We have been wanting to go to Ikea for a while now, but wanted to wait until it had been open a while first. However, we ended up being impatient as always and tentatively planned to go Saturday. We found ourselves wide awake pretty early in the morning so we decided we might as well go.
The plan was to buy a couple desks and a few other furniture items, so we decided to rent a van to get it all back. Unfortunately we soon found that car rental places didn’t open until 9, and then we ended up having to do a few things… so we still didn’t get on the road until around 11:00. That was the start of a long long day.
Aside from seeing a dog on the back of a motorcycle (with a helmet even!) it was a pretty uneventful trip down. I think the drive to Charlotte is one of the most boring ones you can take actually, unless you plan on shopping along the way… which I never do. I always end up feeling like it takes much longer than it really does for some reason… but we eventually found ourselves at the Ikea exit.
On the main road they have cops standing by to direct traffic, but luckily the traffic wasn’t that bad while we were there. As you pull into the parking lot there are attendants that direct you along and help you find a parking spot. It was very orderly and we got a spot very close to the door despite a huge parking lot that was packed as far as you could see… made me wish every parking lot had people to direct us to a spot!
That was where the easy and smooth ended though. Ikea is two floors, and has set up a route through all the sections to keep you from getting lost and keep the traffic flowing in one direction. The top floor is a showroom of the furniture, with only a few places to pick up items for purchase. The top floor has little example rooms set up all along the path, some of them a little hidden as you have to walk through others to find them. The other areas are filled with all the different options for individual items. The bottom floor has no show rooms, just tons of things to buy. The warehouse for large items was also located on the first floor… self serve so you have to be prepared for some heavy lifting.
Normally that set up would have flowed nicely and been pretty easy, but the place was PACKED with people. If they were not all moving in the same general direction it would have been chaos. Trying to look around some of the more closed off example rooms was a pain, having to maneuver around people, and sometimes having to wait to squeeze into a tight area to check a tag for information. And with the mass of people around we had to stick together so we weren’t separated.
While I loved Ikea, the experience was very tiring. Not only did it take hours to just get through the place, but we felt rushed the whole time because we were trying not to get trampled and we needed to get back home to the dogs before too late. The swarm of people was another added stress, that just made the whole experience much more tiring than it should have been. I really hope it calms down after they have been open a while. Maybe our next trip will have to be on a weekday, and not for another few months.
Because of the people it was nearly impossible to backtrack. There were a few things we saw as we walked through, but didn’t decide to buy until later on. For instance, when we bought something farther down the line that something we saw an hour ago would have been perfect with…. or things that we were iffy about in the 30 seconds we were looking at it but decided we liked it later after having time to think about it. We decided that it wasn’t worth it and if we still want it later we can always go back.
By the time we made it to the checkout going back for any reason was just unthinkable. It felt like climbing a mountain and making it back, just to realize you left something on the top. There was no way we were going back!
We ended up with a ton of stuff…. two desks, file cabinet, comforters, duvets, a chair, desk lamps, wall shelves, and various odds and ends. Check it out!
It was a long long day, we finally got home shortly before 8pm. The day was not over yet though! We still had to put together our new bed (from Overstock) and put our new comforters in the duvets. We also had to find dinner and return the van.
It was a long, but rewarding day. The best part for me was getting to go to sleep at the end of it I think… in a new bed with new comfy sheets and the most comfortable alternative down comforter I have ever had. The best part for Sean was getting to rent the van. He fell in love with the fold-flat seats. I have been teasing him about how much he liked the van. He is such an old man!
It was quite late when we finally got to sleep, so we slept in this morning and are still being lazy around the house. I am hanging out in the new bed with the laptop, Eddie, and kitty. The plan was to not let the dogs on the bed anymore, but I just didn’t have the heart make Eddie get down… it only took the poor dog about fifty tries to finally make it up here with the added height.
Well, it is past time to start our day… there are so many things to be done. We have to bathe the dogs, pick out a new paint color for the computer room, clean house before mom gets here this evening, do laundry, and hopefully squeeze in some yard work.