Only Steve and I would take our children to four different states before we visit the Mall of America, located just a 25 minute drive from our house!
When we first moved to Minnesota, we thought it was the neatest thing, and don't get me wrong; it is. The novelty wore off after a year or so when we figured out it was just a giant mall and we can get most of the stuff we needed at a smaller, closer mall where parking isn't a (big) hassle, the crowds are reasonable, and the walking distance between the stores you want to go to is much, much shorter.
In fact, our last trip there was 7 months ago, and that was because the nearest Sears wasn't carrying the item we needed and the MOA Sears was the next closest. I was hugely pregnant and could hardly walk the seemingly mile-long distance from the parking garage to the Sears electronics department. In fact, I wound up sitting in the appliance department amongst the refrigerators because there was chair there next to the salesman's desk! I swore off the MOA that day.
But Christmas season is upon us and there is ONE store at the MOA that we can't get anywhere else: Nordstrom Rack. We LOVE Nordstrom Rack! So we made our Christmas list of anything we could possibly buy at the MOA and headed out this morning.
I love my hubby. You know why? He can be someplace once and remember exactly where everything is (this CAN be annoying, but it came in handy today). So instead of parking in our "usual" spot, he knew right where to park so we could just stroll in (rather than climb/take escalators). I was so impressed that he thought of that because I didn't remind him! He also remembered where all of the elevators were; something we've never had to use before. AND, he remembers where all the stores in the mall are located in relation to one another, so we were able to plan our route while driving there!
We were very mission-minded this morning, arriving as early as we realistically could. Saturdays in November or December are very dangerous! No dawdling, no window-shopping, no 'just-looking.' We had our list, our plan of attack, and our coupons.
And would you believe that Matthew and Nathan were as good as gold? They never made a peep! Both of them had their eyes wide open, taking in all the sounds and lights. I'm guessing that it was one of the first times that the ceilings they stare at were interesting, because at the MOA, you can look up and see the shoppers and Christmas decorations on the floors above you.
I am amazed at how well behaved the boys were, how easy the shopping was (for the most part) and how, for what seems to be the first time in public, we were not a spectacle. You see, EVERYONE has a double stroller at the MOA. If you don't have a double, you have a single stroller and probably a walking child. So we fit right in. Only one salesperson noticed we had twins in the ENORMOUS stroller and that was because we had to stop and ask where the elevator was - it was the only one Steve didn't know, Macy's.
All in all, a successful trip. The boys were good, Steve and I had fun (gasp! Fun while shopping with twins? Yes, it can be done!), and we crossed a few items off of our Christmas shopping list.