Yesterday morning, Erin, Lauren, my parents, and I traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota—home to the sprawling Mall of America. The girls knew this is the biggest mall in the nation, but they had no idea how big it really is! For the uninitiated, the Mall of America has more than 520 stores, 20 sit-down restaurants, 30 fast food restaurants, 14 movie screens, and 40 escalators. You could fit seven Yankee Stadiums inside the mall or 32 Boeing 747s. Whew! We didn't even come close to walking through the entire mall, instead opting to target select stores for items on our wish lists.
As much as we enjoyed browsing store aisles and finding bargains, the highlight of the day was undoubtedly Nickelodeon Universe, the largest indoor family theme park in the United States (seven acres with more than 30 rides and attractions—and not just wimpy stuff, but some wild rides for the daring, too). We didn't tell the girls about the park before we arrived, so they were completely shocked to see roller coaster tracks and a ferris wheel soaring to the high glass ceiling. They each got an unlimited ride wristband and we alternated between shopping and riding the entire day. Both agree that the best ride was the Orange Streak, a long coaster that traveled through the entire park.
It's about 2.5 hours of driving between the Mall of America and my parents' house in Wisconsin, and we got home just after 11:30 last night. Everybody slept in a bit this morning, and today—when temps are supposed to hit a sweltering 93 degrees—we girls are opting to stay home in the AC, do a little cooking and reading, and just chill out. A day at this mall requires recovery time, too!