One of those age-old questions of seasoned RVers–not necessarily old ones–is what kinds of plates and other dishes to travel with. I can’t count how many times someone has asked how I pack glass dishes, and I’ve always had a simple answer: I don’t. They just sit in the cabinet where they always do, with nothing in between them.
That’s worked well for 11 years. Not a single plate or bowl broken in transit, though I did break one by dropping it in the sink. They weren’t expensive dishes, just a Mainstays set I picked up at Wal-Mart, then added to a couple of times with the same thing from a Kroger Marketplace. Here’s basically the same thing, available from Amazon, though I know I didn’t pay nearly that much:
All good things must end..
Notice that I referred to those dishes in the past tense. They were great dishes–they looked modern, and the square shape fit nicely in the square cabinet. They were microwaveable, and dishwasher safe. But in a sort of reverse run of the Ballad of Thunder Road, they made it through Bearden and Knoxville, and all those roads that “angels feared to tread”, but a barely noticeable imperfection in the pavement west of Maynardville jarred the cabinet door open and the whole stack of dishes came crashing out.
Of the six dinner plates, salad plates, and bowls, only three dinner plates, two salad plates, and a lone bowl survived. And the two salad plates that survived didn’t survive the fall–they were dirty, and safely tucked away in the dishwasher.
Finding New a Plate Set
I started off thinking I would just go back to Wal-Mart or Kroger, get enough plates to replenish the set. But the first one I stopped at didn’t have all of the pieces, so I started looking around. I thought about some Corelle dishes, which would have been nice, but they’re kind of expensive and I didn’t see anything I really liked.
Some of you know I was on my way to see my grandparents when I broke all of the dishes. My grandfather had a stroke, and has been working his way through rehab. My grandmother, his wive of over 66 years, has pretty well refused to leave his bedside for about a month.
One of the places I looked online for dishes was Ikea, and there was a new one opening Wednesday just a mile or so from the rehab facility. I expected a “hell no” from my grandmother in response to the idea of going over there on opening day, but to my surprise, she was up for it. This was the scene getting ready to leave:
Ikea on Opening Day?
We heard about news stories about road closures, special traffic patterns, parking shuttles, and all kinds of other accommodations for what was supposed to be a big deal. But a noontime aerial shot didn’t look too bad, so we went for it.
We got over there without issue, and parked in a row of spaces against the building and a very short walk from the entrance. The restaurant was busy, but it wasn’t bad at all wandering through the showroom. Heading downstairs to the marketplace, we found the plates and bowls I was after, and checked out in the shortest lines I’ve ever seen at one of their stores.
The plates I bought were rectangular (12″ x 8″) instead of square. I rarely used the full-sized dinner plates from the old set, instead using the salad plates for most meals. They fit in the kitchen cabinet front-to-back, creating a space next to the stack for other dishes.
The new dishes got a run through the dishwasher, and put to use the next day:
Since then, I’ve come to appreciate the rectangular shape. Often I eat meals at my desk, and it’s usually pretty crowded. Sitting there or across from someone at a narrow table, these plates make things a little less crowded.