June 13, 2013

Nickelodeon Universe, Mall of America

After our visit at Mayo Clinic, we drove up to the Mall of America and hit Nickelodeon Universe.  What better way to test the limits of your HLHS kid's poor functioning heart than to take her to an amusement park?  Maybe not our best decision, but the kids LOVED it.  Even Emmy, who was stuck watching on the sidelines, got a kick out of it.  Here are a bunch of pictures...

The Swiper (as in "Swiper, no swiping!") Ride.  This thing looked pretty tame, but those turns were pretty sharp.  This one would have been fun for me even without Maren.  

Maren on the kiddie Bumper Cars.  This picture captures one of three 5-second periods where she was not stuck.  She couldn't figure it out.  She kept her foot on the gas the entire time while cranking the wheel as far as it would go to the right.  She could make about 2 full donuts before ending up pinned in the corner screaming, "Stupid car!" over and over.  Twice she was freed by other drivers bumping into her just right.  The other time she was freed was when the ride operator stopped the ride to rescue her and give her one-on-one instruction.  That took about 30 seconds while the entire world watched.  When the ride started again it took Maren about 3 seconds to pin herself again.  Good times.

Henry was too big for the other bumper cars.  Had we known Henry-sized bumper cars existed, we would have started with them.  These were a lot more fun for everyone.

This was the Wonder Pets Fly Boat Ride.  This is the ride Maren looked forward to riding the most.  When we talked about going to Nickelodeon Universe, this is the ride Maren talked about.  The ride would slowly lift the kids up and then gradually bounce them down.  Going up was great.  Coming down, not so much...

Is this not the look of sheer terror? Wait...
Is this not the look of sheer terror? Before this one I took Maren on a real roller coaster called The Orange Crush.  I was nervous enough about it that I almost bailed at the last minute, but she really wanted to ride it.  I expected Maren to be scared on that one, and she was, but not like this.   It's hilarious now, but at the time there was a split second when I thought Maren might die.  I just about jumped the fence and pushed the pregnant attendant out of the way to smack the big red emergency stop button myself.  Probably the scariest ride for both of us.  Yikes!
 When we were out there, we also went to this small zoo that was a little off the beaten path.  It was pretty incredible for what it was.  I'm glad we went. 

Henry's impersonation of a Snowy Owl.  Not bad.

This is the otter exhibit.  You can see one of them behind Henry. 

This Bobcat pounced at Henry.  Pretty freaky considering there is almost no space between you and the fence.  You could have pet him (and consequently had your hand eaten) if you wanted to. 

Good family fun!


Emma said...

oh my gosh - i was laughing like crazy at maren's face. i just saw some like that on ellen and her's definitely takes the cake! benj rode some car ride at legoland for about 2 seconds before he crashed and the attendant had to get him out of the car because he was crying hysterically. ah amusement parks

Josh, Sandy, Jaclyn, Kinsey, and Caleb said...

Love the pics! We went to the same zoo while we were there. They had just fed the leopard at the time so no pouncing. :)