our bum trip to ikea which eventually ended with us receiving $150 gift card from our bank.

how could a trip to ikea be a big old sour (but eventually profitable-ish) dud?  well, let me tell you.

it really did have all the makings of being a fantastical, magical, furniture-filled trip.  first off, my mom and stepdoug had the kids for the whole weekend, which meant i was free to go to ikea as a hands-free adult.  you see, i've only ever been to ikea twice previous to this - the first time of which atticus was eight weeks old, the second time of which penelope was seven weeks.  so i have never known ikea sans nursing breaks and a shoulder sling full of (what ended up being) a boulder of a baby.  and that store is large and in charge, so it was no easy undertaking to haul child through that whole thing with a good attitude.  i mean, i'm ripped and all but even arnold schwarzenegger has never attempted the whole ikea-with-nursing-babe feat.  (unless he actually did attempt it in his whole stint in 'second life,' but apparently there's a lot about him that hasn't come to light yet and i'm just saying we don't know factually about him that he's ever tried this.)


todd and i drove up friday night in the van (we had removed all unnecessary seatage in the back to make room for loot) and stayed in a very clean, albeit as-always-sweaty-smelling hotel super close to the store. we woke up bright and early saturday morning to prep ourselves for the day, which included a lot of sitting around eating oatmeal and watching the weather channel, since ikea doesn't open until 10. (they must be on swedish time - in america we like things rearing to go no later than 9, but closer to 8 if you can swing it.  in case you never realized that.)  so we headed over to ikea around opening time and spent quite a long time pinkering (yes, i made it up) around the 'chairs' section, eating at the in-house-but-still-very-reasonably-priced deli, and picking out a kitchen island.

which brings me to a tangent: I WILL BE GETTING A KITCHEN ISLAND!!! god really does hear the prayers of little girls from the block.  just ask me and j.lo. forward seven tiring hours hours and two full carts later.  we had not even made it into 'wall art,' 'as is' or 'the warehouse' yet, but we decided to check out and pay for what we had and then come back in and grab the furniture we had picked out.

we spent 10 minutes unloading our carts and getting rung up...when todd's debit card decided to stop working.  we rang it through as both debit and credit...and nothing.  (and it wasn't for lack of funds, you cynical cracker.)  so we decided to take a rug off the ticket to see if bringing down the total would help things.  well, the thing with ikea is that they can't just take an item off your ticket - they have to ring up each individual item again.

and also, the other thing with ikea is that they don't take checks.  and also, the other thing with van voorsts is that we don't have credit cards, so all we had was our debit card.

SO after the long day of walking and choosing and eating, we got back in the van and drove home.  mdf-less.  which is saying something when driving home from ikea.

when we got home, todd emailed the bank asking what the crap had happened with our card - considering it had worked at our hotel, the gas station, and the various food places we stopped at, we knew a block hadn't been put on our account because of suspect spending (he had just been in pennsylvania a few days before for a business trip, so we could have seen where it would look weird to have expenditures in iowa, pennsylvania and minnesota in the same week).

it turns out there was some kind of safety limit on how much we could spend per day, which we didn't know about and ended up exceeding.  which makes sense.  it was just frustrating that we weren't able to spend money that we clearly have, and to know that in order to get all the things for the new house that we were planning on getting our only options would be to make multiple trips up to minneapolis (not practical) or to take a big ol' wad of cash instead (not practical, either. or safe, for that matter.)

HOWEVER, our bank apologized that we had gone all the way up there and gotten a hotel, just to come home empty handed, and sent us a $150 gift card to cover our expenses.  how awesome is our bank?!

so we've gotten some things ironed out with our account and will be heading up there again this saturday (my sister's staying with the kids) to get the things we picked out last weekend.  then we will spend an inordinate amount of time putting it all together before we can enjoy it.  but after that, i'm hoping this whole trip will end up with us feeling a little more settled in our currently spartan house.

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