Ikea Pilgrimage

Ever since the dust settled on our move, Dede & I have been wanting a few pieces of furniture to round out our home office and replace some old mismatched stuff from our old house. So, we embarked on what’s quickly becoming one of our favorite road trips (from Odessa to Austin, via Brady) on Easter weekend to do some shopping at our favorite store—Ikea:

Round Rock, Texas Ikea store

We shopped, quite literally, until some of us dropped:

Shopping begins at the Round Rock, Texas Ikea store     Done shopping at the Round Rock, Texas Ikea store

We arrived at Ikea Round Rock near Austin with detailed shopping list in hand, having measured very carefully to ensure that everything we wanted would fit into the always deceptively-cavernous Element. As was the case with our Ikea Frisco trip nearly 5 years ago, we had the car loaded to the gills! (I even removed one of the back seats entirely to free up some extra cargo space!)

Loaded car at the Round Rock, Texas Ikea store

Of course, since nearly everything at Ikea is flat-packed, the adventure has only just begun once you get your haul home! With cordless drill, mallet, glue, and a deep breath, I started assembling stuff…

Here’s a glimpse of the first pieces put into service—our new Malm nightstands, which are hung on the wall with a pair of 18″ Hangman Picture Hanging System brackets, a.k.a. French Cleats (Thanks for that tip, Ryan!):

Ikea Malm nightstands

Watch for more photos of the Ikea furnishings as they come together and are in place!

Labor Day Weekend 2010

If you’ve been following our blog, you know that the past few months have been kind of chaotic for us so even though we have a dozen ongoing projects at the house, last weekend we decided to take a much-needed break and get out of town for a couple of days.

So we headed to Round Rock, Texas (just north of Austin). Admittedly, we also hoped to do a little shopping, but we planned the trip around a train ride for Liam. Thanks to Thomas the Tank Engine & Chuggington, he’s really crazy about trains and has been asking about riding one for quite some time now.

I found a vintage train that goes from Cedar Park suburb to the Oatmeal Festival in Bertram that was about an hour ride each way. The train was scheduled to be pulled by a restored steam engine but it was out for repairs so we had to settle for an old diesel engine. The train was named the “Oatmeal Flyer” but we’ve decided they should change the name to the “Oatmeal Crawler;” man, that train was slow! Anyway, Liam was thrilled to finally get to ride on a train and loved meeting the Conductor.

Liam and the Conductor

Liam on his first train ride

Liam looks out the window of the train

Liam gives Oatie a hugDuring our stop in Bertram, we walked down to the Oatmeal Festival parade which was really nice; they’ve got a lot of small town spirit going on there!. Liam got his first experience of racing to scoop up candy that was thrown from the parade and he loved meeting Oatie, the mascot of the Oatmeal Festival. The parade also included the local villain, The Grits Guzzler, who was apprehended by the local police during the parade and drenched with oats.

After the s-l-o-w train back to Round Rock, we headed to our favorite store, Ikea. It is also one of Liam’s favorite stores because he loves their play area. We were all set to shop and he was all set to play and then things took a turn for the worse. They had the play area closed down for renovations. That did not set well with our boy and he let the whole store know about it. There were tears throughout the departments until we reached the kid’s section of the store. Yes, he now owns a new soccer ball and wooden train set that helped soothe his disappointment of the play area renovation. We wouldn’t normally buy him something to make him stop crying, but I just felt so sorry for him since he had talked about playing at Ikea the whole 7 hour car ride there.

Things went pretty smoothly after the Ikea fiasco and we got a bit more shopping in at the Outlet Mall there. On our way home, we we stopped off in Brady. We spent a few hours there visiting with our friends who always spoil him. This time, with help from Glenda, he even got to drive a “Mule,” which of course he loved.

Liam drives a Mule

So, it was a fun-filled weekend but we were glad to get home so we could get some rest. I am so thankful that Liam is such a good traveler. He loves riding in the car and staying in hotels.

How about you, what did you do for Labor Day weekend?

Ikea Haul Photos

Ikea logoFor the uninitiated, Ikea (Dede’s mostest favoritest store ever) might best be described as “the Old Navy of home furnishings.” (You can learn lots more about it via my Cult of Ikea post.)

We’re still reeling from our most recent pilgrimage to Ikea, having lumbered back home from our trip to Ikea Frisco piled up with more stuff in the back of the Element than we’ve ever managed to cram in there before. Here are a couple of photos showing just some of the goodies we managed to haul back:

Ikea Bjursta dining table

Ikea Lycksele LÖVÅS chair bed

That’s How We Roll

We met up with Clems & Brad (aka “Trey” aka “B Dogg”) at Ikea in Frisco on Friday (hey, that kinda sounds like a song) and nearly bit off more than we could chew.

Clems did some last-minute shopping on his way to the airport and picked up a dining table & 8 chairs for the new house.   Without as much as a tape measure, Rob & Clems “eyeballed” the box and decided we could probably make the stuff fit in the Element for the trip back home.

Well, technically, it did all fit, although just barely.   But in the process we discovered that rear-view visibility is really just a luxury.   Once we got Clems’ stuff loaded and him off to the airport – making his flight with less than 15 minutes to spare – we continued on with our own shopping.   A couple of hours later, we checked out but then had to figure out how to get everything to fit for the ride home.   After some careful planning and strategic manuevering (including back seat removal), Rob got everything crammed inside and all the doors closed — and there was even partial visibility from the rear-view mirror.

As Trey would say, “That’s how we roll around here…”

Rob & Dede in front of Ikea Frisco

Rob's Honda Element completely stuffed with Ikea goods

Update:   Wanna see just how much stuff we managed to bring back with us?   Click here for photos of our Ikea haul.

The Cult of Ikea

Ikea logo

We love Ikea.   Turns out, Ikea loves us too!

Oliver Burkeman’s interesting 2-part article, The Miracle of Älmhult at the online newspaper Guardian Unlimited is a revealing & impressive look at the Swedish icon Ikea, its tireless founder Ingvar Kamprad, and the cult-like mindset that drives the innovative furniture company to succeed & thrive in the global marketplace.