So this trip to the Cities was primarily to serve three purposes: for Shaun to see some of his city friends, and for V to see Nickelodeon World. Oh, and for our family to have a quality family vacation. We stayed in a hotel very near the Mall of America (minding the bedbug reports), packed some snacks, our swimsuits, and a few changes of clothes and considered ourselves ready.
Only I forgot to bring clothes for V.
I mean, I brought socks and undies. And her swimsuit But nothing else. I don't know how this happens to me, but usually I don't forget ALL of her clothes. Rather than be normal, and buy her at least a t-shirt, my frugal self just shook out her orange t-shirt every night. She wore it three days in a row. She didn't care at all, but it does make it look like we did a whole heckuva lot in one day, instead of the actual three.
First stop, after freshening up at the hotel: The Rainforest Cafe for dinner with college friends of Shaun's. We got to meet their son and his girlfriend, and I just adore all four of them. Unfortunately for everyone, Shaun, V, and I had never been to this particular restaurant. It's very....stimulating. Visually, it's really lovely and cave-like. And it's noisy, like a rainforest, with thunderstorms every half hour. Cool, right? Well, yeah, if you're not V, who gets overwhelmed sometimes.
Afterwards, though, when she caught sight of Nickelodeon Universe, she was feeling much better.
The next morning (yes, it's the same shirt. Remember my limited packing skills?)
Woody at Lego Land (which is conveintly located just outside Nickelodeon Universe).
And even more impressive characters, these three gentlemen, with whom we enjoyed lunch, and then they kindly came with us to watch V in her nirvana. They all went to high school with Shaun.
And dear Brad, who spent time with us on his birthday, even rode the rides that Shaun and I are too wussy to ride.
Later, we had dinner at another college friend's house, and talked about their upcoming (third!) baby while our kids played as if it hadn't been years between our visits.
In between socializing, we swam at the hotel's salt water pool, looked at the tall buildings like the fine country folk we are, and regretted not visiting more of our dear friends, despite not having much time between social obligations already.
It was a fine trip, overall. And V even said she'd go back to the Rainforest Cafe. After she turns 18.