John & Anne Wiley

2011/02/28

WEM

We finally did it. After talking about it ourselves and with our hosts, several people asking if we’ve done it, and hearing from others that we Should do it, we finally did it. We all piled into the rental car and drove across town through a blizzard with snow blowing across the highway. Exiting to a semi-plowed surface street, at last it came into view through the car windows that even with heater full blast for the half hour drive still had ice on the inside.

1585 West Edmonton Mall

1585 West Edmonton Mall

West Edmonton Mall came into view, looking almost black and white in the light snow (even with the window down for this quick snap). Like we’re in Kansas on our way to Oz. Our main destination is the domed roof to the right in this pic (distant, above the black car). Just inside the door, everything was technicolor.

1595 Sub 'n Seal

1595 Sub 'n Seal

I went up on a bridge to show you both the sea lion show just visible through the fence at left, a submarine ride at right, the multi-level standard mall, and yes that’s snow collected at the base of the skylight being completely ignored by the throngs in shirtsleeves everywhere. This little world is a colorful combination of downsized Disneyland and Everything R Us all in a bubble with -25 degree windchill on the other side of that skylight. Could make a great disaster movie: to create an emergency, break glass. Quite a fascinating sociological phenomenon. Anne enjoyed the trekky starship hibernation pods (note the head and hands protruding on the left).

1598 Dry Water Treatment

1598 Dry Water Treatment

They are actually water massage beds. Think tanning bed, but you’re on your belly with water jets hitting a rubber film touching your back. They stay dry (most people had street clothes on), and it looked like you could dial up the jets much stronger than in a jacuzzi. We paid the reduced senior fare for the less expensive late afternoon entry to the water park part of the mall, suited up, and played grandparents so the real parents could have some fun together. Happiness all ’round. 🙂

1606 Happy Sitter

1606 Happy Sitter

Just left of my head in this snap is the climbing tower, and at the top is a bungee jump over the pool. If you can climb the tower fast enough, they give you a free jump. I’d just get a chiropractor, thanks. To the left of the waterfall is where the wild surf comes from. There’s a room-sized area where the waves are almost like a typical day at Santa Barbara’s East Beach. Except that area (just at the left edge of this pic) is a flotsam of screaming kids in special (expensive mall-approved) inner tubes. The lifeguards don’t let you swim under the waterfall, but everyone was still having a great time. My daughter thinks of it as a brief and relatively inexpensive Hawaii vacation. 🙂

1621 John's Joys

1621 John's Joys

Anne took a pic of me looking all melty-eyed and blissed out, so I snapped this to share what made me so deeply happy. Last is a fuzzy video capture of my beautiful daughter and her great hubby going to ride one of the water slides. It was such a delight to see them able to enjoy some time alone together while we so enjoyed making it possible.

1617 Quick Date

1617 Quick Date

What a fun and fascinating time we had! Shortly after this, we made the elaborate change back to Winter for the drive home. Anne made some great soup, and we watched the Oscars (hurrah for Colin!).

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