On the warm, sunny Sunday a couple of weeks ago, we decided to head out I-74 to the northern suburbs of Cincinnati. The main catalyst of the trip was Mr. WYA!'s craving for IKEA's Swedish meatballs. Somehow, after years of ogling the IKEA catalog, we had never made it to one. Doesn't it figure that we would finally get there as we are in an anti-accumulation phase of life. Nonetheless, we were excited to finally cross it off of our list and a couple of other stores came to our attention recently that were nearby so there seemed to be a bit of synchronicity at work.
IKEA was the first stop and it wasn't as crowded as we had expected. We picked up one of their shopping bags, made the loop upstairs before landing at the cafe. Mr. WYA! got his meatballs with a retro-terrific gravy and chunky mashed potatoes with bits of the skin mixed in just like Grandma used to make. Of course, they are very proud of their lingonberries so there was a dollop of those adding a nice splash of color to the plate. Mrs. WYA! was glad to find other options such as a salad bar, veggie wraps, and a buffalo chicken wrap which she chose. There were a lot of tempting looking desserts at the beginning of the cafeteria line but we restrained ourselves.
We didn't make any big purchases but found some fun doodads. They did have a display of unique Christmas decorations that is pictured here in case you need some new sparkle for the holidays. Keep in mind that they are trying to keep costs down so you bag your own merchandise at the check-out and either bring your own bag, do without, or buy one of theirs for 60 cents.
We made our way back on I-275 to the Bass Pro Shop. We were as out of our element as could be and felt a bit creeped out by all of the stuffed animals staring at us at every turn. However, we went there because Mr. WYA! admired a pair of shoes that a fellow diner was wearing at a restaurant a couple of days before and Mrs. WYA! completely mortified him by asking the gentleman where he had purchased them. It was at the Clarksville Bass Pro Shop but, since there was one conveniently here, we thought we'd see if they had them and they did.
Our last stop was Jungle Jim's. Urban Indy Kevin had mentioned this place to us and we also had just seen a profile of it on The Travel Channel's Extreme Superstores show. It's definitely a huge, whimsical grocery. We loved the aisles and aisles in the International section that were organized by country. All and all, we don't think that Indianapolis residents have too much to be jealous of though. Most of what we found we could find in Indy, it just might take several stores to get it all. It was nice having everything under one roof. One major coup was Thai Tea. We've been looking for this ever since we fell in love with it at Jasmine Thai restaurant. It comes in a big bag and we were glad that we remembered that the server at Jasmine Thai told us that they make it in a coffeepot. We couldn't tell if it was instant or should be brewed like loose leaf tea. Using the coffeepot, it was just like we remembered. It is good hot and plain or cold with sweetened condensed milk added. We just wish that they didn't add food coloring to it. Some of the powder got wet on our fingers and it looked like we had dived into a Cheetos bag.
It's a fun quick trip to this West Chester and Fairfield area of Ohio and an eminently easy drive for Central Indiana residents.