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Saturday, January 15, 2011

transac[tion]

This morning we got up super-early to travel to Charlotte for our kitchen cabinet purchase at IKEA! We had originally planned to ride with our contractor and his family in their conversion van with trailer attached, however my grandfather isn't doing well, and therefore Brian and I drove separately so we could make the trip to Newton (about 45 minutes from IKEA) to visit my grandfather.

We had a slight delay in getting out of Charleston, since it was the inaugural Charleston Marathon, and since the route is on the street the runs in front of our apartment, we were sucked in to the excitement of it all! And we were able to cheer on our friend Seth as he ran by, which was exciting.
I'll try to make this long story short, but I also want to get as many details in as possible for my own memories! We arrived at IKEA around 11:30am to a packed parking lot. You wouldn't have known there was a recession going on, that's for sure!

Upon our arrival, we went straight to the kitchen area, and found a planning station. Our planner "Amie O" went through the kitchen layout that Brian had so thoughtfully designed in their online computer program. She helped us to layout the filler panels, cover panels, and kick-plates to get everything just right before placing our order. In the meantime, we found an under-cabinet mounted microwave to go above the stove, as well as a kitchen faucet. But in the end, this process took about 2-1/2 hours! So by 2:30 we were done ordering the kitchen, but they would need another 2 hours to gather all the pieces for us to take. So with time to kill, we had lunch in the cafeteria (swedish meatball dinner - 12 or so meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy, lingonberry sauce = $3.99). Awesome, and they were running a special this weekend that if you bought $100 worth of merchandise, they subtract your meal receipt from your purchase, so you eat for free! Well, that was covered!

After lunch, we headed back to the kitchen area to grab a few more things, like 38 cabinet handles and a drawer-organizer for the silverware drawer, then on to the bathroom department, where we ordered our master bath vanity, sink, and faucet. Easy. We made our way to the checkout area, and managed to spend enough money that we probably could have bought a small car. Anyway, it was all necessary, so we can't get too down on ourselves! 

We headed over to 'furniture pick-up' and soon discovered that our kitchen alone was 4 large carts worth (think lumber cart at Home Depot). Between waiting on the remaining cart of bathroom stuff, waiting on Paul and his family to check out & pull the truck around, and load the trailer, we were several more hours into the process. With hundreds of boxes and an inventory list, I tried to check off each piece before it was loaded. By the end, we were missing 2 packets of hinges, 2 shelves, and 2 cabinet doors, but the store had no problem getting these pieces for us. Well, except that one employee insisted that he had loaded the cabinet doors onto the cart himself, and as I finally walked out the store without those boxes in hand, but he managed to find us in the parking lot, and had found the boxes leaning against the wall in the storeroom! So hopefully we have all the parts!

When finally getting away from IKEA a little after 7pm, we were on our way to Newton to see my Pawpaw. When we got to the nursing home, my uncle & his girlfriend, as well as my aunt and cousin Michelle and her husband were all there. Brian and I were able to spend some time alone with Pawpaw, and although he was responsive at first, he seemed to be tired and we left him to rest. It was very sad, but well worth the trip to see him. Instead of driving all the way back to Charleston, we are spending the night in Spartanburg.

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