Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mini-Vacation in Minneapolis

Hello blogland! Did ya miss me? I hope everyone really enjoyed their Valentine's Day and President's Day weekend!  We had a nice little trip to Minneapolis with lot's of shopping, sightseeing and *eek* eating. Yes...there was cheesecake. There was movie theater popcorn. There were nachos. I didn't even try to hold back. But we'll get to that in a minute.

I'm gonna break this trip down into three posts: First, what we did away from the Mall of America, then everything Mall related...and finally I'll post about all my goodies I came home with. Here we go!

Day One

Our first stop in Minneapolis was The Cheesecake Factory. How is it that I've been to this place twice in the two months I've supposedly been dieting? Somehow that just doesn't add up. *haha* I had my usual Banana Cream and Jeremy got brave and tried his very first piece of cheesecake EVER. He got a peanut butter/candy/chocolate/somethin' or other flavor. He said it was "ok," but didn't like the parts of it that had "too much cheesecake" in it. Silly boy! I just don't know what's wrong with him!  The nice folks sitting next to us offered to take our picture when they saw I had my camera with me. 
From there we drove to REI which was nearby. Ever since we went camping in the Fall of 2007, we've loved REI. They've got way more than just camping stuff and we both love their clothes. I didn't find anything this time but Jeremy got a couple of shirts. 
Next it was off to their LSS (that's "Local Scrapbook Store," meaning not a chain store like Archiver's.) We had found this store's address online...but look what we saw when we arrived! They were having a HUGE sale!!!
Every.Single.Thing. in the store was on sale! What a treat. And my heart literally skipped a beat when I got inside and saw THIS SIGN:
If you're not a scrapbooker, this doesn't mean anything to you. (Actually, you could be a scrapbooker and this still might not mean anything to you. *haha*) Fancy Pants is an awesome scrapbook company that makes some of the neatest stuff out there. They're quickly climbing to the top of my favorite companies list. I know, now you're really wanting to see what I got. But you're gonna have to wait till tomorrow! :)

By then it was time to check into our hotel. We stayed at The Crowne Plaza in Bloomington, which is basically Minneapolis but just right outside I guess. What an exciting surprise! Since we booked it through Priceline.com, we weren't sure exactly what to expect. But when we got there we found out we had gotten a HECK of a deal! It was such a nice hotel! 
Silly hubby + our rental car & the hotel

The slick, glowing check-in counter

The lobby, bar and cool firepit

Beyond just the normal shampoo and soap bars, we had these goodies sitting on our bed when we arrived: an eyemask, earplugs, lavender linen spray and a relaxation CD.

We decided to head downtown that evening and take a look at their "Skyway." Basically, they've got indoor walkways that connect the entire area so you never have to walk out in the cold. (Oh, did I mention it was really, really cold there? Yeah. BRR!) 
Well everything downtown looked really cool, but much to our disappointment everything was closed! At 6pm on a Saturday night! VALENTINE'S DAY, for Pete's sake! So we walked around in the empty hallways for a while and then decided to call it a night. Dinner was at Boston Market, one of my favorite places on earth. We used to have them here but they're long gone. :( Yeah, I could've eaten healthy there but I had, had, HAD to have the mac&cheese. It was downright heavenly. :)

Day Two

Well as you probably remember, I had every intention of working out while we were on vacation. And I'm psyched to tell you that I DID! Let me tell ya, God really blessed me with that gym. Every worry I'd had beforehand was provided for!

What if they have crappy machines? 
Far from it! In fact, the elliptical machines they had were the same kind I use at my gym, except an upgraded version! And they had TV's attached, too. Spiffy!

How am I gonna get enough water?
I drink A LOT of water in my daily life, especially when I'm working out. So I was a little worried as to where I was going to find all the H20 I needed. Lo & behold, they had a neato water cooler right there in the gym. Thank you Lord!
So I got in a whole hour. It was kinda exhilarating!  At first I was alone, but by the time I was done, every machine was being used, as well as the weight set. It was exciting, all of us there in pursuit of our fitness goals together. :) I even pushed my way through some terrible indigestion, which I'm sure I owed to all the naughty crap I'd eaten the day before. :^/

Guess what's located right across the street from the Mall Of America? Our beloved IKEA! :)  So we went there for breakfast and to take a quick peek around. Little did we know, they were offering FREE breakfast all weekend in honor of the holidays! That drew an unbelievable crowd. I've never seen an IKEA that busy! What's funny is that the breakfast is normally still only 99¢, so why was everyone so downright excited about getting it free? *haha* 

While walking around the store we spotted a display room that had paired OUR couch with OUR rug. I took that as validation that it must look good together. *haha* (It's not our exact couch...we have the version without the sectional attachment. But it's definitely cousins with this couch.)

To be continued...
Mall of America fun!


Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

That hotel looks great. I'll definitely be keeping it in mind next time I go there. And, funny thing, that's the exact same LSS we went to when we were there. You got better sales, though. :)

What a great trip - can't wait to hear the rest!

Shannon said...

WOW! It looks like you had a really great time :) I can't believe that sale! I would have gone crazy.

~Samantha said...

aw yay for fun vacays!!! I'm glad you had a good time and I can't wait for more posts!!

Ashley said...

Sounds so awesome! Can't wait to hear about the rest! :)

etta said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful time! I'm glad you're back and blogging about it, it's been a quiet weekend without your posts!

Krissy said...

I really need to stop praying for patience! Because I think God is teaching it to me through YOU! LOL Why oh why do you make me wait? Haha!

It sounds like a really fun time! That check-in counter is CRAZY awesome!

Dancing Sweet Pea said...

It looks like you had an amazing time! I love the photos too!

kilax said...

I love it when hotels have workout rooms! Props to you for working on while on vacation!

Cheesecake Factory is so funny - their portions are HUGE! But so good :)