Last week, Sonja and I visited her family in Minnesota. Although quality family time in and of itself can justify a 10 hour car trip, I was particularly motivated by the perk of my first trip to IKEA. Indianapolis is sadly void of any massively sized, affordable, ultra modern superstores, so I was beside myself in anticipation. Side note - the three things I have learned in buying a home are: a) grass just keeps growing back, like every week b) paint colors are never final and c) rooms must be constantly filled and rearranged with new furniture and decor.

Anyway, our friend Kelly was kind enough to venture into this Swedish wunderland with us on a, not so busy, Wednesday afternoon. Let me just say that nothing can compare to your first IKEA experience. I was both delighted and bewildered by this store. We immediately entered the living room mock-ups, and I ran from one faux room to another, soaking up the merchandise and the views. This went on for hours, as we covered the two floors which contained every item one would ever need for their home. Hungry and overstimulated, we made a break for the cafeteria. Over a lunch of salmon pilaf and salads, we discussed all that we had seen. A game plan was drawn up to leave the cafeteria and check out, retrieving all desired items along the way (after all, the Mall of America was only several yards away and mysteriously beckoning me by name).
I can't quite remember what happened after this point. All I know is that for several more hours I wandered throughout the showrooms, the gigantic warehouse, and in and out of consciousness. I was separated from Kelly and Sonja multiple times, as one of us would get caught up staring at a magnificently designed lamp, while another searched every room for a discontinued set of sheets (I must have them!).
In the end, we did make it out alive. We also made it out with a car full of items: a rug, a lamp, a small chandelier, a coffee table, and a net of outdoor lights. I experienced a whole host of emotions while inside the great blue and yellow fortress: amazement, delight, anger, love, hunger, confusion, fear, fascination, and exhaustion. Yet, I somehow entered our car feeling refreshed.

It has only been a week since we left IKEA, but I am already plotting my next (quick) stop for the next time we are in Minnesota. A mod red armchair needs me. And I need you, Skruvsta.
Mamma Mia!


Kelly (the "friend" in the story) said... @ July 12, 2008 at 1:36 PM

ha, i love this!! Such an accurate description of all that occurred. You forgot to mention I bought a matching chandelier too so that we continue to be connected through IKEA despite the distance!

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