Post-Christmas shopping at The Mall of America

The Mall of America Nickelodeon Theme Park

Lucky Duck hits the rides, and the sales, at The Mall of America.

A quick recap of the itinerary

It certainly was an unexpected surprise of Divine Intervention. Mike and I shared the best Christmas we’ve ever had. I flew out to meet him in Paris, where we enjoyed five days taking in all the famous sites and an amazing meal atop the Eiffel Tower. From there, we flew in to Orlando and spent two days at Disney World. Then we drove to Sarasota to spend Christmas at Mike’s mom’s and revisit where we got married. Our flight home connected through in Minneapolis.

Here’s a visual. My path is red, Mike’s is blue, the black is when we traveled together.

World Travels

Getting lost, re-routed, and out to the MOA

I was in charge of navigation in our drive to Orlando International Airport, and I did something wrong. We were lost and practically missed our flight home. We made it with just a few minutes to spare and were able to upgrade to first class. Whew! Right? Wrong! Just then, we got word that a Delta cart hit the plane and caused structural damage. Our flight was delayed for 5 hours, and we had to be rebooked.

Because of the holiday rush, we couldn’t get out of Minneapolis until late the next day, so we took about 60 bucks in vouchers to Outback Steakhouse. We flew out to Minneapolis five hours later, stayed the night, and set out to check out the Mall of America while we waited for the last leg of our journey home.

The Mall of America is a blast

Shannon at The Mall of America entrance

While at first we were pretty upset about the delay, we realized that there was nothing we could do about it and to make the best of a weird situation. I worried though that Mike would freak out knowing that he had to shop in a mall for 6 hours, but I think he had more fun than I did!

Nickelodeon Universe

The middle of the mall is a big theme park, filled with rides, food, and games. We rode Dora Explorer’s Ferris Wheel, Balloon Race, and the carousel. Mike played Air Ball and won a football that he gave away to a cute little boy who was having a hard time winning a prize. (This prize was pretty fitting – Mike won his Fantasy Football league while we were away!)

Ferris Wheel View from on top of the ferris wheel
The balloons Mike wins a football
Carousel Carousel

Lucky Duck makes friends at Peeps

Look at what Lucky Duck was able to spot from the Ferris Wheel – A big Peeps store!

Peeps store at Mall of America

And inside, he met a ton of friends.

Peeps Plushies Peeps Plushies Peepsters Santa Peeps Plushies

Lucky Duck even found a couple of friends who have a lot in common with him. They pose in a life ring, take photos with the world’s most famous icons, and they were just at The Eiffel Tower too!

Peeps Ahoy Peeps Ahoy

Mike and I didn’t make any new friends, but we did find some of our favorite snacks.

Mike & Ike Hot Tamales The Icee Bear


Time to go shopping

The Mall of America offers more than 520 stores (see more cool Mall of America facts), so we had to pick and choose which ones we wanted to visit. Mike actually picked out a few stores that interested him – some Sports themed stores, a cool flags store, an Irish store where he bought a very cool Ireland zip-up, and the one that took the cake – Alpaca World!

Mike loves Alpaca World

I picked out my two favorite stores – Nordstrom Rack where I bought a sequins Vince Camuto cocktail dress, and The Microsoft Store where I found Minnesota-themed Xboxes!

Nordstrom Rack at MOA Nordstrom Rack sale at MOA
Microsoft Store at MOA Minnesota themed Xboxes

And Lucky Duck picked a couple of stores too – Lego World and the candy store, where he bought me a boxed set of U.S. President PEZ dispensers! (This was fitting too – we went to The Hall of Presidents at Disney World!)

Lego World at MOA Lego World at MOA


Candy store with lots of PEZ PEZ Presidents dispensers

The Mall of America is decorated for Christmas

One of my favorite things about traveling during Christmastime is enjoying all the beautiful Christmas decorations. We sure saw some amazing ones in Paris and Disney World, and MOA was gorgeous too.

Christmas at MOA Christmas at MOA

All of this sure can work up an appetite

And there is definitely not a shortage of restaurants to pick from. Mike and I actually picked three. In six hours of walking, shopping, and playing on rides, we got pretty hungry!

We had our morning coffee and egg sandwiches at Caribou right as the mall was opening.

Caribou Coffee

We stopped at Crave for sushi, salads, and mussels. I loved the drinks too!

Mussels at Crave Sparkling Strawberries at Crave

Later, we stopped at Tucci Benucch for happy hour and got a mini pizza, mini meatballs, and a strawberry, basil, balsamic mojito.

Drinks at Tucci Benucch Happy hour at Tucci Benucch

When it was time to fly home, I was actually ready to head out. Vacation was awesome, and our special day at The Mall of America was such a very cool opportunity. I’ll never forget it. It was honestly the best Christmas I’ve ever had.

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Lucky Duck in Paris

Lucky Duck's luck alike visits the Eiffel Tower

Lucky Duck has the travel bug.

Lucky Duck had such a great time in London last week that he can’t sit still. I’m heading out to New York in the morning to attend Fashion Week (I’m going to see Betsey Johnson on Monday night and Badgley Mischka on Tuesday morning), and Lucky Duck hopped a plane tonight and sent these pictures of Paris. He and I will connect again in Manhattan tomorrow night.

Until then, here’s a look at his album. This first one is outside of the Eiffel Tower at night.

Eiffel Tower at night

 Looks like he bought a ticket and went up inside!

Eiffel Tower ticket

Inside the Eiffel Tower

Then he went to The Notre Dame.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

While at The Seine, he made a new friend, who ended up getting left behind.


The Seine

Au revior, Lucky Duck! A bien tot!


Just kidding! This ducky is a luck alike. But how did he end up in Le Paris?

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Lucky Duck thinks the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is fantasquack

Travel Books Maui at Borders Books

Lucky Duck shops for travel books at Borders. He’s one brainy beak!

Next month, Lucky Duck will board another plane and embark on his second journey. After just having done so well at La Jolla Beach in San Diego, CA, Lucky Duck is excited to fly the friendly skies again.

The next destination – Maui! And he won’t be roughing it. Sir Lucky Duck will be enjoying five nights at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.

To quickly digress… I suggested to Mike that we elope at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea when we were planning our wedding. We ended up having a beautiful wedding on the beach in Florida at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota Members Beach Club with 38 of our closest friends.

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota Members Beach Club

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota Members Beach Club

And since we were right there, we honeymooned at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.  

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

On our first night, we had a private oceanfront cabana dinner, where I actually smoked my first (and only) cigar. There’s even video footage…

After spending a week at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, we flew over to The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, the complete trifecta of Ritzes!

The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach

Ok, back to Hawaii… from what I’ve heard, the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is amazing. I’ve heard crazy things, like they spray you with Evian water, clean your sunglasses, and come around with refreshments every hour while you’re at the pool.

Lucky Duck can get used to this. He’s already fluffing his feathers for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City this September.

Travel maps at Borders New York City

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