Tuesday, 7 August 2007

My annual (sort of) pilgrimmage to the Old Country ...

... or "I <heart> Ikea, but I <heart heart heart> Trader Joe's"

So I'm back. I took the weekend off and drove down to Minneapolis. Picked a bad weekend for that, owing to the bridge collapse on Wednesday. <aside>I think it's cute that they call it the "35 double-u" and not the "35 west".</aside> More sober observations aside, the major effect on me was that all the NPR news and shows that I was waiting to hear got pre-empted by news conferences. But anyway...

I went to Ikea and spent $111 US in about an hour. Sauce pans, pasta bowls, side bowls, a match to my bedside lamp, and several sets of cutting mats. I also spent about an hour in Albertville (outlet mall) and bought a beautiful hollow-ground santoku knife that I can't wait to rip into some real food with.

I hit Trader Joe's, the SoCal chain that all of us up here who lived in SoCal miss, and are ardently jealous of our friends who live in shopping distance of one of (?), on the way back. In Maple Grove, which is the burb of the Twin Cities where the I-94 and the I-494 cross west of Minneapolis. I'm very mad at my Minneapolis friends who knew all this time that Trader Joe's was in the Twin Cities and didn't tell me. Which is one of the reasons why I didn't call any of them while I was there. That and I figured getting around would be a hassle, what with the bridge collapse and ensuing, and I didn't have any numbers, having migrated recently to a new Contacts program and, well, not having any of them.

In Grand Forks on the way back, I nearly maxed out my customs exemption (thankfully now up to $400) on Jiffy cornbread mix, Mentadent toothpaste, and assorted other necessities to get me through till next summer.

So now I'm all relaxed and refreshed and ready to get back to work.

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