>Courtney Visits IKEA or "Oh! I LOVE THAT!"
>Last Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny and with a glimmer of glee. It would be my first trip to IKEA. I don’t really know if it should be typed Ikea or IKEA, but after my visit IKEA seems to be correct.
We started out with a visit to Starbucks on Gulf to Bay, in Clearwater. My friend was trying to decide if he should join Sam’s Club or Costco, so we sat having Mocha Frappythings and trying to determine which club carried the Holy Grail. Uh, Pardon me. I meant we had to figure out which store carried Nestle Quick since that’s all he cared about. Costco won the war. We were there. He joined and got his Nestle Quick. We then went on the Costco sample tour which included two B-12 Supplements (1 sublingual tablet and one liquid fizzy drink,) three Acai drinks, several food items, and the worst thing I have EVER tasted, Salad in a cup. (Salad in a cup is actually juiced lettuce.) I was pretty hyped at this point, thanks to over indulging in B-12 and Acai, and suddenly I was in love with EVERYTHING. My poor friend was laughing himself silly. He couldn’t take it anymore when I fell for the backyard bridge and was envisioning myself in a backyard production of Romeo and Juliet, so we ventured on.
IKEA is located in Tampa. On the drive over I pondered what it would be like. The general response from people “IKEA… SQUEEEE! YOU WILL LOVE IT!” My friend and I discussed it before we arrived, but he basically said that it was big and that I’d see it when we got there. We pulled into the parking lot. It is so huge that they have parking people to direct you to emptpy spots. We parked near the back, but that’s the best place to get the full view. Holy SNAP! This place is BIG.
We walked in. You are asked to not take a cart because you will wander through the showroom first. ALWAYS, follow the arrows. This keeps you safe and not lost. We headed up the escalator and it began. “OH! I LOVE IT!” I said it so much that by the time we left my throat was raw. They have furniture, utensils, storage solutions, dishes, plants, pots, and pretty much every other thing that your little heart could want for your home.
They have bookshelves filled with books. The books are all in a language that I am going to assume is Swedish. I thought they would be fake books, but upon picking one up, I found them to be real (and very funny.)
All of the items have funny names that often have to do with their function or the room they are meant to be in. This one was for a light that went in the bathroom. Way to keep it classy, IKEA. (My kids are gonna love this.)
After you think you just might die from looking at more home items than you ever wanted to look at in your natural life, you stumble into my favorite section of the store. The cafeteria. Yum! I ordered the Swedish Meatballs with mashed potatos and Lingonberries. I drank Lingonberry juice. It was so good. The Lingonberry is everything the cranberry wishes it was. Also, I call it the Klingonberry, because it makes me laugh. The food tasted good, but it was not hot enough. It was barely lukewarm.
Bob had the Lox plate. It looked and tasted wonderful. He’s a good guy, he let me taste his food. I would have gotten the lox, but I was starved and it didn’t look filling. Paired with the soup and Garlic bread they offer, I bet it would have been just right.
To end our meal we had their chocolate cake. It was highly reccommended by another shopper. We liked it. It was more mocha than sweet chocolate, but it was a good end to a meal. I would have taken a photo of it, but we kind of scarfed it before I had a chance.
After our lunch we went back down the escalator to the self serve portion of the store. At this point it is acceptable to grab a cart and fill it up. I ended up buying a set of little cups, a doormat, a pot for my fully recovered mother’s day plant, and an ice cube tray for heart shaped ice (for the kids, I swear!)
I did love it, but IKEA is not a place where you can pop in and out. IKEA is an adventure. You really need to devote several hours to pawing around and figuring out what you want and how things work.