Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Bloomington, MN Aug 2-4

Wisconsin Dells

On the ways to Bloomington our plan was to visit Noah's ark in the Wisconsin Dells. It's billed as the largest water park in the US. Unfortunately the day broke with big thunder clouds and a weather report of inch sized hail. We still pulled over in the Wisconsin Dells just to see what it was like. It's Wisconsin's verison of Ocean Shores based on a geology like the Snake River Canyon.

As we pulled off I noticed an indoor water park called Kalahari. After visiting Noah's Ark and watching the weather we decided to give the indoor park a shot. The girls were anticipating a fun day and I really didn't want to turn it into another car day. We were glad we did. Kalahari had around 8 large indoor slides, a kiddie park and some mid sized rides. One slide I'd never seen before was a mixing bowl, you go into the slide, it empties out into a large bowl, where you swirl around until your momentum is spent, then you drop through a holei n the bowl into a pool, very neat. We spent 3 hours indoors while the rain came down. Then presto, the sky turned sunny, it warmed up and we moved to the outdoor portion of the park. They have 4 more slides outdoors including a tube version of the mixing bowl. We left around 5:00 after a full day of fun. Sleeping kids made the drive to Bloomington an easy one.

Mall of America

Spent the first day in Bloomington sleeping in and catching up on laundry after a few weeks on the road. Most of the kids were out of underwear and socks. I guess they just haven't learned how to use them twice, like dear old dad. After lunch we headed over to the MOA (Mall of America) to check it out. It's a large shopping mall with a 7 acre theme park in the middle. These midwesterners sure know how to find ways to move fun activities indoors for the harsh winters. The theme park is called Camp Snoopy and it's run by the Knott's (of Knott's Berry Farm) folks. At first glance we weren't very impressed. Since we started the day so late wo told the kids the rides would have to wait until the next day and spent some time walking around the stores. The MOA has one of everything and multiple stores of some. It's 4 stories tall. Then we headed back to the suite for a "home" cooked dinner. It sure was nice to be able to get things ourselves for a change.

Wednesday we headed back to MOA to spend the day in Camp Snoopy. Originally Betsy and I both thought we'd bo done in a few ours. Nine and 1/2 hours later we headed home for the night. Camp Snoopy was a lot more fun than we thought it would be. It's a great mix of slightly scarier bigger kids rides combined with a bunch of toddler rides. It's not very crowded (we were able to do the best rides at least 2x each) and small enough that we could swap kids around every hour and meet up. We went to Bubba Gump Shrimp for dinner and enjoyed the staff and the food. It was an extremely fun day that we all enjoyed.

We left Bloomington refreshed and ready to start putting some real miles on the car.


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