I stopped going to the mall in Iowa years ago. There just wasn’t anything there. Few shops appealed to me, and it seemed like others had also forsaken the mall in favor of strip malls or stand-alone shops. Here the mall, called the shops, are a major draw for people. Perhaps it’s because there are three grocery stores in the building and many coffee shops or perhaps it’s because there aren’t the strip malls or big stand-alone shops. I’m not entirely sure.
Today we took Dan’s parents to the shops to look for a swimsuit. Dan’s dad left his in the showers at Mooloolaba. Unfortunately, they aren’t in season right now – crazy when you figure that we live by the ocean. So we shopped for some other items, and then had lunch in the food court.
I can’t remember the last time I’ve eaten in a food court, but this rivals any food court I’ve ever eaten at, save the Mall of America. I had chicken tacos and a frozen margarita, Dan’s parents had Mongolian beef from a Chinese restaurant, and Dan had sushi. The food was excellent and reasonably priced. The entire place was packed.
As we ate, we chatted, and I said, “Never in the years we lived in Iowa and in all the times you visited would I have ever envisioned taking you guys to the food court for lunch.”
“I don’t think we would have let you,” said Dan’s mom, “It’s just better here.”
I’m not sure if it’s that much better, but it is different. And in this case, different is good.