(Sing to the tune of “Green Acres”)
Target Field is the place to be.
Baseball livin’ is the life for me.
Bluegrass spreadin’ out so far and wide.
Keep the malls, just give me that ballpark life.
The Mall of America is where I’d rather stay.
I get allergic watching too much play.
I just adore a Bloomingdale’s view.
Dah-ling I love you but give me those MOA Avenues.
…Something new to wear.
You are my wife.
Good bye, Mall life.
Target Field we are there.
I love, love, love Minnesota. That is, in the spring, summer and fall. Where else can you find a mall that calls itself a city or turn the world on with a smile by standing in the exact spot where Mary Richards tossed her hat in the air at the beginning of the Mary Tyler Moore show? It is one of the friendliest places in the world. There is no such thing as a stranger to most Minnesotians. You betcha!
My husband was raised in St. Paul. This summer we wanted our daughter to experience some of the special people and places from his childhood. And oh, the Minnesota Twins baseball team is playing in a brand spankin’ new, state of the art stadium and we scored tickets to two sold-out games. So we packed the family truckster and headed north to the Land of 10,000 Lakes on a fun-filled journey that included a two-day pilgrimage to Minnie and Paul. I could easily tolerate two nights of baseball with the promise of a trip to the Mall of America (MOA).
I have to admit, Target Field – the new home to the Twins – is amazing. My husband described his experience as, “Like a new Pope seeing the Vatican for the first time.” Our daughter even appeared on the jumbotron waving her big spongy T.C. Bear claw in front of 40,000 fans, creating an extra special experience for our first game at Target Field. I was hoping for an equally special shopping experience at the mall the next day. Tea at The American Girl Store, spending hours at Bloomingdale’s and just plain wearing out the MOA Avenues inside the 8th wonder of the world.
The next day, we started our mall experience by meeting friends at Nickelodeon Universe, the amusement park located in the epicenter of the mall, that is designed for young children. What the folks at Nick Universe don’t realize is, more times than not, an adult needs to accompany their little ones on the rides. This oversight was evidenced by the small seating areas on each ride. We’re talking a Weeble trying to cram into a Polly Pocket rollercoaster seat. I’d like to suggest that adult riders on the Back At the Barnyard Hayride be provided a plethora of shapewear prior to boarding to ensure that the safety latch is secured tightly. To the folks at Swiper’s Sweeper, please aim any runaway cars at Nordstrom should the velocity of a “larger” adult send one of the cars flying off the track. And a final note regarding the Backyardigans Swing Along ride, please warn riders not to drink a large iced coffee prior to boarding unless you are planning on handing out Depends.
After a few hours on the rides, the kids were tired and it was now time to shop. As I stood dazed and confused in the center of the mall, I began plotting my mad dash store by store. Suddenly, my husband says, “Shopping? We don’t have time to shop. We’re going to Pizza Factory!” I think my heart stopped. Not from the after effects of the rides. My heart stopped because I had to leave the largest mall in the world without stepping foot in one store. It was a shutout. Game over. I can only imagine his reaction if I took him to Target Field and yanked him out of the stadium just before the first pitch and told him he had to get a pedicure. We were on a tight schedule before the second night of our Twins pilgrimage. There was no sympathy because all he could think about was sinking his teeth into his favorite pepperoni and sausage pizza on the planet and getting to the stadium on time.
Aside from the mall debacle, we made it to the stadium on time and were overjoyed with a Twins win at the game that night. We left the Twin Cities bright and early the next morning and continued our journey. We had great visits with friends and family, enjoyed beautiful lakes and countryside, and had all the cheese curds you could eat. We even weathered a few good old-fashioned Minnesota thunderstorms.
Like Minnie and Paul shaking hands over the Mississippi River, there is one thing my husband and I can agree on. The friendly people are the stars of the game in Minnesota and will keep us coming back for more. Don’t ya know!