We all have a bucket list. If you don’t you really should make one. My bucket list has evolved over the years, when I was in high school in included things like graduate from Yale and go to medical school. While I was enlisted in the military my bucket list included making a certain rank and getting a specialized position. In Alaska visiting Nome and Barrow topped my list.
One item that has stayed on my list through all variations has been to visit the Mall of America. While I was on maternity leave we made a trip north and I got to cross another item off my bucket list. I’m grateful that we live close enough that we made the trip an overnight one and did it easily. We left mid-morning after our chiropractor appointments and made it to our hotel by mid-afternoon. I had packed lots of food and snacks in the car so we stopped at a rest stop that had a playground and picnic benches for lunch. This allowed the boys to run around a bit and eat lunch about half way through the trip. It was a very nice little area. The only downside was that it was windy and BabyM did NOT appreciate the strong breeze while she was trying to eat. Instead I got to sit in the car to feed her and then walked around inside the restroom and vending machine area to get her to sleep.
The hotel we stayed in was a bust. The carpets were disgusting, there were pipes showing in the ceiling that made me feel like we were in a basement and the TV guide pamphlet did not match the actual channels on the television. I know that last bit is a first world problem but when you have crying kids because you promised them cartoons but now you can’t find any, it becomes a point of frustration. The final straw for the hotel doom? The chains’ famous continental breakfast was rather lacking at this location. It was limited with one type of fruit and two types of cereal plus toast, eggs and waffles. This was not the type of breakfast we were used to from this chain. In fact the sketchy, off-brand hotel in the middle of nowhere South Dakota had a better breakfast and had half the serving space!
Our first evening there we checked out Mall of America. Our plan that night was to eat at a restaurant and scope out the mall for any must see stores or attractions. We were able to take the kids to Rainforest Café for dinner. It turned out to be a little bit too much for them. The simulated thunderstorms made LittleM cry to leave after the third one and still upset PirateM although he was starting to get used to them.
We had made plans to go to the aquarium at the mall but the kids lost the opportunity to go and so HomemadeMomy and HomemadeDady had to suffer as well. May be next time we can make it. We checked out the amusement park in the middle of the mall and visited several stores. On the second day we made a stop at Ikea in the morning. I had never been to Ikea before and while it wasn’t all it is hyped up to be it was pretty cool to see. I do foresee another trip in our future sometime soon. We returned to the mall for a second round of walking the mall after eating a packed lunch.
Some of the stores we visited were the Disney store, American Girl store, Lego Store, Peeps store, board game store, Toll House cookie store and a few clothing stores. We have plans to go to Jamba Juice when we go back and possibly the Crayola experience. When I first looked at the Crayola Experience it didn’t appear to be worth the entrance fee but we may at least go to the store portion next time we visit.