11 June 2007

Retail Therapy

(Is it odd this is my second post that references therapy? I like to think I am as balanced as the next girl, but perhaps this is not the case.)

Let's just first get this out of the way: Ikea is a balm to my soul. And so is chocolate fondue.

Periodically--perhaps every six months or so--I take a road trip with My mother-in-law and my three sisters-in-law. Usually we go to a nearby Amish community and stuff ourselves with pie and stuff our trunk with antiques and cutesy stuff, and usually, we have at least one child with us. THIS particular trip was a departure--oh, boy, was it. We traded Amish country for Greater Detroit, antiques for inexpensive Swedish household goods, pie for chocolate fondue, and we left our children at home. Perhaps we will never go back to the old way. This trip was delicious.

We left at about 2 on Saturday, drove to our hotel (listening to as varied a mix of music as you can imagine) and checked in, then set out to find dinner. What a trial. I will spare you the details, but the short version is that we spent nearly as long as our trip from home driving over the same three streets trying to decide where to eat. We have a couple of selective eaters amongst our ranks, so many restaurants got rejected. We passed a restaurant called Steve and Rocky's about twelve times (Note to Steve and/or Rocky: There's very little indication to outsiders what kind of food you serve and its level of palatability {is that a word?}, so you'd do well to add some sort of description to your sign: perhaps "All-American Cuisine" or "Bistro" or "Wing Emporium" or whatever it is that you serve. We would gladly have frequented your establishment, but alas. We didn't want to take our chances on a Frat-boy name like Rocky and the hash he would sling), and never went in. Eventually, on our third circuit around the mall, we accosted a woman and asked her for a recommendation. She directed us to a restaurant called Diamond Jim Brady's (which, incidentally, we also passed twelve times, owing to its proximity to Steve and Rocky's), where we gorged ourselves on some really really great burgers and turkey clubs. Our sandwiches were the most tame thing on the menu (and also the cheapest), but I think we probably enjoyed them more than we would have anything else at the time. I recommend Diamond Jim's burgers if you ever get the chance to partake!

After dinner, we headed back to the mall where we indulged our Paris Hilton sides and tried on amazingly expensive party dresses at Lord and Taylor. When the store closed, we headed to a fondue restaurant we'd passed earlier called The Melting Pot, where we had the most marvelous time. We ordered plain dark chocolate fondue and a flambeed turtle fondue, which were accompanied by bananas, fresh pineapple, strawberries, pound cake, brownies, oreo- and graham cracker-covered marshmallows and cheesecake. I kid you not--we couldn't have been more pleased. We preferred the dark chocolate fondue (it was so fantastically scrumptious when combined with the cheesecake that all you could do was swoon), but, as you can imagine, ate both with devotion.

It became evident that if we ate anything more, we'd burst.

After paying our bill and taking a "Souvenir Menu," we headed back to the hotel and, more specifically, its hot tub, where we spent a good hour. We then returned to our room and played The Ungame until 2 a.m. It's a good way to get to know your family, I tell you. The men might hate it, but the women will love it.

Our free hotel breakfast in the morning included make-your-own waffles, so we of course fueled up before we hit the reason for our visit: Ikea.

Ikea is 311,000 square feet of retail bliss. There's no way for me to describe to you the hours that were there (though I can tell you we were there from 11-5) other than to say we were the proverbial kids in the candy store. If we had an Ikea that was conveniently located and didn't necessitate a hotel stay we would almost certainly be less enamored of it, but for us it is a treat to be savored, so there was hardly a nook in the store that we did not thoroughly investigate. I left the store much poorer than I arrived, but it was all worth it.

Running late, we opted to eat at the ever-so-fast Fazoli's for dinner, and we opted to eat in so we could have the opportunity to eat their free breadsticks until we were bleeding out our eyes. Which we very nearly did.

And though every moment of the trip was a delicious, relaxing treat, possibly the best part was opening the door to my house and greeting the two sweet-smelling, very excited munchkins I had left the day before and hugging them thoroughly. Being away for a while makes coming home all the sweeter.

(Also, our basement is now covered by the first floor, which was framed on Saturday, but I will save pictures and details for a later post!)


Anonymous said...

i could have cried reading this, it sounds so fun. . . i wish i had a crew like that!!!


Charis + Judah's Mom said...

dearie, you do... we just all live far away... :)

Lorie said...

Cori, your life is grand!!!

I may need to stop reading your blog, for it makes me miss you terribly. I so wish you were a part of my day to day life and that we could also be sharing small adventures with each other and our children.

Love you!!!