In Portland around 4 years ago, Portland, Oregon (my home state) got it's first Ikea. Everyone came from the mountains, the oceans, the cities and the deserts to see the new Ikea, eat some meatballs and have the adventure.
I love Ikea. The smell of the fake wood, the meatballs and potatoes you can buy for $5, the knick knacks and fun kitchen items... I even enjoy putting the stuff together (as long as it's not too much stuff of course).
Bri and I decided to go to Ikea in Lyon (the one in St. Priest) yesterday because we absolutely were getting sick of eating in front of our television, we needed a table, chairs and some little organizing things for my kitchen.
Plus, we invited his parents to eat tonight, which means either we needed to buy a table, or we were going to feed them on over-turned boxes.. not really the way to impress the in-laws.
Ikea in Lyon is about a 30-40 minute tram ride from the center. It's past the Lyon II campus in Bron, it's way out of the city. Regardless, I was excited as a child going to disneyland. As we headed over the path I saw the big sign and got even more happy!
Walking in through the doors was already a different experience. It didn't have the giant escalator to take you to the showrooms, it didn't have the little paper to write down what you want... but it was still Ikea!
We began by touring around.. as normal. We picked a beautiful black table, two black chairs and two temporary wooden folding chairs. The rest was just little things, like wine glasses (because I broke all of ours washing them) and a hanging dryer thing for our laundry (which I'll highlight in a later post about doing laundry in France).
The break in the middle entitled us to drink 50 cl of red wine, eat a croque monsieur and have dessert for €4.20 each. Well boozed and blood sugar fixed, we headed out again through the masses.
Over-all the experience wasn't as magical as usual, and it was still a horror putting the furniture together (we don't have powertools, we have hand tools... just imagine.) AND we had to carry everything upstairs. Nightmare.
Luckily now we have a bunch of empty boxes, a bunch of cheap furniture and an actual table where we can eat dinner and actually have a conversation every night.
It's worth a trip if you need to deck out your home for not too expensive.. definitely, but don't expect it to be a big deal to everyone because France has had Ikea for a long long time... it's like Walmart in America.