Can two adults who don’t want to ride rides occupy themselves for a whole afternoon at Valley Fair?
If you’re into the waterpark or floating around the lazy river, then yes! But otherwise, no.
Fifteen years have passed since I’ve been to ValleyFair. It’s been about the same for Jake. We curiously returned as part of my work’s employee appreciation event. It was a laid back type of event where you could simply stop by.
I hate shopping, but I love malls.
I enjoy lacing up my tennis shoes and mall-walking with the seniors. The combination of people-watching, bobbing in and out of stores and smelling new clothes mixed with popcorn, Chinese food and Cinnabons thrills me.
One of the malls we actually don’t mind visiting is Twin Cities Premium Outlets, or what we casually refer to as the Eagan Outlet Mall.
There’s a good variety of clothing stores like Banana Republic, Old Navy, Saks Fifth Avenue, Eddie Bauer, etc. Outlet mall pricing is wacky; you’re probably not actually going to save money here, we all know that. But, you’ll find a convenient mix of stores all in one place. I can rarely find clothes that fit but know I’ll at least walk out with something.
Your childhood mall will always hold a special place in your heart. The Burnsville Center is mine. The Maplewood Mall is Jake’s.
Our childhood malls feel kind of dead now. Not in the modern “haha I’m dead,” way, but in the empty storefronts except for a Victoria’s secret and GNC sort of way.
When I read about Victoria’s Secret closing stores, I’m just like “MAYBE DON’T PUT TWO IN EACH MALL?”
The thing about the Maplewood Mall is that it has a really interesting food court. Sure, there’s a Charlie’s Grilled Subs and Subway, but there are also shops offering cabeza tacos (at least Maya Cuisine was on this day), boba teas, tricolor dessert and papaya salad, pho, Gyros, Mexican-Korean fusion dishes, and burgers with Hmong peppers.
On this visit, we ordered the latter two.
There’s nothing like a long weekend where you feel productive and truly relax.
For an introvert, this is a delicate balance that’s rarely accomplished. We like to be alone. Sometimes we prefer it. But too much time alone also makes for an unhappy introvert.
The past two weeks were sprinkled with social gatherings and work actually hasn’t felt too hectic. This all led to a pretty good weekend.
My weekend goals were simple: Go out to eat a few times, clean up the yard, cook something, see John Wick 3. Last but not least, to finish Dead To Me, a newer Netflix series starring Christina Applegate, Linda Cardellini and James Marsden.
Our dining-out adventures have been casual and close-to-home, lately.
Between the snow and polar vortez cold snap, we haven’t wanted to drive very far. Never in my life have I felt -26 (and worse). Walking the 2.5 blocks to the bus was unbearable. I thought my legs were going to give out and collapse after running one block. The house cracked, but our boiler held up. Every potty break for our dog went something like that Bird Box conversation where Sandra Bullock was yelling at her kids.
“UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE YOU ALLOWED TO TAKE OFF YOUR BOOTS. . . YOU HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING I SAY OR WE WILL NOT MAKE IT! DO YOU UNDERSTAND.”
We’ve gotten together with family for various occasions and visited our favorites like Stewart’s for patty melts and Himalayan on Lake Street for our typical order of garlic naan, fried okra and potatoes, chicken tikka masala and palek paneer, all spicy.
Find yourself a good bar close enough to tromp through the snow to.
Here are a couple of new things we tried in St. Paul: