Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A Trip To The Mall Of America!

This past weekend was my 42nd birthday! It's crazy to think that TWO FULL YEARS ago I turned 40. After celebrating my birthday this weekend and having an Instagram memory pop up, reminding me of my trip to the Mall Of America, I realized I never blogged about it. Sigh... A back log of two years? Really?! Really!!!
Darren made one of my bucket list items comes true.  When I turned 40, he surprised me by sending me to the Mall Of America. It was nerve wracking leaving my family behind and almost felt selfish just to shop, but I was beyond excited.  Originally, I was completely fine to go alone and just enjoy a weekend without the demands of life and the nagging of kids as I shopped, but my sister, Ashley, was more than willing to join me. What a perfect spot, for two people who love to shop, to meet up for a girls' weekend. I was ready! Darren took me to the airport, while the kids were at school.  It was so weird kissing my hubby goodbye because if we ever get the chance to go anywhere, we are always going together, not alone.
I love capturing photos, so I had to take a photo of the beautiful site of Roanoke, from above.

I recall praying a ton on that flight.  I just couldn't imagine dying and leaving my family behind all because I had to experience the largest mall in the world. I arrived safely. When I got off of the plane, I had never been to Minnesota before, so it was a little overwhelming and creepy going from a plane to a dark, light rail station. I braved it alone. I am not normally weird about being a lone or anything, but it was an empty light rail station and I just kept fearing what if someone tried to attack me, there would be no one there to rescue me. Morbid thoughts, I know.
I was so anxious to see the beautiful hotel that we chose to stay at, Radisson Blu.
This was the inside of our lobby! I love a good, contemporary hotel.  
When I stepped off of the elevator, and onto my hotel floor, I had a small sneak peak of the MAGNITUDE of this mall. This photo doesn't even light a candle or depict the size of this mall at all.  
When I entered my hotel room, I was still alone, so I FIRST set up my little shrine of my family members. I promised them that I would miss them dearly and that I would think of them a ton.  These photos were great reminders.

My sister finally arrived.  We scoped out the mall and shopped maybe one hour, but then decided to have dinner and turn in early, so we would be well rested for 10+ hours of shopping the next day. We started our morning off with Starbuck's.  DUH.  The cool thing about our hotel was that it was attached to the mall.  We could literally walk the mall all night in our pjs if we wanted. This is exactly why you see me in my "pjs", at Starbucks. If you are planning to take a similar trip, STAY HERE.  It's a NO BRAINER.
Our room fees did include a really yummy breakfast, so we took advantage of that too!
This mall was ENDLESS and I mean endless.  My only goal that weekend was to experience the ENTIRE mall and leave NO STORE unchecked, including this silly 90s store.
Our poor feet was so sore! There were times we just had to stop and sit.  These cute chairs were in our hotel.
I wish we could have gotten a photo of us together, but oh well!
Each day, we dressed up really cute and just lived our best lives while sipping on Starbucks (sometimes twice each day) and shopping.
On occasion, we did childlike things like take photos of us with SpongBob.  LOL! We did contemplate riding some of the rides too, but we never actually got around to it.

This Crayola store was really drawing me in.  I mean every person with OCD could just sit in there for DAYS and DAYS and feel high with satisfaction of organization and endless ROY G. BIV. LOL!
(Above): I will admit, it was hard being here without my children because I knew how much they would enjoy the Nickelodeon Universe. I made the awful mistake of sending them video footage and it was constant, "No fair!" "Can we meet you there?" "Why didn't you take us?"

(Below): My first purchase were these amazing cheetah patterned Toms' sneaks.  I was ready for something a tad more comfortable to walk around in. I didn't even care if I didn't match. LOL! So... word of ADVICE, wear comfortable shoes because you will be walking JUST AS MUCH as you walk at Disney World, if NOT MORE because you are NOT standing in lines all day.  You are just walking and walking and walking and shopping and shopping and shopping.  
Each night ended with the YUMMIEST dinners. We were always so exhausted that we could barely even talk. LOL! I think we were so delirious, but I do recall laughing a lot. I mean this was the truest definition of "SHOP TILL YOU DROP". I recall at one point almost being in TEARS when I thought the Forever 21 store was ONE floor (which was probably larger than my entire mall in Roanoke) and then was shocked when an escalator lead us to an entirely new floor. I just remember thinking, "WHY? Why is this store so big!"
The next day, we spotted the Viking Cheerleaders and figured, "Shoot why not! Let's snag a picture with them!" Just another cool photo for the "books". I think it was Super Bowl weekend that weekend too. I spy really uncomfortable shoes AGAIN... my sister was the smart one, not I. Too bad we weren't selling LipSense at this point because it would have been so cool to try and make a sale with the entire cheer team.
We received the BIGGEST surprise EVER.  As we shopped, we notice an INSANE crowd forming around the entire mall, facing the center of the mall, if there is even a center to that mall. We were told that "Boys II Men" was having a concert.  "What?!?! Shut the front door, for REAL? FOR REAL!"
The funniest thing is that this is such an old group.  Like 40 years old.  Old like ME.  Boys II Men sang at the FIRST concert that I ever went to as a child.

I guess I captured a shot of my first purchase and my last purchase at the MOA.  I treated myself to a really nice pair of Ray Bans.
As they say, all good things, must come to an end.  I came and I conquered.  My sister and I finished the mall.  My feet were sore.  I felt like I worked out harder than I shopped. After this trip, I didn't care to see another mall in 5 years, after this experience. Haha. I was definitely shopped out. I wanted to capture this amazing trip, but I also wanted to live in the moment with my sister, so I didn't take as many pictures as I had thought. Ashley couldn't believe how many times my family members called me (they can't live without me) and I was shocked at how little her family members called her.  HAHA. I am beyond thankful that I was able to experience this memory with my little sis and that she was willing to spend her money to celebrate my special, milestone birthday! AND NOW... two years later, we are about to travel together again. This time, to Tulsa, Oklahoma in April.  I promise it won't take me two years to blog about it.  
If you want to know my honest opinion.... GO! Experience it.  Go alone FIRST and THEN go back with your kids.  It really isn't enough to blog about it.  YOU HAVE GOT to experience it.

Just for fun, I am going to leave you with these cool Mall Of America facts:

  • 4 out of 10 visitors to Mall of America are tourists
  • 4.3 miles of total store front footage
  • 7 Yankee Stadiums can fit inside the Mall
  • 24 rides and attractions in Nickelodeon Universe®
  • 32 Boeing 747s could fit inside the Mall
  • 65 semi trucks were needed to transport trees to the theme park to
  • 70 degrees create the outdoor feel of an indoor park inside Mall of America no matter if it is spring, summer, winter or fall
  • 86 hours is the length of time it would take to complete your visit to the Mall if you were to spend just 10 minutes in each store
  • 258 Statues of Liberty could lie inside the Mall
  • 350+ events are held at Mall of America each year
  • 520+ stores are located in Mall of America
  • 5,000+ weddings have been performed at Mall of America
  • 11,000 year-round employees at Mall of America (13,000 during peak periods)
  • 12,550 on-site parking spaces at Mall of America in two ramps
  • 30,000+ live plants and 400 live trees climbing as high as 35 feet tall in Nickelodeon Universe
  • 32,000+ tons of trash recycled each year
  • 170,000+ Legos have been lost in the LEGO ® play area
  • 1.2 million-gallon aquarium at SEA LIFE Minnesota (formerly Underwater Adventures)
  • 4.2 million square feet of gross building area
  • 40 million visitors annually which is more than the combined populations of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Canada
  • 130+ million number of rides in the park since opening
  • 650 million visits since opening cost to build
  • $650+ million Mall of America generates in economic activity annually for the state of Minnesota
I say, make memories by experiencing life! You won't have any regrets, I promise.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome and enjoy all comments by those who read my blog!! So please dont just withdraw...
Deposit a little something too :)