Saturday, June 17, 2006

From St. Paul

We got up at 6 AM this morning and headed to St. Paul, Minnesota. Our mission: go to the Mall of America in Bloomington. We got everything loaded up on the pickup and ready to go by 8 AM. We headed out from one side of Wisconsin to the other. Our trip is quasi-recreational. Bloomington was in the same general direction as our ultimate destination, Rice Lake, WI.
As we travelled further west and north, we noticed a change in the terrain. There were bigger hills and small mountains. The trees varied more. And, it felt like we were going up in elevation. After passing Eau Claire, we felt a general feeling of descending. We came into St. Paul a little before noon. I would like to say that the Visitor Information Center coming into Minnesota from Eau Claire has got their act together. I was wandering around looking for information for the Mall of America. The attendant asked if I could help. I told her that I have one night to visit Minnesota and I wanted to see the Mall of America. She whipped out a map, marked the location of the mall, got me a pre-printed strip of directions, a book with information and coupons, and extra information. I was impressed. She took less than 2 minutes to get me on the way. She even warned me of an area of construction.
I failed to make reservations in advance, so we spent a little less than an hour looking for a place to stay. We wound up finding a TravelLodge near the target area. Once we settled in, we headed out to the mall to spend our day. It was amazing! We did not even come close to seeing all  of it. There is just way too much there to see. We barely got through portions of the east section and the amusement park. I can't describe to you how big the place is; adjectives fail me. The mall is 4 stories and some attractions have basement levels. I got some pictures that I will upload. The hotel has a broadband wireless connection. I intend to use it tomorrow morning to upload pics.
For now, I'm tired from a long day of walking around. I'm going to veg out in front of the TV before passing out. Tomorrow, we check into the AmericInn in Rice Lake. Monday, I start work, officially. Rice Lake isn't to far from here, maybe an hour away.

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