Lucky Duck hits the rides, and the sales, at The Mall of America.
A quick recap of the itinerary
It certainly was an unexpected surprise of Divine Intervention. Mike and I shared the best Christmas we’ve ever had. I flew out to meet him in Paris, where we enjoyed five days taking in all the famous sites and an amazing meal atop the Eiffel Tower. From there, we flew in to Orlando and spent two days at Disney World. Then we drove to Sarasota to spend Christmas at Mike’s mom’s and revisit where we got married. Our flight home connected through in Minneapolis.
Here’s a visual. My path is red, Mike’s is blue, the black is when we traveled together.
Getting lost, re-routed, and out to the MOA
I was in charge of navigation in our drive to Orlando International Airport, and I did something wrong. We were lost and practically missed our flight home. We made it with just a few minutes to spare and were able to upgrade to first class. Whew! Right? Wrong! Just then, we got word that a Delta cart hit the plane and caused structural damage. Our flight was delayed for 5 hours, and we had to be rebooked.
Because of the holiday rush, we couldn’t get out of Minneapolis until late the next day, so we took about 60 bucks in vouchers to Outback Steakhouse. We flew out to Minneapolis five hours later, stayed the night, and set out to check out the Mall of America while we waited for the last leg of our journey home.
The Mall of America is a blast
While at first we were pretty upset about the delay, we realized that there was nothing we could do about it and to make the best of a weird situation. I worried though that Mike would freak out knowing that he had to shop in a mall for 6 hours, but I think he had more fun than I did!
The middle of the mall is a big theme park, filled with rides, food, and games. We rode Dora Explorer’s Ferris Wheel, Balloon Race, and the carousel. Mike played Air Ball and won a football that he gave away to a cute little boy who was having a hard time winning a prize. (This prize was pretty fitting – Mike won his Fantasy Football league while we were away!)
Lucky Duck makes friends at Peeps
Look at what Lucky Duck was able to spot from the Ferris Wheel – A big Peeps store!
And inside, he met a ton of friends.
Lucky Duck even found a couple of friends who have a lot in common with him. They pose in a life ring, take photos with the world’s most famous icons, and they were just at The Eiffel Tower too!
Mike and I didn’t make any new friends, but we did find some of our favorite snacks.
Time to go shopping
The Mall of America offers more than 520 stores (see more cool Mall of America facts), so we had to pick and choose which ones we wanted to visit. Mike actually picked out a few stores that interested him – some Sports themed stores, a cool flags store, an Irish store where he bought a very cool Ireland zip-up, and the one that took the cake – Alpaca World!
I picked out my two favorite stores – Nordstrom Rack where I bought a sequins Vince Camuto cocktail dress, and The Microsoft Store where I found Minnesota-themed Xboxes!
And Lucky Duck picked a couple of stores too – Lego World and the candy store, where he bought me a boxed set of U.S. President PEZ dispensers! (This was fitting too – we went to The Hall of Presidents at Disney World!)
The Mall of America is decorated for Christmas
One of my favorite things about traveling during Christmastime is enjoying all the beautiful Christmas decorations. We sure saw some amazing ones in Paris and Disney World, and MOA was gorgeous too.
All of this sure can work up an appetite
And there is definitely not a shortage of restaurants to pick from. Mike and I actually picked three. In six hours of walking, shopping, and playing on rides, we got pretty hungry!
We had our morning coffee and egg sandwiches at Caribou right as the mall was opening.
We stopped at Crave for sushi, salads, and mussels. I loved the drinks too!
Later, we stopped at Tucci Benucch for happy hour and got a mini pizza, mini meatballs, and a strawberry, basil, balsamic mojito.
When it was time to fly home, I was actually ready to head out. Vacation was awesome, and our special day at The Mall of America was such a very cool opportunity. I’ll never forget it. It was honestly the best Christmas I’ve ever had.