Tuesday, July 14, 2009

An Ikea Adventure

IKEA!!Dan needed a desk for his office. And sadly, despite the fact that the Ikea Adventure has already occurred, Dan still needs a desk. They were out of stock on that one key part. I seem to recall a similar situation in Orlando. I should have called. They won't actually hold stuff for you, but it never hurts to ask.

Ikea mapWe left Raleigh after lunch. No need to pull out too early as we were meeting some friends of mine in Charlotte after the shopping trip was completed. I mean, how long can one really spend at Ikea?

As I grew up in Orlando, it's hard for me to look at Ikea and not think 'theme park for furniture'. There's a huge parking lot where they often direct traffic, they pass out maps at the door, and half way through they have a restaurant. The parallels seem so obvious. On the back of map there is a place where you can write down the aisle and bin number for the furniture you wish to puchase in the self serve area. Overall, I would say the whole process is daunting. Dan and I had a wish list from my sister - and even with names and prices a lot of things were hard to find. Turns out a few of them were out of stock, but some were just hidden away in the bowels of Ikea. And we found a few things we needed that we didn't know Ikea even had - poster frames and a few stuffed mice.
Ikea exit sign
In Charlotte it seems that Ikea has it's own exit off I-85. This might be a step up from Orlando where some genius put the Ikea off of International Drive basically. For those who haven't been there, International Drive is somewhat like a strip - and at 3am the traffic is still gridlocked.

When you get off the highway and pull in to the ginormous parking lot it's hard to miss the immense blue and yellow building stretching across the horizon. (see picture above)

The plan was simple, drive to Ikea, look around, pick things out, pay for things, leave. For the most part that happened. We will need to go back in a few weeks when the desks are in stock again - but for now, we've survived. Cart full of Ikea loot

Dan took a picture of our cart as he waited for me to back up the car for loading. Frames, magazine files, furniture..the works. We were hot, dirty, sweaty and in need of beer at the end of our adventure. Next time we will be better prepared as we have 'tried out' a few things that we know we want more of - picture frames for one. And we know we need the desk - so we can go retreive that first.

We went to spend some time with friends - (Claire, Jim, Tony and offspring) and ended up leaving for Raleigh sometime after 10pm. Again, we will plan better next time so we can spend more time with them. Anyway, we left Jim and Claire's house and headed for the highway. black cats in boxes

Then we got on I-85 N and parked for an hour and a half as crews cleaned up what appeared to be some sort of spill but I can't find the details online. Dan was nice enough to drive us the rest of the way home as my headache was becoming unbearable. It lingered through Sunday.

Saturday night / ultra early Sunday we got home and unloaded nothing except a few poster / picture frames. But Sunday we got up and unloaded the car and began assembly. Squiggy, Lli and Tucker all tried to help. They were shooed away. You can see Squiggy investigating the packages. Squiggy is a big fan of paper and all the furniture was wrapped in paper. Look also for Lli's small black head popping out of one of the CD/DVD stand boxes. They were long and thin and shaped just right for a tailess black kitty.

assembly with SquiggyWithin a few hours we had most everything assembled and carried upstairs. Dan also got two CD/DVD towers that matched and filled in the leftover space in the slot between the two windows. Dan hauled all the trash out and cleaned up the living room.

Dan's OfficeDan has been working hard setting up his office. Pictures have been hung, CD's and books indexed and alphabetized, cables tied and lighting addressed. The card table in the picture is in the approximate location that Dan's table will attach once it's back in stock. It will be a little wider (which is good I think as he could use some extra space). Squiggy and the other cats like the office very much and don't recognize it much from its days as my sister's bedroom.

So it seems we are cleaned up and assembled, just waiting for the next trip to Ikea. !