Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rennes, Caen, and other IKEA adventures

I should probably mention that Saturday was the hottest day of the entire summer in Bretagne.  We decided to move what we expected to be three carloads of IKEA flatpack furniture in 31 (88) degree weather.  I, being the genius that I am, decided to wear a black long sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up.  I didn't want to look like hell and it was just fine back in Ploërmel.  I neglected to remember that when I wore this shirt there, it was never over 20 (70.) 

I should also mention that we had already decided on everything we were going to buy a couple of weeks ago.  We'd gone to the store, took all the references, and we were just really going to pick things up.  It wasn't going to be anything spectacular, but it would all be good quality stuff that could last a while.  So with our lists in hand, I'm all done up with cologne and all that,  we all get into the little Peugeot and make the trip up to Rennes. 

We meet my sister in law at our apartment, we show things off and plug in the refrigerator to keep things cold while we get all the rest of the stuff around at IKEA.  They had just gotten back from a trip to Spain a few weeks ago and they had brought stuff back for us.  I might mention that if you stood my partner next to his sister, you could tell that she'd been out in the sun, and my partner had been hiding in a bunker somewhere.  We're more inside people.  So we take the rocade north from Alma to catch rue national 12 to get to the IKEA.  It took us maybe 15 minutes to get there.  We park our cars, and go grab some food first at the cafe.

After grabbing something quick to eat, we get into it.  So we're going through the references when Mathieu's sister says we should come over and look at something.  We got this couch for half price.  It's much more modern than the one we picked, and it's a convertible.  Vendu!  We take down the reference, and forget about the other couch.   We also got a very nice TV stand.  It was more expensive, than what we had originally imagined turning on the side and buying a couple of storage boxes inside it like drawers.  So I'm pleased that we got something more adult.  The only other big ticket item was the bed, which I can't find a picture of, so I'll have to take some apartment pictures.

I know you're all thinking the same thing I was.  How the hell are we going to get this back.  We had my sister in laws 9/5, but even that wasn't gonna hold all this.  So with the first load, we got everything but one part of the couch.  We're already starting to sweat, so we decide that we would let my niece and mother in law stay at IKEA with what was left, and we'd start putting stuff in the apartment.  So we pack the first load, and she says she'll follow us.

Like I said, it took 15 minutes to get there, so you'd think logically the same time back, right?  If you know where the hell you're going, yes, that's all it takes.  However, we did not.  I want to blame the majority of it on the rocade system in France and especially on Rennes while factoring in the area around IKEA is exceptionally poorly laid out, none of the signs make sense, and the area around IKEA is a black hole or the Bermuda triangle.  Take your pick, it adds up to fuck all.  The first time, we took the Rocades to follow towards Le Mans and Caen.

We're just happily driving along, and all of the sudden Mathieu asks me what color the signs were.  I responded with blue.  I don't think I had ever heard more shouting and cursing in French than at that moment.  "J'en ai ras le bol de cette--!" is about all I can actually print because of how fast he spoke and content.  So finally, he stops to catch his breath and I ask him what's wrong.  We were on the A84, headed towards Caen!  So I said, thinking logically, why don't we just turn off at the next exit, and he said, this is an Autoroute, there are only exits for major cities!  We lucked out though, and we found an off ramp.  Of course, we were in a Peugeot 106 that my father in law has had since 1995.  It's not wise to push it up to interstate speeds.  So, an hour and a half later, we're at the apartment unloading.

So we get cak to IKEA, another 15 minute trip, and we take the second load.  We asked my mother in law what would be best to do this time.  She said to take Rennes-centre.  So we take it, sure and it's a nice scenic drive through town.  45 minutes later, we're there.  We're all starting to get suspicious about how long this is taking, so with the third load when we're all coming back together, we try another exit, this time towards Nantes/Angers.  15 Minutes....  Third time's the charm, I guess.  At least I'll have to tell myself that so I won't end up in the bathtub with the cake mix.  So that was that.

There is another adventure to tell while the family was together, so I'll talk more about that in the next post, and probably talk more about the highway system in France after.  I hope this finds you all well, because I'm still recovering.  I'll tell you this, the next post involves churros!


  1. wow, y'all sure are going through it with this move

    hugs :)

  2. Almost to the finish line though. Partner finishes work at the end of August, and we will move up probably soon thereafter. :-)

  3. just wanted to let you know, yes lily is a series i created a long time ago...maybe will be bringing her back...but if you like her check out my other blog beth parker...