Anyway, I can safely say Brad and I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we set out for the Ikea in Robinson, which is about 15 minutes west of the city and a 50-minute drive from our house; we had no idea what we were doing while we were wandering, lost-feeling but nonetheless pleased, around the store; and we still had pretty much no idea what had happened after we got to the car with our un-bagged purchases. (They don't give you bags - ?!)
But, it was still a great success, as we managed to buy what we set out to buy (and quite a few other goodies to boot, without totally breaking the bank) and you better believe we will be returning.
The inspiration for this shopping trip was the Ikea Erslev rug, a white, almost 5x7, steal of a rug at $39.99. You simply can't beat that price, especially if you're looking for a rug to paint. Yes, I said paint.
|It's simple with a soft texture and only $40 - excellent!|
When I checked the Ikea website a few weeks ago, I found either that rug or something comparable (I can't remember now), but when I looked on Friday, it was gone. Nowhere to be found. Nada. Dis-a-ppeared. The best I could get from the Ikea site was an error message. I was not pleased, to say the (very) least.
A call to Ikea, however, revealed that the rug was still available in the Pittsburgh store (but for how long?!), and so Brad and I planned a Sunday trip to snag it. Actually to snag two (b/c you never know where/when you might need a nice, cheap, versatile rug!).
Anyway, I guess I expected Ikea to be like a normal store where you walk in, see the labeled areas of the store, go to the area you're interested in, and browse products lined up on shelves or hanging on racks. Maybe this was a dumb expectation? Regardless, it was not the case.
Instead, Brad and I found ourselves in a maze of rooms, wondering if we had gotten lost in the course of our wandering, writing down product names and locations (e.g., Rugs and Textiles) with a little mini golf pencil provided near the entrance, snapping smartphone pictures of things we liked but that I felt I could do a better (read: cheaper) job making.
Then we took some stairs (I think) down to what (I think) was called the "Market." Here we traded in our (empty) over-sized, yellow shopping bag for a much more practical shopping cart. And then the real shopping began. We got some apple-scented candles. We picked up a few BPA-free plastic 365+ food storage containers to aid in our kitchen cabinet organization project (which has been going for, er, um, oh, like 6 months now). We got some $.59 drinking glasses and a beer mug.
And of course, we gleefully grabbed our rugs. I also wanted a handful of Ribba frames for the little guy's room and into the cart went those as well.
And so with 19 items we (illegally) went through the self-checkout (limit: 15 items) to avoid the heinous lines (this place was packed), then loaded our goods straight from our cart - remember, no bags - into the Honda. It was a whirlwind experience, with people everywhere, and several moments where I was sure we were never getting out of that store. I'm sure I missed like 15 cool things; I definitely wrote down the names of some items that mean basically nothing to me at this point.
I'd give the Ikea experience a 4.5 out of 5 stars. Less than perfect b/c you (seriously) had to read directions (and pay attention to them, which I didn't do) to figure out how to properly shop there - but a pretty darn good score regardless.