Don't ask me what happened but I got a wild hair today and took my children to IKEA and Mall of America for the afternoon and evening. Normally, I do not volunteer to go to MOA but in a moment of temporary insanity I offered to take them and I had two witnesses when I uttered the words so it was all but a done deal.
We live about 45 minutes from MOA and probably venture over there about two or three times a year. Enough to be somewhat familiar with it but not so often that it's not special. Everyone hustled up and finished most of their schoolwork early and we headed out on a gray, drizzly day. It was a good day to run errands and go to a place like MOA where you can't tell whether the sun is shining or not.
We went to IKEA first where I stocked up on candles and the little frother/whippers they have for only $1.99. You can't beat that price and it makes all the difference in the world when I'm drinking my protein mix mixed with milk. Without the little frother it's clumpy and tastes bad. With it it's creamy and yummy. I have a protein drink mix almost everyday - far too often for a clumpy, bad tasting meal so I "need" my little frother. They're great but they only last about a year, if that. I try to keep a spare on hand because at $1.99 apiece I can afford to and I like to share the love. I've already passed a few on to friends and family.
After IKEA we headed over to MOA and parked in the Arizona lot by Nordstroms. I am a creature of habit and when I used to go there when the children were younger I preferred to park at Nordstroms on the Arizona level because I could push my stroller right in through the skywalk, no stairs. We're long past the days of strollers to contend with but I park there just the same.
Nordstroms has a nice little Cafe that we always eat at when we venture to MOA. The food is delicious and the price is reasonable and the service is always great, a win, win, win! I had the chicken penne pesto pasta which my children so thoughtfully helped me enjoy. Aren't they sweet?
After we had our dinner and were ready to venture out into MOA we ran into a dilemma. Usually we divide and conquer with my husband taking our son to Legoland and me taking the girls to a few stores but alas, I was flying solo this trip. Since the girls are 17 and 14 years of age I thought they could shop and look together this time, sans Mom. Guess what? MOA has a parental escort policy on Friday and Saturday evenings, starting at 4:00 o'clock! If your child is younger than 16 they must be escorted by an adult 21 years of age or older. As a shopper I appreciate not having to deal with large groups of unruly teens but as the mother of two well-behaved teen daughters it was kind of a pain for them not to be able to walk around on their own. Believe it or not they did not want to go to Legoland and drool over the numerous Star Wars sets available.
They decided they would try their luck on their own and left Nordstroms ahead of Daniel and I but were turned back at the door. Apparently security is not so dumb and they have a guard at each potential entrance into the mall. So I walked the "contraband" past the guard and they opted to take their chances without me once they were "in". They had their cell phones so if need be they could join us at Williams Sonoma (my favorite store at MOA), the Lego store or Barnes and Noble.
We only stayed two hours which is about my limit at MOA. The girls had fun and managed to elude the security guards. I wandered and dreamed at Williams Sonoma and Daniel and I had a great time at the Lego store where he explained the rarity of certain minifigures from each set to me. As a parent I really am in the dark about these things. We sat and perused a few volumes at Barnes and Noble and by then I'd had my fill. We left early enough to be home by 9:00pm with everyone in good spirits. The dogs were glad to see us and we were glad to seem them. It was a good day.