Thursday, January 8, 2015
In which we all go to IKEA
And lo, the mothership called me home again.
We spent part of a day in Phoenix visiting the local IKEA store, which is actually located in Tempe, a suburb of Phoenix. It was about 45 minutes from where we were staying in Glendale, which isn't so bad when you consider that there isn't an IKEA store in the entire state we live in. This time, all four of us went, and we made a whole outing of it. Lunch and everything! We had a good time. Let's be honest, this was really for me, but I think they liked it too.
(Gratuitous palm-trees shot!)
We opted to eat lunch first, thinking that the small Bears would be more patient if their bellies were full. We joined the IKEA Family program to get discounts even though we can't shop there often. The week we went, all kids' meals were free for members. I was hoping they'd choose something exotic to eat, but they wanted chicken fingers and fries. Fine with me, really, it was a free lunch. The Bear and I were more daring: he had Swedish meatballs and I had salmon with veggie cakes. We liked using the little tray cart, it made things so much easier as we moved through the lines and the crowded dining area.
The food was delicious, I have to say. I didn't expect it to be as good as it was. But then my department-store dining experiences mostly revolve around the cafeterias they used to have in Kmart stores when I was a kid. Do you remember those? I recall eating tuna fish so dry it made me cough. IKEA's dining choices are a vast improvement.
We finished eating and entered the showroom. Thus ensued much lying and sitting. Every couch, chair and bed had to be tested. These two cracked me up. It wasn't all Goldilocks stuff, though; the Bear and I actually had a few items in mind this time, having visited another IKEA store last summer, in California. We wanted to look at desks and kitchen table/chair sets. We had the space to bring home flat packs if we found the right items, and we felt pretty dedicated to this task. Unfortunately, the store was undergoing a major overhaul and their furniture departments were not well-stocked. I understand why but it was disappointing. I was really hoping for a kitchen table set, especially. I guess we'll just have to visit another IKEA store! I hear Denver's is nice...
They also tested drawers, cabinets and toys. I warned them to be careful and not to get in other customers' way, but I left them alone otherwise. They enjoyed the showroom so much. I only wish I had the space for a play kitchen like this in our house. The GB would adore it. They both would, actually. The LB was fascinated by the light-up burners on the play stove top. They both loved the kids' arts and crafts supplies; those I have plenty of room for.
Funny, so is ours!
We had a much-needed potty break at the end of the showroom tour.
By the time we got down to the marketplace level, they were starting to flag. So we put them in a cart and kept going. Forced shopping march!
"You already have two pairs of tongs, Mommy!"
We had a feeling the LB would love the lighting department and boy, were we right! This guy has always been fascinated by lights, since he was a little baby. It's just something he really loves and he knows virtually everything about how lighting works. I think he tried every light they had on display. We let him pick out a set of string lights for his bedroom and he chose a really cool set with tiny white LED lights, which now resides on the wall above his bed.
Soon it was time to pay for our things. I would have stayed longer but they'd clearly had enough. (I did buy those tongs. They're fantastic and I don't care what anyone thinks).
We bought some groceries on the way out too. Just a few things - cookies, soda and both types of drink concentrate, lingonberry and elderflower. If I hadn't already bought food to cook for dinner that evening, I would have brought back some frozen Swedish meatballs. They were really delicious. Anyone have a good recipe?
We had frozen yogurt, of course. It's such great frozen yogurt! Someday I want to try the snack-bar pizza too.
Bye-bye, you vast and delightful warehouse of cool things. I hope we meet again someday.