Elsa dolls. (You can get the fake ones from China on the Internet but they aren't the same at all.)
We grabbed four.
I was thrilled. Marc was happy to have resolution to this mad campaign and just as happy to drag a sack of dolls home, through customs, onto several planes and buses and trains.
More than once, I'm sure he was thinking..."Let it go! Let it go!"
But hey, it's a grandma mission accomplished.

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