I *LOVE* IKEA! There is no other way to say it. Of all the stores I’ve ever been in, it is by far my favorite! I’ve heard others rave about the store but couldn’t think of anything more than overpriced Swedish furniture – because at one time that’s all Ikea was. But like other stores who have had to lower prices to stay competitive, Ikea is finding it’s niche in America.
First, Ikea is very noticeable from the road. You simply can’t miss the bright blue building with huge yellow letters! You pull in and park and walk into the store. We were concerned at first about how we would find Kathy, Rick & Granny but were assured that it would be easy since everyone starts in the store at the same place. They were right – we easily found them as soon as we walked into the store.
We rode the elevator up to the top and stepped out into what I like to describe as a toy/candy store for grownups! Ikea still has the pricy Swedish furniture, but they also have TONS of other stuff for so cheap you can’t believe the prices! The upstairs is a sort of show room – it’s broken into different little apartments, all of which are decorated and set up completely with Ikea products – bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, dining rooms. You pick up a sheet when you first walk in to write down what you want. When you see something you want, you write down the aisle & shelf number on your sheet so you can find it when you get to the end of the store. It really sounds a lot more confusing than it is. There are also bins and shelves along the way to pick up some of the littler items like candles, baskets, bins, flowers, utensils, etc…
You work your way through the store. Kurt told us to make sure we stayed on the path or we might not find our way out of the store. While I’m not entirely sure that’s true, I could easily see what he meant. The kids really got into the spirit of things and were soon walking around with Chip and I and “placing” certain things in our home with our imaginations. And once we got the kids section – watch out! There was no stopping them! I’m not sure who had more fun, Chip or the kids! Although I’m sure out of all of us, I had more fun than anyone. Except maybe Granny! She may have liked that store as much as I did!
Unfortunately, but the time we were about 2/3 of the way through, we had to hurry on our way. Kurt, Kari & the girls were coming up to the hotel to swim and I *still* didn’t have a swimsuit. So, we rushed through the downstairs (kitchen stuff – I could have cried I didn’t get to look more thoroughly) and I’ve already told Chip that we WILL be taking a day to go down to the Ikea in Chicago while we are in Kenosha in October.
After we left Ikea, we ran to Target to pick up a couple things we needed (actually I ran in and left Chip and the kids in the van) and then we ran to Kohls and I bought the $40 Nike swimsuit that I loved but thought cost too much. I really do like it a lot and it was money well spent. We ran over and got the kids McDonalds and Taco Bell for us and headed to the hotel. We got back to the hotel and just as we were walking in the door, our friends pulled up. We went up to the room, got the kids in their swimsuits while we ate and then went down to swim for a while. Kait is a big chicken, but did venture farther than I though she would with her water wings on. Elijah did ok when he borrowed Noah’s water wings. And Noah – oh my! What a fish! He has one of those floaty suits and with those and his waterwings he was swimming all over the pool! At one point we were so busy yelling at the other two to get out of trouble that we forgot about Noah for a moment and turned to find he’d swum all the way to the deep end of the pool! YIKES! I told Chip that we’d better get one of those child harnesses to put on him when we got to Jerry’s pool this summer. The hotel pool was only 5.5 feet so it was ok. But neither Chip nor I are great swimmers and Jerry & Sally’s pool goes WAY over our heads. I’ve got some pictures of him swimming, but you’ll have to wait until I get them uploaded on the computer.
About 9:30, our friends left. Unfortunately we didn’t get to talk much because we were all busy watching the kids and making sure none of them drowned. I told Chip next time we’d get a hotel with a kiddy water park where they could play without us worrying so much. We were going to go back down to the pool, but by the time we got down there it had been overrun by about 20 thirteen and forteen year olds so we went back to our room to get ready for bed.
It was before 11pm when we turned off the lights and were all asleep. We were all tuckered out from a long and exciting day! I closed my eyes and drifted off to dream of Ikea.