Monday, August 13, 2007

Mall of America Wrap Up

Whew! What a couple of days!

We set our alarms for 6am, hoping to be on the road by 7:00. We were in the car and rolling by 6:40, so we were off to a good start! The heat wasn't too terrible until about 11:00 and it started to get pretty stifling in the van, but by then we were close enough that the excitement overshadowed that. One girl brought a six pack of mini sodas and they opened them and 'toasted' their trip as we crossed the Minnesota border (mini sodas, Minnesota, get it?) LOL.

We stopped at our hotel hoping for early check-in to no avail. We were only a mile from the Mall so we proceeded there. We sat at a stop light with the Mall straight ahead. I turned right, as the parking garage was on the right....OOOPS...we were back on the highway....bye-bye mall! Did you like it girls?? We got turned around pretty quickly and found our way to the parking garage. Of course by this time I was so turned around I had NO idea how to find our hotel again!

Their excitement as we headed to the elevators was at a fever pitch. The side of the elevators facing the mall was windows, they practically had their noses pressed against the glass looking at their destination, now only feet away. We pressed the button for the lowest floor (not realizing we were on the side the subway was on....) and when we passed ground level out the window was girders and cement. They were so close to the window (and not expecting it) that they all jumped back and screamed, which made Ruthie scream. I have to wonder what the people outside the elevator must have been thinking!

FINALLY, we were IN the mall and settled down for some shopping! I have a friend who lives close by, she met us shortly after we got there and we set out searching for bargains.

Here is a view from the third floor, you can see the 2nd and first floor in this view. This is just a very small view, this place is enormous! The girls did some serious shopping this day, spending a fair amount of time in a few of their favorite places. I was wondering if we'd even see the whole mall in our two day trip!

My big purchase was a portable DVD player to keep by my quilting frame. I love having movies on during the day, especially when I'm quilting. I've been putting them on the computer, but then it's not available for anyone else. The portable player will also be good for car trips. I'd been shopping around online and had an idea what features I wanted and what price range I wanted to be in. We used it on the way home and listening to it really helped pass the time in the car.

Day one at the mall ended at about 9:00 pm, we went back to our hotel weary, a bit poorer and very happy. After one wrong turn and a few extra driving minutes, we were back at our hotel, checked in and the girls were heading to the pool for a quick swim, after which they settled in for the night after a bit of chatter and one more look at all of their purchases.

I don't sleep well the first night in an unfamiliar place, so after a bit of TV I finally felt ready to sleep. I woke with a start at 2:30 am, there was a storm raging outside and the power had just gone off. We had set an alarm for the morning as the girls wanted to get all dolled up for day 2 at the mall, so I lay there, expecting the power to click back on pretty quickly. It didn't. I lay there for quite a while and finally fell back to sleep. We awoke just after 8...and the power was still off. The room was warm and stuffy. Without power we had no blow dryers, no curling irons, no light in the bathroom.

I've told my husband and friends that kids' attitudes can often be molded by how they are presented with things, here was my chance to test my theory in a big way. They were a little dejected over the late start (we had the alarm set for 7:30) and not having their 'makeover' morning, so I said cheerfully "it will be ok. Anyone who wants to shower can leave the door open for light, we'll just stay over by the beds so you have privacy. You all have such pretty hair you don't need to fuss with it to look good, we can get ready and be on our way."

They perked up, took turns taking quick, cold showers. And as fate would have it, the power went back on as we were getting ready to leave the room!

Tradition (if you can call the idea of continuing something done for only two years tradition) dictates a trip to Build-a-Bear. The idea was for our girls to each buy one for herself and for the friend they brought. This was to be our first stop in the morning, we intended to be there before the mall opened to get in line and do it quickly. We got a little later start than intended because of the power outage, so I was concerned that we'd have a much longer line to deal with. We actually got in and out fairly quickly. Here is Ruthie with her new Koala bear. The bear's shirt says "shop til you drop" which was really appropriate for this trip!

My other purchase was a new pair of shoes for the Fall. I liked these right away, they feel wonderful and will go with both nice slacks and dresses for church. They are black, actually, they look navy in the picture. I have visions of a nice black dress, textured black hose and these shoes.

Another thing on the agenda for day 2 was riding the roller coaster. We made a quick trip to the car to drop off our purchases and headed to the amusement park. Time was starting to run out, so while they were waiting in line for tickets and to get on the ride, I quickly went to the last store that I wanted to see. I got back just in time to see them on the ride.

We spend the last couple of hours having a meal before the ride home and making one last visit to favorite stores or seeing missed stores that they just had to have a peek in. Before we know it, the whirlwind two days are over. One of the last things they do is to get in a photo booth to take pictures. All four of them cram in there for one last tangible memory of their trip.

Now our thoughts turn to the beginning of the school year. I'm looking forward to less heat and humidity!

Today's agenda includes several small chores, driving a friend to the doctor's office and, I hope, lots of quilting. The same will hold for the rest of the week. Our oldest three are going on a camping trip next weekend and will be gone from Thursday morning until Saturday dinner, so I hope for a very relaxing, quilty week overall. The frame quilt is just about ready to come off and then I'll have to quilt the outer row of blocks in a hoop. I'm optimistically hoping to have the quilting done and be able to bind it at my quilting bee next Tuesday night.

So off to quilt I go, still smiling from our very enjoyable Mall of America trip.


Bren said...

I am so glad you had a good time! The girls look great! So nice you got your DVD player!! I know you really wanted one.

Solstitches said...

I enjoyed the account of your trip.
So glad you all had such a wonderful time.
Enjoy your new DVD player. You have a lovely family and those are great looking shoes :)

Mama Koch said...

The trip sounds like lots of fun. Glad you had a safe enjoyable trip.

selva said...

I go back to my Alpine Peaks restaurant i feel i was very far from this tensionless world