The Mall of America, (or MOA, for those who must use the acronym) is an interesting place. It's practically a self-sustaining city. You can almost live your entire life there without leaving...if you can survive it, that is. They have every shop for every possible interest. They have the regular shops for clothes, makeup, shoes, kitchenware and decorations like normal malls, but this place also has a store for the wannabe magician, one dedicated to shaving, another for the magnet collector, and one for the Minnesota-lover for those of us who don't get enough thrill of simply living here (or tourists that need to prove to friends and family that they did indeed visit Minnesota on their vacation). There's even a store dedicated just to being Irish, which I can only imagine has decent sales one day per year.
You can eat, watch movies, go to an amusement park, get married, do corporate team building and even go to high school there. Yes, you read right: go to high school at the mall. And if you get sick while you're there, just hop over to the in-house Mayo clinic office. I should not be surprised if I read one day that they're adding condos so one literally never needs to leave.
You can even get shot at if you're at the right place at the right time. It's happened. Though I have yet to see it, I have confirmed that there's a new reality show on TLC called Mall Cops that tracks MOA security.
I pretty much avoid the MOA. There are a few places I must go (like the Nordstrom shoe sale), but for the most part, I avoid it like the plague, which is not hard to do because it's about a 35 minute drive from my house on a good day. However, this week, we went. My sweet little niece had a birthday and when you have a birthday at the Mall of America, you get a free unlimited ride wristband to the Nickelodeon theme park. My daughters were "wet your pants" excited to go to an amusement park and ride roller coasters (the toddler versions of them anyway), so how could we not go? The three girls nearly sprinted from ride to ride, hardly noticing how starving they were for dinner which they ate two hours later than normal. It was quite cute to watch.
(Before I continue, I should say, we had a wonderful time with family, the kids slept in the next morning and none of us got sick! SUCCESS!!!)
Speaking of fun to watch, we all had a good laugh just watching people.
Right when we arrived, I watched my nearly-5-year-old swipe her hands along two railings, and then immediately lick both of them bottom to top as if she had just dipped them in chocolate cake batter. What on earth possessed the child? I warned both of my girls that if they did anything so despicable again, we'd have to stop all the fun and go find a bathroom to wash hands. Big threat, I know, but it somehow worked - they didn't want to miss a moment of fun.
Another fun thing to watch was the woman who got kicked off of the Ferris wheel because she kept holding her baby son up in the air so he could see someone down below. I received this text from my sister-in-law as she and her husband were dangling at the top with the 3 little girls, unaware of the Michael Jackson stunt below:
And then there was the mother that changed her kid's diaper right in public. I mean, the gall of some people! Oh, wait. That was me. I snuck behind a fake tree and my sister-in-law. My kid was in a dress, so I just did it with her standing there. Hey, when in Rome! Well, I didn't want to stand out in such a classy public place by not doing it.
I know, I know. If my blog were more popular, I'd probably get all sorts of nasty notes about how snobby I am and that the MOA is really a wonderful place. I couldn't agree more. It's tops for people-watching and germ-catching. I'd say it's on par with the State Fair for people watching and calorie intake (but doesn't measure up in flavor and creativity). And, hey, when you need to pick up four leaf clover pin in the middle of July, it's the place to be!