Early last week Patricia said we had received an invitation from Pella Window Company to tour their Manufacturing plant in Pella, Iowa. Pella Iowa was a new one to me as I never knew such a place existed, nor did I know that Pella Windows, a brand I have long been familiar with, was actually named after a town in Iowa.
Every so often we are invited to tour a facility by a window or door manufacturer. It is always interesting to see the production operations of such companies, and to be wined and dined with all expenses paid. But, it is also typically an overnight trip with half day each way at the airport, returning to work tired, and two days behind in what we should have been doing.
With little more than vague interest in accepting the offer, we asked what the itinerary was so we could graciously decline, as we are too busy to be gone for two days.
We were told to plan on arriving at Hartsfield Jackson Airport at a private terminal on Loop Road. There, we and six other guests would be flown to Pella Iowa aboard their company Lear Jet. We would spend the day touring the facility, having lunch with two Pella VP’s and return back to Atlanta via said Lear Jet, and be home in time for dinner.
All of a sudden we felt like we just might be able to get away for a day.
The only real thing I know about Iowa is they get a lot of attention around election time, and I have never been there. But more importantly I had never flown on a Lear Jet.
We arrived about an hour earlier than instructed mainly because we were excited to go and did not want to be late. The pilot arrived shortly after us, and we spent the next twenty minutes making small talk with the pilot.
At exactly 7:30 AM we were asked to board the plane. What? I don’t have to take off my belt or shoes? No metal detectors? I can take my gun on board too? Ok, just kidding I did not have a gun with me, but could have carried it right along on board if I had.
We took off and ascended quickly to 41,000 feet for one of the smoothest flights I have ever been on. We landed in Pella Iowa at an airport reminiscent of the airport in the old television series WINGS, exactly an hour and a half after take off.
The Pella facility is something to see, 40 acres under roof, one big building that we toured from one end to the other. From the receiving of raw material, to the staging of completed windows and doors awaiting shipment. Lunch with two VP’s as advertised, a tour of research and development (no cameras or phones allowed), Thank you’s, gifts, and back to the airport.
Another amazingly smooth flight and landing. We were all given one last gift, a box of pastries from a Jaarsma Bakery, A Taste of Holland in Pella. One of the many facts we learned is that Pella Iowa was settled by the Dutch in 1847. Strong Dutch influences exist throughout the community today. We also learned that the Dutch make really good pastries.
And sure enough we were indeed home before 7:00 PM, well fed and well rested.
Thank you Pella Window Company for a very enjoyable day.