Neither of us had ever been at the Mall of America and I thought it would be worth seeing what all the hoopla was about. We don`t usually wander through shopping malls just for something to do, but we had the time and it showed up as a point of interest on the GPS unit. Since we had arrived 2 hours earlier than we could check into our hotel, we headed off to the Mall which was less than 10 minutes away from our hotel.
Neither of us enjoy the madness of large crowds or driving in circles trying to find a parking spot but we went for it anyway. Afterwards we both felt the visit to the emblem of North American Excess had been worthwhile. The spectacle of out of control consumerism was a stunning counterpoint to the health and poverty struggles we were familiar with in our work in the mental health field. We spent almost 3 hours walking around the mall observing the crush of people looking to spend money on things they quite likely could do without. I have to confess, we made 3 small purchases; one a video I had been looking for for almost a year, a table game that we know would be fun to play by ourselves or with guests to our home, and a couple of 'devious' Sudoku books for Heidi.
We walked into several shops just to look at merchandise offered there and were astonished at how much money people were willing to spend on stuff; prices that were far beyond anything we would consider spending. We even stopped at one of the food courts, grabbed something to eat, and sat down to watch the craziness unfolding in the amusement park area of the mall. Finally, we took a quick peek into the Legoland shop, saw how jammed full the store was, and decided we had seen enough.
On our drive back to our hotel we went past IKEA, where we also had never been and decided to take a look at what the fuss was all about the next day before going to the airport. After checking in we went to an Australian restaurant next door to the hotel, jumped the 30 minute queue when the restaurant staff mistakenly called us before all the people waiting in front of us, had dinner and went back to our room for the night.
The night previous had been very short, and it had been a long day so it did not take long to fall asleep. Even the excitement of Lora`s return the next day could not keep our eyes open.
To be continued...
"We can tell our values by looking at our checkbook stubs."
- Gloria Steinem