I don't know how many of you have ever been to an Ikea store, but if you haven't you should definitely try to go there at least once. It is what I call a "shopping experience".
Every year my Sister and I try to get there at least one time. The nearest store to us is about a 3 hour drive, so you don't just hop in the car some afternoon and head there. It is sort of an event, when we go. So, we planned the trip for Saturday, the coldest day of the year so far. There was no snow in the forecast, so we decided to brave the cold, and go ahead with our plans.
Usually, we search through the catalog before we go, to get an idea of what we might want to buy. This year, I decided that I didn't "need" anything, so I was just going along for the ride.
Never make that mistake when going to Ikea. I came home with two bags full, even though I didn't "need" a thing.
There are several things about this store that make it unique. The products that they carry are very well made, but very reasonably priced. The store's usually have 3 levels, with escalator's to each level, with a special cart escalator to take your cart with you as you go from floor to floor.
When we arrived, the first thing we did was to have a snack to tide us over while we shopped. A 50 cent hot dog, $1.00 cinnamon roll, and a $1.00 drink would be enough to keep us going for awhile.
When we go there it is an unwritten rule that everyone is on his own. We don't try to stick together, because each person has there own interests, so we agree to meet at a certain spot latter in the day.
The first thing that I found that I couldn't do without, were these tin boxes. I thought that they would be perfect for my seeds. They come in packages of two, a large one and a small one. The package of two sells for $6.98. If I had found these in a garden catalog, they would probably run around $20.00 each. There is a slot on the front of the boxes for a tag with the contents of the box on it.
The kitchen area is also a difficult area for me. I am a gadget collector, and they have plenty of them there. They also have a garden area, selling flower pots, and even plants. I did have a problem while in line watching people take these plants to their cars, with nothing over them. It was 0 degrees outside, and they were taking these plants to their cars, and letting them set in the cart while they made room for them. I can't imagine how long a plant could last in those conditions. I bit my tongue, because there were so many people buying plants, and I didn't want to get thrown out of the store for bothering the customers.
After we spend a few hours shopping, it is time for dinner. Right next to the Ikea at the Schaumburg, IL store that we go to, is a restaurant called "Sweet Tomato's". It is a tradition that we eat there. It is an "all you can eat" restaurant, but different than most. The food on the buffet are salads, soups, and pasta. It is a very easy restaurant to "eat healthy".
By the time we are done with dinner, we can usually hit a few more stores in the area, before heading home.
The only problem is, when you get home you start thinking, "darn, I wish I would have gotten a few more of this item". When I pulled the tin boxes out of my bag, my Son thought he had a few great uses for them. As you can see from the picture, my seeds won out. He can make his own trip to Ikea. I already have a list of items that he can pick up for me.