Friday, October 16, 2015

IKEA and Parts South

     If Steve and I could have three days away with the only restriction being that it's within driving distance, where would we go? Why IKEA, of course. Not really, but it was the destination we chose. We were supposed to go three months ago to buy some Poang chairs for the office but Steve has been traveling so much and my mom needed a caregiver, so we kept putting it off. Finally, we took this opportunity during my sister's visit to go on our little road trip. We tied it in with a visit to Claire's family because we've missed going to visit them at their home. Claire and Audrey asked us to pick up some items from IKEA for them as well and I was armed with a list. It was ridiculous how excited I was about this road trip. Steve went along with my high spirits and probably enjoyed himself just as much. He even bought something for his contractor friend at work.

     IKEA is the kind of place where you should expect to spend hours, if not the entire day. They even have a cafeteria so you can stop to eat or snack and then continue to shop. We took a coffee and dessert break. The entire place is designed with simplicity and cleanliness in mind. It's super organized and just plain fun to browse.
Coffee and dessert cafeteria style

The cafeteria- Mary Poppins was playing on the screen near the children-sized tables and chairs.

The warehouse (or playground for Steve). 

Loaded up and ready to go.
  After browsing the showrooms and marketplace, customers use the warehouse in self-serve style to pick up what they've chosen to buy. There are employees everywhere to assist should you need it. In my opinion, IKEA has taken a mediocre product and marketed it very well. They have a great design team, evident in their room displays which are packed with great ideas. They've made shopping for the home fun. There's nothing high-end there, just good, simple, functional, affordable stuff for the home or apartment.
    After leaving IKEA in Charlotte, we drove to Raleigh, to Claire's house. It turned out that the NC State Fair was this very same weekend! The fairgrounds are within mere minutes from Claire's home. She and I took the children on our second day there and we had a great time. I enjoy fairs and this was my third trip to this one in particular. I like the agriculture displays, the animals, and the food! (Not in that order.) It was an overcast day which made it more comfortable to be strolling around outside. It was hard to choose which foods to eat because they all smelled so good. We ended up having the roasted corn: fresh corn, roasted in the husk, peeled open and dipped in melted butter, a corn dog, funnel cake, and cotton candy. Claire made excellent kettle corn at home, so we didn't buy any of that. The grandchildren were so easy to please and they went along with whatever Claire suggested. It was very crowded and we must have walked miles; it was great!

Look at the size of these melons! Notice all the potatoes behind the melons. This is a great fair.
It was worth the stickiness!
     It was time to drive home much too soon. We took our favorite back roads home to Roanoke and made our usual stops at a couple of antique shops along the way. It's time for my sister to return home and for our days to return to the routine.


  1. No need to tell us about the fun of shopping at Ikea, Lee. It's how we furnished several rooms in our VA home. And, even now, we always make a stop at an Ikea if we happen to be travelling someplace where we know one will be within easy routing. I agree with you that the stores are well organized and we have always enjoyed our excursions, even when we bought nothing, which was usually very rarely.

  2. My sister asked me to pick up an item for her at Ikea (near my office) and was able to tell me exactly where it is in the warehouse. They ARE super organized.

    What a nice time - I'm so glad you had that break. Sounds nice.