July 15, 2018

Smaaash at The Mall of America


Smaaash at The Mall of America
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for July 15, 2018


It was Luke and Avery's 19th birthday this week.  We asked them what they wanted to do with the family to celebrate and they said let's go to SMAAASH.  It's a large virtual reality arcade in the Mall of America.  I said "Let's Do It!"


We are big fans of virtual reality.  We have an HTC Vive and quite honestly, the actual game-play experience was pretty much identical to what we can do at our house.  The difference is each simulation includes a ride element.  So your body is being moved in direct correlation to what your eyes are seeing on the screen.  It does add quite an amazing element to the experience.  During this one, we were riding through a haunted hospital and as you can see on our faces, it was pretty scary!


The cool thing about the roller coaster ride was the boys got to design the ride before we experienced it.  I didn't know you could ride a roller coaster with such sharp angles, but apparently you can when the laws of physics don't apply.  Your brain sure gets confused when it sees the curves coming and your body suddenly gets jerked in the opposite direction.  You know it's not possible, but it sure feels like somehow you just did it.


With the Extreme Drone Racing, we were each able to compete against one another on some speedy drones flying around a virtual racetrack.  We are still debating who won the race since we all claim the game crowned us the winner at the end.  I think the boys are fibbing to me that it said they won also rather than just honor my greatness.


SMAAASH was a fun way to spend a Saturday morning!


After the arcade, we hooked up with Grandma Linda and went to Wahlburgers for lunch.  I've always wanted to eat something from Mark & Donnie Wahlberg!


Luke dreams of owning a Tesla someday.  We thought it would be fun to take him to test drive one for his birthday!  So we went to the Tesla Dealership nearby to make that happen.


Unfortunately, we couldn't make the test drive happen.  First, the boys need to be 25 to test drive one.  Second, there's a waiting list which we still need to sign up for...  So they gotta wait about 6 years before they can test drive one, but we will make arrangements so I can test drive one and they can test ride it!