Places to Visit »Mall Of America

8100 24th Ave S Bloomington, MN

What can I say. I love malls. I find them soothing and comforting so comments of ugly American consumerism need not apply. Maybe it’s because they are largely lost to me.

Gone are the days when my parents would drop me off to meet Sara, Dana, Michelle and Laura. We’d hit the Chick-fil-A and Orange Julius before making ourselves ill on several pounds of candy.

Dana would get a new Spencer’s gifts poster (a black and white hunk holding a baby with the words “a hard man is good to find”, if I remember correctly) and we’d prowl the wide halls for cassingles, mood rings and the latest offerings from Express and Contempo Casuals.

Good times…

Such fond memories always beckon me to malls so how could I resist the Mall of America while in Minneapolis?

Three sprawling stories with an amusement park and an Orange Julius on every corner, the mall is a monster but not one that could not be tamed.

We conquered her in a few hours and left with some sweet clothes for Van and the new found knowledge that H&M is the best spot for cheap and adorable baby clothes (who knew?)
There was no Chick-fil-A and Contempo Casuals is long gone to our world but I found the experience as fab as ever.

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Posted on September 7, 2011

Restaurants »Smash Burger

Various Locations

I went all the way to Minneapolis to have Smash Burger, which I have learned has a location in Brooklyn, but every menu is customized to its location, so if I want a grilled pastrami burger, I can go locally but only in Minneapolis can I get the delicious Twin Cities (cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese and garlic grilled onions).

Another difference is that locally one can order a glass of wine with their burger, which back in the Midwest, I was thrilled to find beer on the menu – complete with frosty mug!

The burger is juicy and flavorful, the sides excellent. We shared onion strings and fried pickles (Yum!).

Good stuff  – for chain fast food especially.

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Posted on August 21, 2011

Places to Visit »Minnesota Children’s Museum

10 West Seventh Street, St. Paul, MN

On a recent visit to Minneapolis, we took a day at the Children’s Museum of Minnesota. Now, I remember LOVING such hands on places while growing up, and while most of the exhibits were for kids older than Van, we had a blast.

From a lego land exhibit about knights, castles, and dragons (with a joisting corner to boot!) to a tiny town where kids could don costumes (like firemen and postal workers), from an indoor jungle with simulated clouds and lighting kids could move themselves to a sidewalk art patio, there’s plenty here to keep a kid happy.

Van loved looking at everything and made fast friends with the stuffed animal puppets that littered the rooms (surprisingly not available at the museum shop – Van absolutely loved the woodchuck and I would have got it for him, but alas.)

The most awesome part for us though, was the baby room, where kids under 3 can let loose. Van was thrilled to spend time in the padded lily pad area that had mirrors, toys, and fun stuff to climb around.

What a great idea! (Will have to see if our local museum boasts a similar room and make a date to go there soon if so).

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Posted on August 14, 2011