Apparently, so did 43 bajillion other Bostonians.
What should have been a 20 minute drive turned into various circles of hell once we got off the exit and had to start creeping toward IKEA (and Jordan's...and Home Depot...and the Christmas Tree shop - what genius planner came up with that idea?). It's not all over once you reach the parking lot...where parking anarchy ensues. I think we were lucky since we only spent about 10 minutes driving around looking for a spot.
I had naively theorized that no IKEA experience could be as crowded and anxiety producing as the time we went to the one in Newark the day after Christmas (I *told* you I was *desperate*!) and. Well. I was totally wrong. And me without a prescription for Paxil.
The upshot is that I survived (without pharmacuticals) and I still love that store. I went in looking for information, a desk lamp, a catalog and meatballs. I got a really cute and functional light for $8 ($5 lamp, $3 for 2 bulbs) and splurged on a $2 ice cube tray (no, it wasn't Gucci). We ended up with tons of ideas for our home that won't break the bank. We spent $13.06 on our "dinner out": gravlax on a bed of mixed greens, a medium swedish meatballs with fries (wooohooo!) and two drinks. Of course...we forgot the catalog. Oops.
What I am most excited about is the promise of good design for affordable prices. Once we get the catalog, we can make our plan (what to buy, how to prioritize, and how much cash we'll need). Our next step is to make sure we save that money before heading back there. A year ago it would have ALL gone on a credit card...and stayed there.
However, next time I think we'll go on a weekday.
IKEA in the Personal Finance Blogosphere:
I think Jane Dough went on a better day than I did
Uncle Bill has a little info on what $1700 will buy you at IKEA