Day 27 - Tim better hide the plastic cause we're about to be at The Mall of America !

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North America » United States » Minnesota
July 21st 2009
Published: July 29th 2009
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There was no sleeping late this morning for sure ! I was up at the crack of dawn and I was so excited I even made Tim a pot of coffee. Yuck ! I wasn’t quite sure how far Albert Lea, Minnesota was from the Mall of America but I knew we were at least in the same state so we had to be within a few hours or so. Shoot, we had traveled over 7500 miles so far so I’m thinking a little bit longer isn’t gonna hurt at all. This is the day that I was going to fulfill every woman’s dream. I was about to be standing right in the middle of 4.2 million square feet of pure heaven. The Mall of America is a four story mega mall containing over 500 different stores for all your shopping pleasures. In addition to all the shops, the mall also has an aquarium, a wedding chapel, a 30 ride Nickelodeon theme park, a dinosaur museum, a fighter jet simulator and a four story LEGO Imagination Center. It even has a post office and it’s very own zip code. I was so excited I could hardly stand it ! We got ready and packed the motor home up so we could get on the road as soon as possible. As Tim drove us down the highway, I just chuckled every time we passed another RV on the road. He has this thing where he waves at every single motor home and/or RV that we pass whether they see him or not and whether they wave back or not. He’s been doing it for almost thirty days now so I finally asked him why he continues when hardly anyone ever acknowledges his friendly gestures. He just said that it’s something that he likes to do and he does it more for himself than for any one else so it doesn’t bother him that no one responds. Oh well, I just thought to myself “to each his own, whatever makes him happy”. I like it that some of my friendliness is finally wearing off on him so I’m definitely not going to stop him now. Anyway, I worked on taking off all my fingernail and toenail polish on the drive over while Tim concentrated on his driving and waving skills. Soon we began to see billboards and signs and then the next thing I know we were getting off the exit and I look over and there it stood, the largest mall in America. Tim turned the corner and we could see the huge red, white and blue sign that hung above the main entrance, it read “The Mall of America”. YAY ! I had read all about it and heard all about it and even sent Amber and her best friend there for her 16th birthday but this was going to be another first for me. Of course I realize that Tim is not that excited but once again he sucks it up and puts on his happy face so I can have a wonderful time. (Thank you honey !) We had to park all the way at the other end of the parking lot in the “bus” lot so we had a good little walk to the front door but I didn’t mind at all. WOW ! As soon as we walked in the doors we were staring at this huge roller coaster and then over to the left was the huge ferris wheel to match. We watched in amazement and listened as everyone riding screamed during every turn. It was really cool. Mom can shop while the kids enjoy the amusement park and Dad gets to carry all the bags, keep up with everybody and foot the bill. Perfect I tell you, just perfect ! We walked around for a few minutes and then decided to go ahead and get some lunch before we began the grand tour. We found a cozy little Italian place called Tucci Benucch and enjoyed a fabulous meal together as we gathered our strength for what we knew was going to be a very long day. Our tummies were full and now it was time to start checking out all the stores. I had bookmarked a few special stores because today is my niece Hannah’s 10th birthday so I had to find her the perfect gift. We strolled in and out of shops at a record pace because I couldn’t get out of my mind the fact that the book said if you spent 10 minutes in every store it would take you 86 hours to see all of them ! I knew we only had a fraction of the time it would take to see everything so we tried to focus on the stuff that interested us (me) the most. We walked through a few stores that we had never heard of before to check them out and then we moved on to a few of the more familiar ones. Of course we had to stop in the Nickelodeon store so I could get my nephew Landon a Sponge Bob t-shirt. We did stop in the amusement park and play a few games so we could win some Sponge Bob stuff but that didn’t work out too well so we had to resort to buying it in the store. We made our way over to the aquarium and then on to the Rainforest Café. It was really fun exploring all the different stuff and at some point I think Tim actually began to enjoy himself. He even went into the Flip Flop store to try and find a new pair of flip flops. He didn’t have any luck so we swiftly moved on along until we made our way up to the 2nd floor. As we were walking, Tim and I discussed the fact that from the amount of people we saw and the amount of bags they were carrying, you sure couldn’t tell that America was in the middle of a recession. This place was packed out and it wasn’t just people there with their little kids at the amusement park. People were shopping and buying like there was no tomorrow. After scouring over the 2nd floor and buying a few things, we made our way up to the 3rd floor. As we entered the center of the mall we could see the top of the LEGO Imagination Center and it was really awesome. There were kids running around all over the place, yelling and jumping and having the time of their lives. I’m not so sure they were using their imaginations very much but they were having a great time and sometimes that’s all that matters. We walked around the kitchen store up there for a little bit and then we started making our way back downstairs. This place is absolutely humongous and it really would take an entire weekend just to be able to see everything. We were into our 7th hour now and I figured Tim had been through enough so we stopped by for a quick photo with Sharky from the aquarium and then we made our way back to the entrance. Kayla called just as we were walking outside to make sure the plastic hadn’t melted because she was waiting for us to get home so she could go and do some school shopping herself. I assured her that the damage was minimal and she would still be the best dressed kid at school this year. We made the trek across the street and into the bus parking lot where Big Bertha was faithfully waiting. Ooooooohhhhhhhh my legs were hurting so bad and so was Tim’s. It was nice to actually sit down but we couldn’t get too comfortable because our day was only half over. We still had to get into Minneapolis and explore a few things there because I had to get them marked off in the book. Tim got behind the wheel and off we went in search of The Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis. The weather began to turn very ugly as we were getting closer but we couldn’t let it stop us so we just kept on driving until we finally came upon the theatre. It was a fairly tall building with a huge marquee sign shooting straight out of the top of it that flashed “Guthrie Theater” over and over again. It was pouring down rain so we didn’t stop to go in but I did get a couple of pictures of it and then we moved on along to our next mark, The Walker Art Center. We passed by the Metrodome where the Vikings play football and then we found the art center. It was just a huge brick building that resembled a high school gymnasium and it was still raining so we didn’t stop to go inside but we did get a couple of really dark and yucky pictures. There was only one other thing in the book we had to do and that was to drive the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. Tim pulled over at the arts center and tried to program it in Magellan but it wasn’t working out so well. I finally rolled the window down and asked a nice couple who was walking through the park for help. They looked at our map and acted as if they knew exactly what we were talking about and proceeded to give Tim directions. We drove through downtown Minneapolis, in the pouring down rain, amidst tons of construction work, catching all kids of crazy looks, for over an hour and then we ended up in the EXACT same place we started, right in front of The Walker Art Center. We couldn’t do anything but just laugh because if we didn’t laugh we were gonna cry ! We swear those people who gave us directions were hiding somewhere, with a video camera, just waiting to see if we were stupid enough to follow their directions and end up right back there where we had started. If that’s the case then the joke’s on us because we were definitely stupid enough to trust them and we fell right into their trap ! Oh well, these are the things that memories are made of and we’ll be talking about this one for many years to come ! Too bad we didn’t have our trusty co-pilots, Lynn and Jason, with us because I’m thinking this would have been a great time to have them up front assisting Tim. Eventually we did find our way over to the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway and we drove it for about twenty-two miles until it lead us out of Minneapolis and headed towards Wisconsin. We passed several lakes, pastures and farms on our drive through Minnesota and I must say we saw some gorgeous scenery too. We even got to see another rainbow that formed in the sky shortly after the rain stopped. That’s our third or fourth one on this trip but we still haven’t found a pot of gold. Tim kept driving as I kicked back and dozed in and out until we finally settled in at the Wal-Mart in Red Wing, Minnesota. We broke out the Scrabble game and played for hours as we reminisced about our day, our trip, our families and our wonderful time together. Tim promised me if I married him he would show me the world and he has definitely kept to his word, thank you Tim for all the great memories. What a fantastic adventure we are living and may God bless us as each new day is more exciting than the next. Night, Night.

Additional photos below
Photos: 32, Displayed: 30


29th July 2009

Minnesota Farmland
Candy, this is a great picture!! Your camera did a great job with the composition!! HAHA

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