So, we went to IKEA on Wednesday when there was no school. It would be a family outing. We would have lunch and supper there. The kids could take a turn in the play room for an hour and we could get a lot done then. Maybe they would go back for a second hour.
Getting there wasn't too bad. The tram leaves from outside our hotel - yes we are still in the hotel. We took the tram to the end of the line. Then took a bus for a while. Then we got out and walked through parking lots and across big streets for 20 minutes (with kids starting to go wild) until we got there.
The playroom has the biggest ball pit I've ever seen, but it turns out that the kids can only stay for 45 minutes at a time.
We rushed through part of the store, loading up and writing down notes about beds and such that I would come back for on another trip. Then we got the kids and went to the restaurant for a snack. The restaurant was a bit of zoo - a tightly packed zoo. And two of the wilder animals were in our little group.
Then we went back to shop some more. It turns out the kids can only go into the playroom for one visit per day. It also turns out that IKEA is a miserable place to be when your kids really need to be running around a park. A few tantrums later (my tantrums), we had grabbed as much as we could to carry and went back to the restaurant for supper.
In true French fashion, they only serve supper at supper time. That is, after 7:00pm - not any old time that some Canadians come by looking for supper. On the positive side, they'll serve wine at any time of day. That's right, in French IKEAs you can buy wine - by the bottle, glass, small carafe or big carafe.
A little while later, our poorly nourished family had bought 270 Euros worth of supplies (no furniture, though) and headed for home. We avoided most of the parking lots, but had to wait an eternity for a bus. We got off at the wrong tram line and had to take two trams - but this turned out to be a little faster. The trams were jammed full of people to the point that you would never want to be there with 3 kids, 1 stroller, 2 backpacks and 4 large bags full of loot from IKEA. But at least the restaurant served wine.
Exhausted, we finally made it home to our tiny hotel room.