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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Road trip to Land of 10,000 Lakes AKA Minnesota

The last time we've visited Mall of America was back in 2003 it has been over 13 years and we can't remember much of what was there except for what was Camp Snoopy is now Nickelodeon Universe. I must say, I'm glad to see something different and now Camp Snoopy is just a distant memory.  

Today we see Nickelodeon theme featuring characters like SpongeBob SquarePants, iCarly, and Dora the Explorer.  Although these characters are for all kids ages 2 to 11 anyone can be a kid again when they ride these rides.  I like the fact that Nickelodeon can now update their ride and characters constantly whereas the Camp Snoopy and the Peanuts characters weren't able to do that with it's four main characters Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, and Snoopy.

Needless to say, we enjoyed spending the whole day just at the MOA Nickelodeon Universe with the kids.  They had fun riding rides and pick and choose which rides they like best and ride it over and over until they are tired.  

Throughout our stay, we visit the mall every day to visit their endless list of the restaurant for dinner.  During our daily visit, we tackle each floor of the mall at a time.  Then, in the end, we had saved one day to return to the mall and visit the store we had missed or want to go back.  

Most of the stores you see at the MOA are somewhat typical of what you see at any ordinary mall elsewhere.  There were a couple of touristy stores or souvenir shops and instead of having one huge store for GameStop they would have two ordinary size stores in the mall. 

We took a break from walking in the mall and got the best experience ever at the theater.  We opt to go with D-box seating and watch The Legend of Tarzan. The D-box seating is electronically synchronized to the action you are watching on screen and it moves and vibrates making you feel like you can jump off your seat from being scared or glide along with the camera views.  Pretty impressive, the closest one to us is Columbia Missouri never thought it would be in such a small market.  But anyway we just had to try it out and at least do it once to experience it and also help rest our feet.

The Minnesota Zoo is the best zoo out there.  We took a nice walk around and see the amazing diversity of animals.  There are many areas to visit once inside the zoo.  There are a topical area, aquarium, Minnesota animals, farm section, Russia's Grizzly Coast bear, sea otters and much more.  To see all these animals you just have to follow the paved trails.  You'll encounter large exhibits and see animals from smallest to biggest, from crawling to flying.  It's an amazing and good quality zoo.  

We can remember back in 2003, the last time we visited the zoo.  There used to be dolphins and the monorail.  What we see today in place of the dolphins' exhibits is the seals gone are the dolphins.  We also see that the remanent of the rusted monorail tracks around the zoo's trails. It was closed due to a high cost of operation as they age.  We have gotten a 50% discount going to the Minnesota zoo because we are part of the Friend Of The Zoo membership program.  It has paid for itself much time than not.  Overall a great zoo, very spacious with animals from all over the world.

Another place we visited was the Minnehaha waterfall.  It is located in Minneapolis and the falls is in Minnehaha Park, on the shores of the Mississippi River.  It is a 60-foot high fall that we really enjoyed looking at.  We went on a trail down the stairs to the bottom of the creek and crossed the bridge to find a spot for taking pictures. This is a definitely must do, it looks like to be a great place to hike and take in nature.

Last but not least, a trip to Minneapolis isn't complete without a trip to the Science Museum of Minnesota in Saint Paul.  It is one of the most popular museums in the upper Midwest.  There were dinosaurs, hands-on exhibits, and the Omnitheater. The museum focused on topics in technology, natural history, physical science, and mathematics education.  We spent a quiet Sunday where it is less crowded and street parking isn't being enforced.

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