- Today's adventure is hitting up the Mall of America to do some Christmas shopping.
- Surprisingly, Violet was OK with going back in the car for a bit more driving to get to the Mall. Turns out that we were about 5 miles away from the Mall. Not too bad and the directions were pretty easy to follow.
- Lots of walking and looking at everything, with Violet sitting on Daddy’s shoulder’s for quite a bit of it. We looked at quite a few stores and then headed down 1 level to do some more bumming around.
- While we were walking around, we decided to check out Nickelodian Universe to see if there was any rides that Violet could do. Because it wasn’t “peak season” for them, they had all the rides scheduled as to when they were going to run. And there wasn’t much that we could see for Violet to ride on.
- But as we walked out of there, we walked right into LEGO Land. And I was in Heaven! They had quite a few displays set up, but the thing that stole my heart was the HUGE Pick-A-Brick Wall that was on the back wall. I think they said something about 200 different pieces you can choose from. Wow.
- When we were done shopping in there, we went walking around the mall some more and found a gelato place. I was feeling in the mood for it (even though it was 11am), but I wasn’t sure as to how they’d taste. The guy behind the counter gave me a taste of the Mint Oreo and I got a medium size. Of course, I had to share with Violet.
- Then we decided to find out where the SeaLife Aquarium was and see if it was worth it. Ended up walking around half the first floor to get to it (it was on the other side of the mall from where we were). It was going to be $20/person for me and Keith (Violet was free as she was under 2), so we decided to check it out. It was something to do and hopefully Violet would like it. Turns out that was probably the best thing we did all day. We started it off by finding the sting-ray tank and Violet was enthralled with them. She kept looking at them and exclaiming “Water!” And then I noticed that they had a observation deck that you could go up on and look at the pool from the top. So I took Violet up there and she was excited about it. Had to convince her that there was more fish to go look at to get her down. Then we got to touch/pet some starfish that they had in a shallow pool. And they felt cool. Violet wasn’t sure about them, but when Keith showed her that she could touch them, then she was more interested. After we were done with them, I quickly took her to the bathroom to wash her off and then we continued on.
We kept walking until we found the Jellyfish. And they were cool. They had them in cylindrical tubes with lights on the bottom and surrounded by mirrors. Violet was so excited in there. She kept running from tank to tank and was so happy. Even when we walked out of there, she was still going around the tanks and calling out for the Jellyfish. Silly girl. After the Jellyfish, we found the Octopuses and Sea Horses, even though some were in hiding and sleeping. We also found the tank where they had all the fish from Disney‘s “Finding Nemo” movie. He actually said that he found Dory first, and then I found the rest of the fish. Lol. Then we found the underwater tunnel that was about 200 yards long and it was so cool! Violet was sitting on Keith’s shoulders so that she could get a view of everything. They had quite the variety of animals in there, including Sea Turtles, Sharks and numerous fish. Violet was so enthralled with them and so excited to see them. At one time, a shark actually swam right over her head and she just looked up with her mouth wide open in awe. So glad I can give her experiences like this.
- When we were done in the aquarium, we walked around the mall a bit more, but Violet was getting tired and cranky, so we decided to go back to the car, quickly stop by Wal-Mart for some stuff and then back to the hotel so that Violet could sleep.
- By the time we were pulling out of the parking lot, Violet was out cold. We needed to stop by the Wal-Mart that we saw on our way earlier. Found our way to the Wal-Mart, got Violet out of the car seat (who was still out cold) and into the store. We walked around for a bit and then realized that it would be better to grab the stroller from the car to put Violet in so that she could sleep some more as she was getting heavy for Keith to hold. Unfortunately, when we put her in the stroller, she woke up. Oh well. I tried to convince her to go back to sleep, but she wasn’t having it. We were grocery shopping Mom! We found some groceries that we’d need in the hotel room (and they were so cheap compared to home!) and then bought some more Christmas gifts. Not sure how we’re going to fit everything in the car for the ride home as the stroller takes up a chunk of the trunk.
- As we were pulling up to the hotel, Violet kept asking for home. And I told her that we’d be there shortly. When we pulled into the hotel parking lot, Violet said, “Home! That's not home.” I was doubled over laughing. And so was Keith.
- We got settled back into our room, turned the TV onto cartoons for Violet and while Violet was pre-occupied with having food and watching cartoons, me and Keith discussed whether or not to stay the entire trip. We were both bummed about the hotel and that there wasn’t much for Violet to do. There was no way I was letting her run around the hotel to burn off energy and the entire thing just felt blah. So we decided to pack it up and head home. I packed up everything and stuffed as much as I could into the backpacks and kept Violet entertained with her toys and colouring books. Also helped that I had a ½ hour shower with her again in the Rainwater Shower. Sigh. I really wish that we had looked more to see if they had a pool for her to play in.
Photos in no particular order :)