Road Trip 2012-Fargo, North Dakota to Minneapolis, MN (5/29/2012)

Conquering Mall of America...our way!
(click here for today's pictures)
(click here for a quick video from Mall of America)
We got a very late start this morning but we all slept very well.  I knew we were sleeping well at 5 when I got Keaton a bottle and saw that all 4 big Dennie kids were still laying in their spots sleeping soundly.  It was 8 when we stirred and we didn't leave the hotel until 10:04 a.m.  Our total mileage from the day before was 413 miles.  As we were on our way this morning, we watched Cars 2 and Campbell must have thought that the movie was turned up too loud because during most of it she kept her hands to her ears and shouted "too loud, too loud."  We did turn it down for the child mainly because we were still feeling sorry for her.  She took a pretty good fall at breakfast this morning and has a little gash on her nose.  She didn't cry to much but was pretty upset-a muffin "cupcake" calmed her down though.
When we moved our van to Minnesota the kids immediately became excited.  They knew that the roller coasters were here at the mall. Ever since we mentioned our road trip would take us to the Mall of America, they've asked what day would we be arriving.  And Graham started asking as soon as we arrived if we could get a pretzel at the mall since that it what we do when we go to the mall at home. 
On the trek today, we passed out juice boxes and rice krispy treats for them to munch on.  Reagan likes to figure out the order of who did what when and was trying to determine who was the first to finish their snacks.  She asked Graham when he finished his and he answered matter of factly-"when we were on the fast road."  That didn't clear anything up for her since we had been on the fast road for nearly 100 miles.  
Robby and I spent most of the morning working on our road trip for 2013.  The plan is to eventually end at Disneyland to see the new Cars area and a few nights in Yosemite with a few stops along the way.  Next big mileage day we will work on our 50 states plan for the future-that might be a few years away though.  We stopped at a gas station for gas and a potty stop.  I could hardly get the kids out of that place because they were so interested in looking at all of the cheap gas station toys.  So funny.
We headed to Darwin, Minnesota today to see the World's Largest Ball of Twine.  We went a little bit out of our way but not too bad.  The kids and I had read a little book about that ball of twine and they were interested in seeing it-well, they were as interested as you can be about seeing a ball of twine. As we were leaving, we saw a sign that said souvenirs were down the road at a bar so Robby just dropped me off there.  I was none to pleased about me being the one to have to go in but I did manage to come out with a cute little something that I can hang on the tree (and yes it is made out of cardboard and twine and please don't ask me how much I paid for it!).
Right across the street from the twine ball was a little park.  So it was perfect for our picnic and the kids even loved playing on the playground.  We spent quite a bit of time there and then headed into Minneapolis.  The drive was really pretty.  We saw a deer, lakes and lots of farmland but my favorite sight of all was a Walmart-I could tell we are getting back near home!  
After lunch, Campbell was drawing on the etch a sketch while the others were trying to watch a movie.  She would say "Rearea look what I made. Anderson look was I made. Graham look what I made."  And she was pretty insistent that they looked and commented on her artwork.  Finally, Reagan just told the boys "Say 'wow' and she will leave you alone."  
Reagan was telling us that when she was a grown up she would plan a trip and have all of her kids and her brothers and sisters come.  She said that we would come and meet them there too.  I told her that maybe we would be in our RV but Anderson happily added "you might be dead."-thanks buddy!
Before too long we were in Minneapolis and Robby checked us in at our hotel.  We are in a downtown hotel  and Robby just took a load of stuff up to the room while we stayed in the car.  He worked pretty fast because he had unpacked the ice chest and laid out the kids sleeping bags for when we returned.  He knew that we would have a pretty late night-and it was.
We drove right up to the Mall of America and could barely contain the kids in the car they were so excited.  I had been telling them that they would have to pick one ride to do and that would be it.  But after 5 they have a special and it is unlimited rides for 20 so Robby bought him and the four big kids rides.  It was kind of neat because if the kids were under a certain height on some rides then they would need an adult-but the adult could ride for free.  
We were pretty impressed with the rides.  We definitely got out money's worth and the kids had a blast-we all did.  Here are some of the rides we did-Anderson's favorite-honking trucks, Graham's favorite-spinning cars, Reagan's favorite-log ride, Campbell's favorite-Dora, Keaton's favorite-carousel, Robby's favorite-Ninja Turtle plane, my least favorite-swings.  They also jumped on a jumpy, rode a bus, train, hot air balloons, bumper cars, a big and then little up and down ride, a roller coaster (Graham couldn't ride it since he wasn't tall enough but did get to ride the bumper cars twice) and finally a ghost shooting ride.  They had a blast! And we were even able to do some of the rides twice.  The only ride we really didn't get to ride was a very kiddie roller coaster which we would have had to ride 4 times since an adult would have to be with each of them and the ferris wheel.  We stayed until the place closed down at 9:30.
Then we made it back to the hotel and everyone quickly put on their pajamas.  Keaton was the only one who  had taken a good nap today so she was the one who was ready to go.  It was actually unfortunate that it was so late because our hotel room tonight has no one under or beside us so we could have been a bit nosier.  Last night we were so on edge because we didn't want to get in trouble again so it will be nice to relax our "don't step on the floor" and "you can't get off of the bed" policy that we had last night!  
So my kids fell asleep at about 11 and they have never been up this late.  Glad that we are going to be able to sleep a little later in the morning.  Tomorrow's plan is Wisconsin and then maybe Ikea!

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