How my day started:

    3:35 Am- Husband crawls into bed after driving all night to get home from a business meeting in Atlanta.
    3:45 AM – My alarm goes off.
    4:10 AM – Wander out in pasture to get horses. Wake up Spirit. Stop briefly because the girls get tangled up. Wake up Spirit again to get him moving.
    4:30 AM – On the road to the airport
    4:45 AM – Try to stop at McDonalds. Realize I don’t want to live in a world where I’m awake before McDonalds is open.
    6:00 AM – Shuttle driver picks up lots of people in parking lot before heading to the airport. That’s ok though because there is never a line this early.
    6:05 AM – Find out Southwest doesn’t have self check-in. Must stand in long line. Get special lime green “LATE” tag for my luggage that is supposed to shame me. Am glad because it will make my luggage easier to ID later.

The flight itself was pretty uneventful. I get to Minneapolis at 9:15 CDT. I was able to check into the hotel and headed out to the Mall of America ( MoA).

Here’s what I imagined the MoA would be like:

    You go on the interestate to get there. You get off at an exit purely for the MoA. You drive down the road past open green fields and into the massive Disney-style parking lots. All-in-all it is an event to approach the gates of the Mecca of crass commercialism.

Here’s the reality:

    It is in town by the airport. You drive past it and don’t notice unless you are looking. There are parking garages. I felt totally let down.

But I recovered when I discovered Camp Snoopy. It’s the amusement park in the middle of the mall. With a name like that you’d think it would be kid only. But you’d be wrong. I bought an all day pass. The lady at the ticket booth questioned if it was for me. It crosed my mind to say that it was for a kid but I embraced my inner child and said yes. I rode the ferris wheel first to get the lay of the land. I’ve never been a ferris wheel fan. They are scary to me. I think it is the lack of restraints. Give me a shoulder restraint, make me go fast, and flip me upside down and I’m happy. Ferris wheels just seem unsafe in comparison.

My standard for good rollercoaster experiences is Space Mountain at Disney World. The Timberland Twister here is right up there as one of my new favorite coasters. It is fast, there are several banks, and on top of it all the whole carriage you are in is rotating 360 degrees as it goes. I came off of it slightly dizzy with a mild headache and slight nausea. If that isn’t a sign of a good time I don’t know what is.

There was also a good log ride with 2 drops. I don’t usually like those but this was fun.

The Axe spins you in a circle and flips you upside down. Three Hispanic men sat down next to me and I think they were hitting on me in Spanish. Their machismo disappeared in a burst of English, “Oh my God!”s when the ride started by flipping us over backwards 180 degrees.

All in all a good time was had. I was even complimented by the lady manning the Spongebob Movie Ride about how brave I was to be by myself. Yeah, like after the Axe I’m going to be scared by Spongebob.