21 June 2008
It was wonderful to realize this morning, when I awoke for the first time, that the time was 4:58 a.m.—the same time at which thousands of people had gathered in various places worldwide to celebrate the rising of the sun on the Summer Solstice. (Stonehenge reported over 30,000 revellers cheered as the sun rose, despite the chilly wetness the morning had to offer.) As I layed in bed with my husband, and the crazy cat, I was thankful for the new day and the wheel of the year, and as the sky brightened, I snuggled back under the sheet for a little more sleep.
When Kyle and I finally got up, it was mostly because we wanted some time to enjoy our coffee before we headed out to his follow-up visit with the optometrist. We stopped at the post office, and arrived right on time with Dr. Pham. Kyle’s eyes got a clean bill of health and when we left there, he was wearing new contact lenses! Next, came a banking errand, and then the big outing of the day . . . IKEA.
We’d been planning this trip. It wasn’t even my idea. Kyle wanted to buy a “Dave.” That’s what IKEA calls this neat little computer desk/platform they sell. It’s a one-legged podium-style stand with a tri-pod foot and an adjustable table top. It’s made to slide right up to your chair or sofa (’cause the foot fits underneath)and allow you to use your laptop while you sit comfortably in your living room. And, that’s exactly what Kyle is doing right now. I think he needs the rest from the taxing day of retail adventuring.
Neither Kyle nor I had ever been to an IKEA store. We’ve known about them for years. We have friends who are devout followers. (Nicole used to drive fairly regularly from Arlington to Houston to shop at IKEA before we had a store in North Texas—we used to call it her pilgrimage.) But we’d never really embraced it, ourselves. Oh, we’ve seen the Book (catalogue), and we’ve pondered over it a few times . . . but that was it. I think on some level, I was afraid.
I’d heard stories. I knew it was a multi-faceted place—an idea place—not just a store. I knew they had playgrounds and restaurants. I knew they were fairly “green” in their methods. I knew they had furniture and stuff for pretty much every room in the house. And I knew I’d love it.
It’s not really my style . . . really. I love antiques and golden oak and soft upholstery. I love warm colours and rich fabrics and chotskies. IKEA is Swedish in origin. It’s all about clean lines and minimalism. Why then, was I so intrigued?
When Kyle first told me he’d like to make the trip to the two-year-old Frisco location, I was excited, and we made plans to arrange our day around it. The drive took us almost exactly an hour, and as we pulled into the carpark, right around 1 p.m., I reminded Kyle not to think about this huge place as a store, but more like a retail experience. I likened it to a theme park, and I took his photo as we approached the giant mega-store. The hundreds (probably thousands) of cars and people, coming and going, told me I wasn’t far off in my analogy.
Since most of our readers have probably been there, I will try not to get bogged down in descriptions. But, the place is remarkable. No one seemed much in a hurry. We saw all ages, and all cultures and all types of folks. It was like they were all on vacation. Or on a pilgrimage. We had lunch in their cafe (Swedish meatballs for Kyle and a delightful open face shrimp and egg sandwich for me), and then began our adventure. We somehow managed to start where it seems most people end their tour of the upstairs showroom, so we spent the day “swimming upstream,” literally going against the flow of traffic (and the little blue arrows on the floor that we eventually noticed, but pretended not to!). We dreamed a lot, and had a really good time. We fell in love with a bed, decided what the next remodel of our living room will look like, and found the “Dave.” We also found a number of other things we didn’t know we needed! When all was said and done, we’d spent some money (although not too much—we did very well!), made some plans for the future, and we were four hours older! In retrospect, the place really is part theme park, part museum, part cathedral! And I’m sure this won’t be our last visit.
After all that, we stopped at Grapevine Mills for a quick product return, and a nearly perfect meal at another favourite eating spot—Cozymel’s. Mmmm . . . tableside guacamole!
We came home, tired (who knows how many miles we walked?!) but happy. Another wonderful day together. We’ve packed a lot of fun into these last couple of weekends. But, that’s good, ’cause they have to provide me with the memories of contentment I’ll need to get through the summer.
Tags: Daily, Frisco, huge, IKEA, Photoblog, pilgrimage, retail, shopping, Texas, TX