Saturday, August 8, 2009

Minnesooo tah!

So I just spent 4 days in Minnesota. Flew out Tuesday from Sacramento. I drove from Redding to Sac with my sis and boss. He was glad to be the one not driving for once and he actually got to return some emails. We boarded our plane and then sat there, half hour passes, an hour passes, two hours pass...then they get the okay to take off...ugh! By now, I'm hungry..cause it's way past lunch. 3 hours later we arrive in Minneapolis. Check in at the Double Tree and gladly accept our warm chocolate chip cookies. We meet 3 of our Illinois co-workers and head out to dinner. I was starving now...It was 8 o'clock their time. We walked 2 or 3 blocks to an Italian restaurant. It was so yummy. We talked forever...I seriously thought I was going to fall asleep. At one point my Il. boss asked if we had any questions... I said, "can we got to bed now?" My sarcasm did not produce the response i was hoping for as our conversation lasted another eon. We got back to the hotel and it is now like 11pm. I fight to get my computer online...I've really got to get the wireless on my laptop fixed...what a big pain in the butt to not have that. Then I crashed in bed for the night...I love the Double Tree and there 5 pillows and down comforters. The weather there was perfect! Had to meet the team at 7am for a quick breakfast and then on to Target headquarters at 7:30am. Thank goodness their office was right across the street. About an hour into the meeting I seriously thought I was going to fall asleep. I didn't get enough sleep and I was all messed up with the two hour loss. But I made it til lunch. Lunch was a boxed lunch...but our Ill. boss suggested we try out the employee cafeteria. Holy Cow! It was HUGE and looked like a mall food court. You could seriously get any kind of food there (pizza, hamburgers, sandwiches, salad,and on and on). It was really good! The rest of the day was filled with 40 minute meetings with Target and just our company. Apparently they Love us! They think we do a wonderful job...this makes me feel very proud since I actually had a part in that. It's funny that 2nd largest retailer of that type loved us that much...that they even knew who this little company I work for is. I left with tons of knowledge and finding that I will most likely be making two more business trips soon somewhere in the US. I need to become FDA Label certified and GFSI Practitioner certified (doesn't that sound muy exciting?!)...but will make for a nice change from everyday life. Right after the meeting my boss had to jet to the airport to catch a flight back to Sac, where his wife picked him up and then they flew to! The rest of our crew met with our broker for dinner. I had one martini...I swear it was just pure! We got back to the hotel and I was conked out by 8:30. Another early morning, getting ready to meet Amy (one of our Illinois co-workers) for breakfast and then taxi ride to the MALL OF AMERICA (insert the sound of singing angels here). BTW, a 20 minute cab right is $40...thankfully my job paid for it. We arrived at the mall with a few minute of wait time before it opened. We had to hit Archiver's first (that is a huge scrapbook store in case you didn't know). We wanted to see how much we would spend there first so we would know how much to budget for the rest of the mall (wouldn't be so nice to not have to shop on a budget?). My sis tells Amy we will be about a half an hour if she wants to shop somewhere else...poor Amy...we were in there for 2 hours....and I thought I was going through there fast. I spent about twice as much as I wanted to...oh was vacation at this point and you know that calories and spending don't count when you are on vacation. Luckily I really didn't buy much the rest of the time...although we saw lots of neat things...I kept thinking..."do i really need that?" and the answer was no the majority of the time. I had fun buying stuff for Kendall's birthday at the Disney her the cutest Hannah Montana costume for more than 50% off. I could have dropped serious money in that store for her...but I was good. We had to say goodbye to Amy around 2pm as she had to drive back to Chicago with the rest of the Ill. crew. I loved hanging out with's funny how you talk on the phone with someone all the time and you've never met's nice to have faces with names and voices now. Vicki and I then went and checked out Nickelodeon Universe (the theme park in the middle of the mall). It was impressive! A lot of the rides were insane though...they looked scarier then most of the rides I have seen. You'd think a Nickelodeon amusement park would be more low key than that. We met Dora and Sponge Bob & bummed I didn'thave my kids with me. We went to an all Sponge Bob store...I wanted to buy my kids everything! But I settled for some neat cups and personalized spongebob dog tag necklaces. I was excited to find one that said "joey"...they usually say Joe or Joseph. Of course they didn't have Kendall...but they had that worked...they loved them and are still wearing them and drinking from the cups. I also could have spent a fortune on Kendall in the Hello Kitty store and a fortune on Joey in the Lego store. The Lego store was incredible...cause it wasn't inside a normal store. It was out in the open and it was inside of a Lego structure, with Dinosaurs made out of Legos along one side. I wish Joey could have seen it...I took lots of pictures for him and when he saw them he pretended to faint. The mall is 4 stories tall and is like a mile long. ...and yes we trekked the majority of the first 3 floors (the 4th floor is the sit down restaurants I guess). There was all sorts of speciality stores in there: Tap out (UFC), all socks, all swimsuits, all magnets, all flipflops, QVC, all personalized....lots of fun stuff. By about 4/5 o'clock my feet hurt soooo bad. We found the sketchers store and I bought a pair of squishy flip flops...that did help...however, my feet have never hurt sooo bad before by the end of the night. We saw the NASCAR simulator place and I thought...hmmm, Vicki needs to do this..aka...I can sit and let my feet rest. Here's a big surprise...she drove car 24! We literally shopped until we dropped! The stores close around 9 and the last shuttle to our hotel was leaving at 9:50. So close to 9 Vicki finally let me eat and at a sit down restaurant. We had to chow down super fast as we were on the opposite side of the mall as we needed to be for the shuttle. Oh BTW, when Amy left we walked her out and found lockers...we so needed them as our scrapbook stuff had to weigh like 20lbs. Thank GOD for those lockers. We got to our shuttle with time to spare. We trekked the LOOONG route to our hotel room (they put us on the opposite side from the front of the hotel). With the weight of our bags, the pain in my feet and legs, and the fatigue from the day; i thought I'd never make it to the room...then we were like..."which room are we in again?" I guessed right. We were right about the inground pool, so we decided to hit the hot tub to relax our sore bodies. We planted our feet next to the jets and tried to relax. It was after midnight by the time I got to bed. We had to be in the hotel lobby at 7:30 the next morning to catch our shuttle to the airport....TOO body (especially my feet and legs) hurt so bad and our bags were double heavy now too. Walking through the airport was torture! At least this time our flight left after we bored. I was too excited to drive 2+ hours back home once we landed in Sac. Well just writing about this trip has exhausted me. I'm looking forward to relaxing the rest of tonight and tomorrow before I go back to the chaos of work Monday morning...a week gone will equal LOTS of work to be done.