My first Mall of America experience was quite overwhelming. I went with a couple of ladies from the MEA conference. We took the light rail from the Government Plaza train stop. It’s about a 30 minute train ride to the mall because MOA is the final stop and there are several stops in between.
I have a funny story about the light rail. I was surprised that you didn’t have anywhere to stick your ticket in after purchasing it. In Boston you need your ticket to get through the gates. There are no gates to the rail in Minneapolis. It’s just wide open. There’s not anyone on the train that asks for your ticket either. I guess they rely on the honor system. However, the cops get on periodically and do random checks.
One of the ladies I was with works for Ameren Missouri but lives in Illinois. She say that where she’s from there are actually rail employees in the rail cars who check for tickets. In Minneapolis the cops do the checking instead of civilians.
I actually got to experience this first hand on our way back to the hotel. These three cops got on the train at one of the stops. One of them asked me for my ticket. Of course, I wasn’t expecting this because no one checked on our way to the mall. I had dropped my ticket in my purse because I figured that there was no reason for me to keep holding it in my hand if no one was going to check anyway. Murphy’s Law prevailed and it took me forever to dig the ticket out of my purse. I found the one that I had purchased a few hours earlier first and I was really worried that I had lost the correct one. I was relieved when I finally found it because I felt sure that they were going to kick me off the train. Not while it’s moving but at our next stop. Either way I was appalled at the thought.
After the cop moved on to the other passengers I asked my new friend, “So what happens if you don’t have a ticket?”
“They give you one,” she says.
“Then why did we have to buy tickets if they’d give them to us anyway?” LMAO. I know it’s not that kind of ticket but I couldn’t help myself. We both laughed.
She added that she thought that you get more than just a ticket and that they’d probably take you to jail. I told her that my husband probably wouldn’t like that too much. I wouldn’t like that too much either. Going to jail over a $2 rail ticket is ridiculous and totally not worth it.
But I digress… The Mall of America is really cool but way too big. We hadn’t even gone through a quarter of one level and I was already pooped. The place is so huge that their Macy’s takes up what seemed like three or four floors. And, sometimes they had two of the same stores. It would take several days to see everything.
Now that I know how easy and convenient their rail system is (it’s so simple, nowhere near as confusing as the one Boston where they have multiple rail lines intersecting each other) and that there are direct flights to and from ICT and MSP, I wouldn’t mind going back. I’d take Brian with me and show him around. I know for a fact that he would love the massive Lego store. It’s the biggest one I’d ever seen.
I may just take him to Minneapolis for his 40th birthday next year. We’ll see.