What to do in the Twin Cities… the first thing that came to mind is Mall of America. As my wife loves to tell me, I don’t shop. I go into a store only after I have researched the item I need, then I get it, buy it, and go home. That, she tells me, is not shopping.
Today, I get a huge helping of what shopping means. We get to MOA by 9:40, before the stores open. We leave at 9:30, after the stores closed. In those almost twelve hours, we walk 4 miles of corridors and scores of stores. I say "scores" because we agreed to stay clear of the familiar ones we can shop in Chicagoland, concentrating on the unique shops, local interest tourist traps, and local restaurants. No sense in driving four hundred miles to shop at Bloomingdale’s and eat at Ruby Tuesday’s, when each can be found within a mile of our house. Even with restrictions in place, we barely managed to see the whole place - it’s that huge.
Collapsing gratefully in our rental car, we get lost in the dark highways of Minnesota. Chicagoland is almost famous for its nimbus of orange light eminating from the many thousands of sodium street lights, so bright that a drive sees better in the night time than in daylight. No so, here. It’s a straight shot from the mall to our hotel, perhaps seven minutes, yet in the unfamiliar dark I managed to turn off the route and end up in Saint Paul by accident. Our seven minute drive took half an hour.
So that was our day, paying homage to America’s favorite pastime - Shopping. Highlights included the many various Minnesota-themed stores, an artsy venue called "the Afternoon," and the "Lake Woebegone" store. Also, I found a place that custom embroider baseball caps. Now I have one that says "Tannishblog."
Tomorrow we kick about for half a day, then drive south along the Mississippi to Wabasha, where we stay at a B&B and take in the riverfront. If Internet is available, I’ll write more, otherwise, the story will continue Sunday night, when we get home - with pictures.