Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Roller Coasters in the Rain

Mall of America
July 15
We enjoy our last lumberjack breakfast at camp (including cinnamon rolls that are way bigger than our fists), then pack up our car, which with the addition of our camp projects and purchases appears to be at maximum capacity.  Andrew’s nest in the back seat is getting smaller, as the pile of essential items surrounding him gets bigger.

What started as misting rain as we loaded the car becomes a gusher of a rainstorm as we drive south.  Although it is not the best of driving weather, we are thankful that the rain came today instead of this time yesterday, when we were doing Adventure Ropes.
Today weather does not matter nearly so much, because our destination is Mall of America in Minneapolis, site of an awesome indoor amusement park with lots of thrill rides.  As a self-described “roller coaster maniac,” Andrew has several to choose from here. 

The obvious first choice twists like a writhing snake, turning the riders upside down more times than we can count.  Gayl is the designated photographer, granddad rides with Andrew. 

His next coaster has cup and saucer-like cars that twirl and swivel wildly as they careen around the mountainous track.  Granddad actually kind of likes that one.

Andrew goes solo on a ropes course that has multiple levels, soaring much higher than our Wolf Ridge Course, culminating in the opportunity to walk a plank sixty feet above the floor of the amusement area.

Here is a close-up of him at the end of the plank.   

Fortunately this ropes course has a “two falls and you are out” rule, so our little dare devil is not tempted to dangle from this height just to see what it feels like. 

We have dinner in the lushly landscaped jungle of the Rainforest CafĂ©, where there is a tropical thunderstorm every half hour.  This is somewhat ironic, since there are severe thunderstorm warnings in the area, so we are pretty sure that we are enjoying artificial storms while the real thing is raging outside. 

We top off our very good meals with a massive chocolate volcano dessert (a brownie mountain filled with vanilla ice cream, with chocolate and caramel lava oozing down its sides, delivered with a sparkler blazing atop it).   We aren’t sure that stuffing ourselves like this is wise before heading back to the amusement park for more rides, but we just can’t resist.

We try a few more rides and visit Lego Land, then Andrew decides he really wants to swim in the hotel pool.  His day ends with a good long swim and a relaxing dip in the hot tub before it is time for bed (or, more accurately, quite a bit past his bed time).

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