I have been a business traveler for many decades. I was a computer software installation specialist back in the mainframe days and then supported my own software packages. Today I still work because I enjoy it. The overall rewards have been many. One of which has been meeting new people and seeing this beautiful country. With the exception of the Dakotas, I have visited all states.
When traveling, I never found hotel lounges to be appalling and expense account binge meals only destroy your figure and health. I entertained myself by finding interesting places to shop. Oh I know, you are shocked!
One could argue that this activity could destroy your bank account, however, travel baggage size does self-limit. There is no question I love fashion, so walking and visiting malls is a great way to exercise and have fun looking. I have seen the rise of the indoor mall and I am now seeing its decline. Shopping trends are shifting to online. During my recent visit to Minneapolis, I did get to visit the ultimate – The Mall of America. Here are some of the interesting details from their web site:
The Mall of America is the nation's largest shopping and entertainment destination featuring over 530 stores, 50 restaurants, the largest indoor theme park (Nickelodeon Universe) The Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, The LEGO store, The American Girl Store, multiple movie theaters and Adventure Golf.
The Mall of America has a gross area of 4,870,000 sq ft or 96.4 acres with 2,500,000 sq. ft. available as retail space. Enough to fit seven Yankee Stadiums inside. The mall is nearly symmetric, with a roughly rectangular floor plan. The stores are arranged along three levels of pedestrian walkways on the sides of the rectangle, with a fourth level on the east side. Four anchor department stores are located at the corners. A full theme park is located in the center including rides and attractions. (Sources Wikipedia and the Mall of America site).
I visited and had lunch on a Sunday before having a snack with a friend and returned a few days later for dinner / shopping / browsing. It does live up the hype. Now celebrating its 25 anniversary, it is unique, large and likely does represent the pinnacle of indoor mall shopping. Malls may be in decline but The Mall of America has not gotten the e-mail yet. Enjoy the photos.