MOA Date Day

Today was a very unexpected day of marvelousness at one of my favorite Twin Cities hangouts – the Mall of America! Yes, I love this place… even if more than 40% of the stores are wall-to-wall Bieber:

It's Only Hair, People!

Mal and I took the day off and headed out to the mother of all malls to pick up a birthday pressie for our best girl – our niece, Madison. She is turning 11 in a few days, and since she loved the mall so much when she came out for a visit last September, we decided to pick her up a gift card there. It’s a win-win for us, because she has to come here and use it! We also plan to spring for her flight and a pizza/bowling birthday party at Pinz in Oakdale when she visits. Yeah, her birthday will be long over, but I figure that if we’re dropping cash for games and pizza, they likely won’t care whether it’s her real birthday or not … so g’head and tell on me if you want – I’m not scared.  😉

Getting the gift was actually one of the last stops of our day. We got to the mall shortly after noon, and ended up taking a long, brisk walk around the mall. We didn’t make it to the gym today, so I am glad we got some cardio via walking in. During our walk, we noticed a new restaurant called the Cadillac Ranch Bar and Grill, and decided to grab lumch there. I had half of a chicken salad sandwich on cranberry bread and a cup of chicken and wild rice soup. It was pretty savory, and our waiter was a super nice guy. They even have a mechanical bull in there, and they played great music – mostly rock, and everything from Kings of Leon to  Stevie Ray Vaughn to Rick Springfield. Definitely my cup o’ tea. I may even go back and hop on that bull once I drop kick some of this fatness!

We went walking again after lunch, and decided to see a movie. Seeing movies kind of used to be our thing, but since we started our own business we really only get to the movie theaters 2 or 3 times a year, so this was a treat for us. We planned to see “True Grit”, but we had gone to check out the new Microsoft store and lost track of time, so we missed the afternoon showing. (P.S. The Microsoft Store is awesome! The staff is so much nicer, and way less arrogant than Apple’s employees. And the store is just … brighter, cleaner, newer, better. If you’re a tech geek, you must go.) Anyway, the next movie showing on our list of “want to sees” was “Black Swan”. We discovered when we bought our tickets that the movie was showing in their V.I.P theater, where the seating is upgraded (wider, more cushy seats with little beverage tables), and they come into the theater and take your concession order from your seat. It’s over age 21 only, and you can order wine, beer and other fine spirits. Weird, but kinda cool. Mal and I ordered a Diet Coke and some popcorn, simply for the reason that we could. I certainly didn’t need the movie theater popcorn, but hopefully all the walking we did made an impact on those extra calories.  :/ Don’t know how I was able to eat transfatty, salty popcorn while looking at ballerina bodies, but I did. Yeesh. Good movie, though. Very dark, but I enjoyed it.

It was getting dark outside when we left the movie, which was kind of cool because I’ve never been at the mall at night. So, we walked another revolution around the mall before settling on a place for dinner. We opted for Italian – a brick oven flatbread pizza with sausage, spinach and roasted mushrooms for me; spaghetti for Mal. This probably reads like “Jenn’s Confessions of Much Too Much Mall Food”, and I suppose it is. It was fun to have a day out to relax and enjoy our time together after the chaos of the last couple of months, and eating out is something we enjoy doing as it gives us time to talk and listen to each other. I am happy that we now are making efforts to mix our indulgences with some exercise – and believe me, we walked. A LOT. My feet are killin’ me. So, at the moment, I only have minor regrets. All in all, a really great day with my bestest mate!

I used my Barnes and Noble Christmas gift card from Malcolm to pick up the latest Glenn Beck book on our way out of the mall, even though I have yet to read his last book. Homeboy needs to slow down on all this rapid-fire content so I can catch up. And before you judge, I was a Glenn Beck listener waaaaay before it was chic – I’m a listener from way, way back (2006). Okay, maybe it still isn’t chic in some circles, but I am too old to care about chicness. 😉 I’m thinking that I need to start reading while I do my cardio at the gym… I have purchased about 6 books that I haven’t gotten around to reading because I keep checking out books at the library. If only I loved counting calories and exercise as much as I love to read…

When Mal and I got home, I was feeling a little icky about the popcorn binge at the movies, plus my feet, knees and hips were completely inflamed because I wore my stupid Sketchers that I’ve had for like, 6 years, and there is nothing but hard, uneven rubber left in the soles. I knew they wren’t fit for walking; I don’t know what the haystack I was thinking. They went in the big brown trashcan as soon as I got out of the car.  :/  But – I was refreshed and excited by the package I found on our porch when we got home – a Christmas gift from my fitness freak baby brother – he sent us a kettlebell!

My New Workout Toy - Thanks Marc!

I’ve been fascinated with these since seeing the Biggest Loser contestants work out with them, and I cannot wait to give it a try. Trainer Sharon and Trainer Herm, if you are reading this, here is your official heads up: I am bringing this in for a workout with you, so be thinking of some ideas to torture train me on this.  🙂  Hopefully 15 pounds won’t break me. My arms nearly fell off when I carried the box in from the porch.

To my readers – have any of you worked with Kettlebells? How do you like them?

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5 thoughts on “MOA Date Day

  1. I LOVE going walking at MOA it is my goto when my gym is closed since its fairly close to me. You should have tried the Kinect while you were there, the dance game at the kinect booth by Nick Universe is SO fun.

    I have still never been to the vip theater there, someday, i never really get to movies much either. That lunch spot you were at sounds like my kinda joint too.

    I look forward to hearing about the kettlebells! They look like fun! Your whole day sounds like fun!

    • I watched the Kinect, and wanted to try it but in the end chickened out. I have such a hard time being active in front of other people – it’s a wonder I make it to the gym sometimes. I am the girl that goes during off peak hours whenever possible, and will reorganize my entire schedule to do so. :/ My niece got the dance game for Christmas – I am hoping for a visit in the coming months so I can play with her!

      Maybe next time I make plans at the mall I will give you a heads up so we could meet for a walk or something. I could walk in there forever, my legs might get tired, but my eyes never do. 🙂

  2. My uncle runs a gym up in forest lake that is strictly kettle bells. He’s been doing it for a long time. I’m still too scared to go and try. I know his 60 yr old, harley riding, ass kicking body would destroy mine in mere minutes.

    • Your uncle *does* sound scary. 🙂 I’ve heard of kettlebell gyms, but I thought they were kind of a new thing. Maybe it’s just me and my new relationship with all things fitness. I noticed my kettlebell has a training DVD with it. I don’t know if I can handle a full 25 minute workout with it, but I might give it a go tomorrow. Hopefully I don’t hurt myself!

  3. I’ve also wanted to know about a kettlebell workout. It’s not that I’m SCARED of them, per say, but I just have no clue wehre to start. The trainers at my gym have said the techniques with kettlebells are so different than regular weights.

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