Occasionally when I tell people in California that I am from Edmonton, they'll say, "Oh, you guys have that big mall, right?"
And my answer is an abashed, "Yep."
It's true. We are known for a hockey team that used to be good and for a big, ugly, sprawling mall.
I generally try to stay away from the mall, unless I am needing some "me time", which I like to spend here. Those wonderful minutes spent among racks and tables of beautiful dresses, unique cardigans, must-have accessories, enlightening books, necessary-to-complete-me dishes, fun drawer pulls, etc, etc, etc can almost make me forget that West Edmonton Mall has "its own ecosystem." (I don't know who said that, but somebody somewhere did so I thought it belonged in quotes.) Don't you think it's weird that there are no rats or cockroaches in Alberta, except at West Ed?
But there are good things about that big, ugly mall, one of them being the playplace (is that term reserved by McDonald's?) in Galaxyland. It is GIGANTIC and has lots of fun things like crazy slides, ball pits, climbing nets, tubes... and germs, I'm sure, but I try not to think about that.
So last night, my cousin Karen and I took the girls to said playplace. It happened to be closing 15 minutes after we got there, which we didn't know. So when we didn't walk away after she told us they were closing, the (can't think of a suitable adjective) lady said she'd let us in with something muttered about looking the other way. We tried the same tactic with the lady at the playplace entrance, and she also let us in - free! So we had 10 minutes of free play time in a deserted playplace. Chanelle loved it, and Elysse would have if that roller coaster didn't keep going right over top of us. She stood there shaking each time it went by.
The other great thing about West Ed is Yogen Fruz. So after our 10 minutes were up, we headed for some raspberry frozen yogurt and watched all the figure skaters practicing. Elysse was mesmerized by one little girl in a showy outfit, and told me to watch her all the time.
To end our trip to West Edmonton Mall, Elysse asked for money to throw into the fountain. So I gave her a penny and reminded her to make a wish. She stood on the edge and said with such conviction, "I wish for a Sleeping Beauty stand," before hurling the penny as far as she could. She's been saving a long time for this thing, so I guess now she's resorted to wishing!
Yesterday while talking to my friend, Thania, from Greece, we were debating whether it would be a good idea or not to bring the girls when we go visit her (still in the wishful thinking phase of planning). She was worried about how we would entertain them, and told me that they do not have malls and things; they have beaches and good food. (A long time ago, Thania also called a shower a douche! I still laugh about that! She also speaks French, so it is an understandable substitution.)
While I would choose beaches and good food any day over a big mall, it did provide a really fun time on a rainy night.
Thanks for a great night, Karen!