Tuesday, April 17, 2007

IKEA Mania

What do YOU do on a Saturday after you move into a new apartment? Go to IKEA, of course.

Amsterdam's IKEA.

We have heard about this phenomenon for a long time and from many people but it has never been an up-close-and-personal experience for us. We even saw the IKEA headquarters when we were in Sweden last summer and heard about what the letters stand for (the first 2 initials are for the founder's name, Ingvar Kamprad, and the last 2 intials are for his home village, Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd). I have since heard that he's the richest person in the world.

Our first visit to IKEA was in Hannover on Good Friday, the day before we moved our European apartment to Amsterdam. We needed an office chair for the computer desk and a big soup/stew pot. Donica figured prices would be cheaper in Hannover's IKEA than in Amsterdam's (which we have since found out is not true--they're the same). Besides, we had a rental car for transport.

Guess what! After living in Amsterdam for a week, we discovered some more things we could use. Like another computer desk and chair and a filing cabinet for the printer! (Actually, truth be known, Donica liked IKEA so much she needed an excuse to go back!)

So, we rented a car here in Amsterdam and drove out to A'dam's IKEA on Saturday morning. You know what those shopping carts are called? Winkelwagens! Remember to pronounce the 'w' like a 'v' and...how cute is THAT!

Once home, Donica was spit-spot on getting the chair, desk and then the filing cabinet assembled. Those of you who know IKEA know that almost all furniture has to be assembled! Par for the course.
Look. She's even smiling! One happy camper.

Voila! Next to my blue desk is Donica's new black desk and filing cabinet with printer. I'm sure you're wondering why we needed to go to all that trouble and expense. Well, let's just say that Donica didn't want to keep messing up the dining table every time she came home from work at night (she takes her laptop to work with her, of course), or to have me move all my paraphenalia every time she was home. And look how nicely everything fits together!

Truthfully, we know that we will have visitors here in A'dam! So we want to keep the living space tidied up. Just for when YOU will come, of course. :)

Switch gears now because today I fly back to Atlanta. It's a non-stop flight with no transfers. I won't know what hit me!

While I'm flying to Atlanta, Donica will be flying to India. YES, INDIA! She'll be in Bangalore for a day and then Chennai (formerly Madras) for a day, flying back to Atlanta on Friday. Talk about a whirlwind!

THEN on Saturday, we both will fly to New York City (NYC) for a week's vacation! But I'll get to that later in the week. After I mow the lawn!!!


  1. Winkelwagen - LOL!

    And you FINALLY made it to IKEA. Yay! It's so hard *not* to buy anything there, all of a sudden you discover something you've been needing desperately for years and years and IKEA always has it. :-)

    Hope you had a safe trip home. We'll be in touch!

  2. Ginnie, that's so cool!! I love furniture shopping... And such cool choices as well The Winkelwagon sounds like something out of Dr Seuss..
    The ship will be in Amsterdam in mid-August. Not sure if I will be onboard then though. When are you there next?

  3. LOL! I feel - somehow - that you will be returning to IKEA before long. I totally agree with Christina. We always buy our paper napkins and tea-lights there, and more often than not, we take a few other un-planned goodies with us.

    BTW: Winkel is the word for store/shop, so "store/shop wagon"/"Store/shop(ping) cart".

    Oh... And was that an official invitation? ;-)

  4. Oh man! This really hits home for me. The Toronto area has 4 IKEA stores, and we have visited them all. I love IKEA. My living room is IKEA. My office is IKEA. Our beds are IKEA. (Did I mention I love IKEA?) It's interesting that the prices are the same at both stores. I too would have thought they'd be different.

  5. I'm totally giggling because I just love reading about whereabouts you and Donica are. India!? Wow, the world travelers you two are! And I'm jealous about your NYC trip. We're suppose to go sometime this spring, too, but Jimmy's work schedule is packed tight right now.

    A few years ago, an IKEA opened relatively nearby and my cousin (before she moved to Seattle) and I went on opening day. IKEA is a travel adventure in itself! :)

  6. Looks like a nice home office setup. When I moved into an apartment six years ago, I bought some lamps from Ikea in Conshohocken, PA.

  7. lol* IKEA rules the world! I have the same desk but in another colour. And we just bought chairs and a table for our terrace. And we already have a lot more.:)

  8. Can you say what Donica does for work, what field? It sounds darned exciting!
    I'm actually thinking A'dam someday...

  9. Christina: HA! Yes, we've been indoctrinated AND initiated, finally! I haven't forgotten about you, BTW. I'll write you soon.

    RRD: This is a perfect furniture store for our apartment. We tend to like antiques when it comes to our home here in Atlanta (ha), but IKEA definitely has its place. And as to when I'll be back--probably next the second half of May...and usually every month thereafter. So YES. We will stay in touch about August. Wouldn't that be a hoot to meet you by your ship!

    CS: Oh yes. Donica definitely has the BUG! And thanks for the added etymology on the Winkelwagen. I love it. And are you kidding about the invitation? You had an official one a long time ago! I'll be telling you our next dates there as soon as I have them!

    Karen: HA! I guess we could have an IKEA support group! :)

    Mad: I can hardly wait to hear how Donica likes this trip to India, thought it's way too fast! She may not have very many impressions. But I'll want to see if she'll go back and if I'll ever go with her! You're right about IKEA, though. A definite experience!

    Tim: Who hasn't been there? I think WE were the last ones holding out!

    Julia: We had to go back-n-forth on the color, and finally decided on black. HA! That's too funny.

    Susan: Yes! :) Donica works for a pharma company whose headquarters are in Brussels, but whose offices are around the world. Donica used to work exclusively in the Regulation side of drugs but now is the global strategist for the company in relation to systems for drug saftey, regulation (think FDA!), etc. She's a vison person, if that helps! If you ever get to A'dam, please let us know!!!

  10. How funny! I love IKEA furniture but don't like the lower quality of it. I guess in Europe it is what you have to get a lot of times. Growing up in Ca does that to me I'm sure...

    I'm happy you had a nonstop flight, that must be so funny this time...

    Hope you have lots of fun on vacation and wishing it be a warm one! Are you going to be on tv???

  11. No, you are not the last to visit IKEA. Don and I have never been either!! A new one finally opened in Michigan, about an hour away, so one day soon we'll get down there.

    This is a great post for the peek into your new place and being able to envision you sitting there on your computers.

    I still can't believe D's whirlwind, and I hope she won't be too worn out for NYC!!!!! :D :D :D

    I can hardly wait!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. ginnie i love ikea with a passion! we dont have one here on van island. the closest one is vancouver. which is a 90 minute ferry ride. when we take a trip over to vancouver we always plan to stop at ikea and we have our little list of specific things we want from the catolog but we end up over spending everytime and the car is so full coming back we can hardly move in it!

    putting the stuff together is a nightmare for me tho. lets just say there is alot of cursing or not very much smiling. your home looks very nice by the way.

  13. ET: IKEA is good for us in the apartment, since it's not our "real" home. We'll probably sell the stuff we've bought when the day comes to leave. So in this case, it's perfect for us. And yes, we're so looking forward to a great vacation. It doesn't need to be warm for us but it will be nice if it's relatively dry. And I'm quite sure we will NOT be on TV. :)

    Ruth: I'm glad you can picture us at our computers! :) I love it when I see those glimpses into other people's lives as well. Donica is on her way home from India as we speak! Then NYC!

    Genevieve: You are such a sweetheart to find me here! Thank you. I have been on that ferry ride, BTW, and know exactly what you're talking about. You would definitely have to have a list for that kind of trip. I can just picture the loaded car! I actually like to put things together, as does Donica. It was fun to fix things up at the A'dam apt. Glad you like it. It's very nice and quite big, compared to our small attic apt (tho' charming) in Hannover.

  14. You are quite the world travelers!!! My wife, who's parents are imigrants from The Netherlands, and I love IKEA!!! We'd buy everything from there if we could. They do exist in the US. There's at least one that I know if in California, and I think I've seen one in Texas.