When I went to Mall of America, I had my expectations. I expected huge, over the top, "flagship" stores of recognizable brands as well as crazy, offbeat, very-specific shops peddling weird products. While there was some of the latter, there was less of the former. The stores for the most part were recognizable and normal, there was just EVERY ONE of the recognizable brands. I expected hordes of rabid shoppers, arms full of branded shopping bags, when what I found was people moving at about the pace they do at the malls around here, and about the density of crowds I'd find here as well, albeit in a much larger space.
The one crazy part of the experience: The theme park in the middle of it all, recently branded by Nickelodeon.
Here are some very-specific stores we did see, that made me laugh:
The Lego Store: Couldn't pass this up. It was fun.
Ralph Marlin: All ties
RiverCare: A church
Crepe stand: All crepes.
LOVESAC LIFE: Bean bag furniture. Pretty comfortable.
Relax-a-daisical: I just liked the name. It was cute.
Al's Farm Toys: All farm toys. Seriously.
Itz-a-Puzzle: All jigsaw puzzles.
Alamo Flags: All flags.
Tiffany Collection: All stained-glass lamps.
Model Cars and More: Model cars. No more. Josh was disappointed by the size of the store, actually. He likes model cars. These weren't the build-the-model-yourself cars, either.
Alpaca Connection: All alpaca products. This one's for Ashley.
Just Silver: Just silver.
Games by James: Games & toys. Being more educated in games now, we were disappointed by the selection here, too.
Lake Woebegon USA: Prairie Home Companion store!! With other NPR and Garrison Keillor products!
Oxynate: An oxygen bar, which claims to cure everything from acne to mesothelioma to depression to hangovers. Weird.
A.C.E.S.: Don't know what it stands for. A flight simulator location- customers rent time to try out flight simulators. Mostly it was guys standing around watching other people do flight simulators.
Chapel of Love: Wedding chapel. I didn't go over to investigate, but wanted to. It was more this type of thing I expected to find at the World's Biggest Mall.
Ragstock: Recycled clothing. This was cool, and more reasonable than I expected. It was the only clothes store I walked through.
SoxAppeal: All socks.
My favorite store of the trip, I didn't upload picture of: Teavana. All tea, teacups, tea makes, teapots. They had samples of the tea they sold too, and the few sips I had were heavenly. I wish I could make tea like that. I should add, all this walking around the mall that we did, I didn't buy a single thing. Though, Teavana & the Lake Woebegon store made it very tempting.