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560 IKEA 2012-01-19

Ikea Guide

Sunday, we planned a short trip to Atlanta. Waking early, we left the house before 6 and began the long day. Our primary goal was a visit to Stone Mountain on the outskirts of town. If we had time (and felt like it), we were also going downtown to visit Atlanta's IKEA megastore before heading home. Stone Mountain was great and we actually finished our hikes in less time than anticipated. Soon, we left the Park and were heading to the household furnishing giant.

We had visited the Atlanta IKEA once before; but that was several years ago. Following Googles instructions, we made our way through Atlanta to the store without a single wrong turn, even though there were a few indecisive ones. As we neared the store we saw a sudden shift in the urban development to a very upscale neighborhood. We wondered if the new development was due to IKEA? Hmm?

Finally, the building was straight ahead dominating the skyline, much the same way Stone Mountain appeared earlier in the day. We followed the arrows to the entrance and began looking for parking. Up and down each aisle of the parking garage we drove. We had no luck, as there were many more cars looking for spaces than there were spaces available. Like vultures we swooped through each row looking for signs of life near a parked car. Then suddenly, we found someone pushing a cart toward their vehicle. Amy jumped from the car and pounced on them. They were leaving and we were able to get their parking place. Parking took a good while though (around fifteen minutes.)

Entering the store, we took our special IKEA pencil and Guide. Soon we were following the arrows. Yes, directional arrows led us around the store. I felt as if the drawing on the store's guide was made to look like a treasure map; but without the guide and arrows, we would have been hopelessly lost. Note: Google did not seem to have directions for inside of the store, yet!

First, we went through the Showrooms. The assembled display rooms reminded me of "Price is Right" showcases. We looked a bit but were too tired to really shop, even if the price was right.

One of the problems with our IKEA shopping experience was, we did not know what we were doing. Lucky for us, the store did have information booths with helpful employees. When we finally stopped and asked for help, they found the product we were looking for and advised us on how to save money on the purchase. That was good customer service.

Finally we passed our last showcases and followed the last dotted line to the escalator. We headed downstairs to the Marketplace. At the Marketplace the shopping really begins. Aisles and aisles of goods fill the store. Much of the merchandise was at tempting prices, and found space in our cart. As we finished our spending spree we thought we might receive a special reward or recognition as being shoppers of the year ... until we entered the checkout lines and saw other families wheeling multiple buggies. Our meager shopping efforts failed in comparison to theirs.

Okay, we confess it, we are not very good shoppers. We left the store absolutely exhausted, vowing never to return. Surprisingly though, the drive home to Nashville was much easier than expected, especially when compared with the hardships of our shopping adventure.

Happy "glad we don't shop often" trails


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