(Ellendale, MN) Hi 86 Lo 65 -- After an abbreviated morning routine we left for Bloomington, a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul. We wanted to see the Mall of America, the largest shopping mall in the United States. (There's a mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada that's the biggest one in the world.) The weather was beautiful as we drove a little over an hour north on I-35. There wasn’t much traffic, which made it easy to negotiate the many roads and parking decks once we reached the mall area.
The mall is laid out in a big square, with four anchor stores: Sears, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, and Macy's. The four connecting corridors have three levels and each court has a different design theme. A typical large shopping mall has around 100 stores. Mall of America has over 500 stores, along with over 100 places to eat. And in the middle of it all is Nickelodeon Universe, an amusement park with 25 rides and attractions. Needless to say, it's quite a thing to see!
We started out by walking around the the amusement park. It’s quite impressive, when you consider that everything is inside!
We then spent about three hours, including a stop for lunch, walking around all three levels. It's .57 mile around one level.
One place that fascinated us was Lego Land. It’s amazing what you can do with Legos! This whole wall has containers with individual shapes and sizes of lego blocks. You can fill up a small cup for $7.99 or a large cup for $14.99.
These large figures are up on the roof of the store, and made entirely of Legos.
Woody from Toy Story. Made of Legos.
These kids were making designs on the computer, then buying the Legos it took to construct them.
We went to lunch at Famous Dave’s BBQ. Jim had the wings and I had pulled pork, with sides of corn on the cob, garlic mashed potatoes, and cole slaw.
We did get to all three levels and we saw several stores we’ve never seen before. We also noticed that they had more than one store of some brands. We saw several Sunglass Huts, Caribou Coffee shops, and many Champs Sport Shops, to name a few.
Our visit was mainly as "tourists" rather than as shoppers. We managed to get out without spending too much money. I bought a pinkie ring and Jim bought a Miami Dolphins cap. Oh, and I also got a Mall of America t-shirt. (Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.) :) We had a great time and left before 3:00 to beat the rush hour traffic. What a fun (but tiring) day!