Apparently every parking spot at the Mall of America is within two minutes of an entrance. This sounds like a really great thing, especially when you visit it from the land of Disney World, where your car is parked a good 10 minutes away (assuming you don't have to ride a monorail!) It never occured to me that in the winter, in Minnesota, two minutes from the warmth of the car to the warmth of the mall is a long time! Thankfully for all of us, we got the first spot right next to the entrance of Bloomingdales. We were greeted by the most cheerful Salvation Army bell ringer I have ever seen. This guys seemed VERY excited about his job. He was just singing away, and he had a pretty good voice to boot. We dropped a couple of bucks in his bucket and headed into the mall. (As an aside, when we left the mall five hours later, he was still there, still smiling and still singing!)
We met up with Andy, Kristy, Jilly and Nick and had a great time. We hooked up with another friend, Paul, as well. Kristy and I had a ball going into all the shops. I think the boys were a little over our shopping, but she and I had fun. Paul said that he didn't even know some of the stores existed until today.
One of the neat (wonderful) things about Minnesota is there is no sales tax on clothes. Although the tax we pay isn't that high in Orlando, there's something about not having to pay any tax that makes it appealing to shop there. I think the one observation that I came away with after our day at the mall is simply this...Even when I have a little "mad money" to spend on me, I don't now that Matthew and Nicholas are here. They got shirts, sleepers and jeans. I went into Archivers (an amazing store), and spent too much money on scrapbook supplies. One might say that those are all for me, but ultimately they will be used to make scrapbooks for the boys. It's crazy what kids do to you. And your wallet.