A strange new world

Mr. French had business in Austin yesterday so we all went with him. We also had to rent a Suburban because our van is in the shop. I thought it would make us feel more like Texans to drive to Austin in a huge SUV, since so many people drive them here.

Earlier in the morning it had been raining pretty hard, making huge wet puddles all over the parking lot and then for a few minutes snow came down with the rain. We enjoyed watching it for a little bit but I had to tell the boys several times that this didn’t mean that there would be any to play in later. It’s not that kind of a place, I said.

We had to pull off the road soon after we left to get the directions from the back of the (huge!) SUV. So while we were waiting, I took it upon myself to document this historic occasion.

This is, in fact, the very storage facility that housed almost 1/4 of all our earthly possessions the entire time we were in France. The other 5/6 were in two different locations in Maryland and then we did actually take some things with us to France. (Those incredibly useful fractions were made up just now by yours truly.)

It was awe-inspiring to be back.

Well, for one of us. One of us is telling me to put the camera away already.

So, I did. And then I promptly forgot to get it out again until after Mr. French’s business was complete and we were headed to a unique little place in Austin that I like to call, Ikea. (I’ll link to it, since you’ve probably never heard of it*.)

So we get to the parking lot and we realize that we’ve never seen one quite like this one.

It was actually empty. We used to be able to see the Ikea in Chicago from the back patio of our 3rd story apartment and I never saw it empty.

This one is so empty that there are only two other cars there. So we drive all the way up to the entrance and see this sign.

It took several minutes for us to believe that it was for real.

And I do mean several minutes with our mouths hanging open.

I mean, I know we just drove through some of the worst overcast conditions we’ve maybe ever been through. But… wait, no we didn’t. We’re from Cleveland. You don’t even need sunglasses in Cleveland!

I get that it snowed, but it wasn’t even freezing. The store was closed? It was in the thirties, but we moved down here when it was in the teens at our house! They closed the store?!

I don’t know, people. Every third vehicle down here is either a pick-up truck or an SUV. Are you telling me you can’t get out in the wet streets in one of those things?

Oh well. I just hope we can keep ourselves from being corrupted by the fear of cold overcast conditions while we’re down here.

We ended up going across the street to peruse the REI store and keep the kids happy. And then we ate supper and went home.

I was going to take a picture of us all standing next to our big Texas Suburban while in Austin, but it was way too cold and overcast for that.

(*Funny story: We were at a New Year’s Eve party in Edinburgh, Scotland when a very posh lady wearing gold colored stilettos and jeans is shocked when I say that Ikea is very popular in the States. They didn’t even know there were Ikeas in the States.)


Filed under Moving is my hobby, Mr. French, That was fun, This is going to be really funny one day, Why does no one get my jokes?

8 responses to “A strange new world

  1. Sue

    We have an Ikea in Houston and it’s open. If you come, we could probably fit your family into our house for a few days. Really. We knew your family when we were all at Scott AFB—a long time ago.

  2. redchampagne

    Hey, welcome. My Mom said you read my blog. Thanks for saying Hi. We’ve seen the Ikea in Houston but haven’t ever stopped. Maybe we should take a trip.

  3. Abigail

    It’s funny, my father-in-law was in Austin this week (not sure which day), and he said that there were cars in the ditches all over the place. Obviously, he didn’t think it was that bad (being from MN and all), but it made him want to get off the roads just to get away from all the crazy Texans who don’t know how to drive in those conditions. IKEA was probably just trying to save lives, give them a little credit! 🙂 I’m guessing that even if it was a little slick in the morning, it would clear up and melt rather quickly down there (I’m jealous, by the way. But at least they don’t close our IKEA for slush 🙂

  4. redchampagne

    Yeah, one of Mr. French’s colleagues pointed out that when it rains down here people die. And when we first moved down here it was rainy and we saw so many traffic accidents that the boys were asking what was wrong. It does make you want to get off the roads.

    So, maybe I was being a little too harsh. I think it just never occurred to us that they would be closed when the only snow you could see was on the grass.

  5. Maranatha

    I guess the snow did follow you down to Texas.
    I thought it was funny NC got hit with its “big” snow this year the same weekend you guys stop in.
    Now I was just stunned for a quite a moment when I heard Austin gave you snow too.

    Ironic or what

  6. That is so crazy that IKEA was closed. I have been here 10 years, and I still can’t believe what people (and news station stories too!) do when it rains/ices the very few times in a year that it does. I just can’t get used to it. And I’m not even from the north.

  7. Jay

    Well done.
    Again its too bad “paid” blogs just don’t take off.
    I think the money is in the advertising though—something to think about. (Like the IKEA link, maybe if they gave you 0.5% of sales off the direct link).

    The sad thing about IKEA is that Meek and I love a lot of their stuff, but can only bring what fits in suitcases on the plane. AK doesn’t have one yet, and for the Mirror that I still love–probably in large part because I could see all of me in it–would cost 400% more after shipping and that would be WITHOUT the guarantee that the glass didn’t break in shipping.

  8. redchampagne

    No IKEA? That does it! I’m never moving to Alaska. 🙂

    Yeah, I need some advertisers. I should probably write on a regular basis before I get some.

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