“Adults are only kids grown up”
State 31: Georgia - February 27, 2018
We woke up at a Walmart in Buford, GA well rested and ready for a brand new day. Our first task was a beautiful drive 46 miles Northeast through the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to Cleveland, GA to visit the Cross Country Couple's “Roadside Attraction” for Georgia; “Babyland General Hospital; the birthplace of Cabbage Patch Kids”. Converted from an old medical clinic, the facility is the official birthing, nursery, and adoption center of the Cabbage Patch Kids. Employees even act and even dress as if they are medical professionals caring for the dolls as if they are real babies. In 2010, Babyland General Hospital was voted one of Travel Channel's top 10 toy lands in the world! In 2009, Babyland General Hospital moved into a new $2.5 million location in Cleveland, GA where the Cabbage Patch Dolls still live to this very day!
Now that you know the real story of the Cabbage Patch Kids,
below is the abbreviated fairy tale of how Cabbage Patch Kids came to be!
Once upon a time a young boy named Xavier Roberts was playing in the woods near his home in the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia. Suddenly, he encountered the most curious creature which looked like a bunny but it flew in the air and buzzed like a bee. Xavier followed this Bunnybee, through the woods, over streams, up and down hills, and into a waterfall where it suddenly disappeared! Xavier decided to take a closer look at the waterfall, held his breath as he walked through and entered into a hidden cave. Once inside, he saw millions of beautiful sparkling crystals of all sizes and colors. The Bunnybee buzzed by Xavier once again, and led him deeper and deeper into the cave. The end of the tunnel finally appeared, and Xavier saw many Bunnybees flying all around sprinkling magic dust onto rows and rows of cabbages. There were many small kids and babies sleeping and playing among the cabbage patch. One of the little boys greeted Xavier, and introduced himself as Otis Lee, the leader of the Cabbage Patch Kids. Otis Lee explained Cabbage Patch Kids are kids and babies of all sizes and shapes born in the secret cabbage patch. The Bunnybees flying all around sprinkle magic crystal dust on the mother cabbages causing the Cabbage Patch Kids to be born. Did you come to help us find homes of our own, Otis Lee asked? Xavier thought about this question very carefully and then said yes. He promised Otis Lee he would build a special place called BabyLand General where all the Cabbage Patch Kids and babies can live and play until someone adopts them, because everybody should have a family to love!
After driving up a long meandering driveway, we found a parking space for Rosie, and entered “Babyland General Hospital”. After crossing the threshold, we heard the sound of children singing from overhead speakers, and were lead down a long hall with hundreds of autographed photos by celebrities who had previously visited the hospital which included, Lou Ferrigno, Jimmy Carter, Stevie Wonder, Richard Simmons, Penn & Teller, Betty White, Jim Henson, Sammy Davis Jr., Bug's Bunny, and of course the King of Pop; Michael Jackson. Please see the pictures below.
After reaching the end of the “Wall of Fame”, we arrived in the main reception area, and were greeted by a middle aged lady dressed in scrubs sitting behind a desk playing the role of a nurse. “Welcome to Babyland General Hospital”, She emphatically stated, and invited us to sign in the guest book. On the "Nurses" lapel was her name tag with the initials LPN which stood for Licensed Patch Nurse. How cute! Around the perimeter of the reception area, were floor to ceiling curio cabinets filled with Xavier Robert’s original “Little People”, and they were all so adorable! Our personal favorites of the bunch were the “Little People” Preemie doll; Duke Sampson, and the very first “Little People” doll Roberts made named Dexter wearing Mickey Mouse ears. Ironically, one of the “Little People” dolls in the case was named Nathan, and in another case we found one named Lori Ann! It was if the arrival of the Cross Country Couple had been foretold by Cabbage Patch prophesy! Please see the pictures below.
After departing the reception area, we entered the main nursery, and I was shocked by what I saw! Hung on the walls of the nursery were original paintings by Andy Warhol depicting the Cabbage Patch Kids. I am a fan of Warhol’s art, and was excited to discover examples of his work in the most unexpected of places. We had previously visited The Andy Warhol Museum during our week in Pennsylvania, which you can read about by clicking here. Please see the pictures below of Warhol’s paintings of the Cabbage Patch Kids.
The Cabbage Patch Nursery featured numerous changing tables, rocking chairs and baby cribs filled with dozens of Cabbage Patch Dolls awaiting adoption. However, these were not your typical hard plastic faced "off the retail shelf" Cabbage Patch Dolls. These cribs contained an extra special variety only available for adoption at Babyland General Hospital! The Cabbage Patch Dolls in this nursery are one of a kind creations with soft plush heads and hand stitched faces sewn by the same artists who have been creating Cabbage Patch Dolls at the hospital for over 40 years! What a fun job to have!!! “Would you like to hold one of the babies?”, one of the workers dressed as a nurse asked. I momentarily contemplated doing so, but respectfully declined after noticing the $500 price tag of the doll in her hand. I will say these dolls were irresistibly adorable, expertly constructed, and each was its own work of art! Please see the pictures below of the rare, one of a kind, plush faced Cabbage Patch Dolls.
After departing the Cabbage Patch Nursery, we entered the main retail store, and found hundreds of Cabbage Patch Dolls everywhere!!! They were in baskets on the floor! They were hanging from the ceiling! They were on shelves! They were locked behind glass cases! They were in tree houses! They were riding on a school bus! They were even bobbing up and down from a display depicting a cabbage patch! It was quite the sight to see, and it was impossible not to smile at the spectacle before me! Please see the pictures below.
On the far back wall of the retail store, I saw a large tree with multiple flashing lights, and beneath it was a cabbage patch with dolls heads sticking out of the ground. Suddenly, a voice from the overhead speakers said “Mother Cabbage is about to give birth, so please make your way over to the see the birth of a Cabbage Patch Baby”. I was intrigued to see how they pulled off such a stunt in a family friendly way, and without inadvertently initiating the “birds and the bees” conversation on the drive home. As a nurse, I have witnessed a few babies being born, but I have never seen a tree give birth to a Cabbage Patch Baby. There was absolutely no way I was going to miss this, and I immediately made my way over to Mother Cabbage.
Upon my arrival, I discovered a small group of families with young children gathered around Mother Cabbage as the lights in the branches of her tree and in the Cabbage Patch beneath her flashed with increasing speed. Soon thereafter, a young lady appeared before us dressed in scrubs, introduced herself as a Nurse named Heather, and said she was going to deliver the Cabbage Patch Baby. I took the opportunity to ask the Nurse Heather how many centimeters was Mother Cabbage dilated, and a few of the parents nearby shot me “The Look”. With a slight chuckle, Heather replied, “Mother Cabbage is breathing very heavy, so it should not be too much longer” After a few minutes passed, Nurse Heather announced Mother Cabbage was ready to deliver, and asked everyone to help by breathing deep with Mother Cabbage. Nurse Heather announced if Mother Cabbage was unable to give birth naturally she may have to perform a C- section, which stands for a “cabbage section”. Before Mother Cabbage gave birth, the Nurse performed a sonogram to make sure the baby was ok. Then, Nurse Heather reached deep into the cabbage patch with both hands, but could not get the baby out. She reached for her forceps (salad tongs) loosening the baby just enough to pull the baby free. Nurse Heather lifted the Cabbage Patch Baby high in the air, and announced “It’s a Boy!” After the delivery, she cut the umbilical cord, gave the cabbage patch baby a shot of Imagicillin, and showed everyone the birth mark on the babies bottom which had the signature of Xavier Roberts. Please see the pictures below of the birth of a Cabbage Patch Baby.
The nurse asked the most adorable 5-year-old, blond hair, blue eyed little girl observing the birth to provide a first and last name of the newly born Cabbage Patch Doll. After a few moments of reflection, she publicly proclaimed the cabbage patch boy would be named…Jimmy Dean! Either this 5-year-old possessed a passion for classical country music, or this morning she had sausage for breakfast! Either way, I could not help but burst out laughing! The nurse whispered in the ear of the newly birthed Cabbage Patch Doll, and then announced to all, “He loves the name Jimmy Dean”. Next, the nurse brought Jimmy Dean into the nursery to give him a full checkup which included; listening to his heart with a stethoscope, suctioning his nose, checking his blood pressure with a cuff, weighing him on a baby scale, and performing a chest X-ray! After lovingly swaddling Jimmy Dean in a blue blanket, the nurse gave all those present at the birth the opportunity to hold him. Please see the pictures below of Jimmy Dean.
Please see additional pictures below of our visit to “Babyland General Hospital”.
Born in 1981, I grew up in the midst of the Cabbage Patch frenzy, and still remember the name of my Cabbage Patch Doll to this very day: Jake Ahwgy. That was a long time ago, and today I am not a big fan of children’s toys or dolls for that matter. However, visiting Babyland General Hospital was a nostalgic experience evoking fond memories of a dear childhood toy. Not to mention, the cuteness factor of this place was off the charts! One of the biggest travesties of growing up and becoming an adult is we forget how to play like a child! Do you remember how much fun it was to run barefoot though a grassy park laughing and singing on a hot summer day! Do you remember watching the TV early in the morning waiting with baited breath for the announcement of a snow day, and then spending the afternoon sledding down a great big hill? Being an adult equates to responsibilities! We all have to make a living, pay bills, meet clients, mow the lawn, cook dinner, go to dance recitals, watch TV for 30 minutes before falling asleep then wake up to do it all over again! Although we all have responsibilities to meet as adults, don’t forget to ever so often awake the child within!
After departing Cleveland, GA we drove 53 miles Northwest to a Walmart in Alpharetta where we spent the night.