Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is it a road trip if it's only an hour?

I am leaving work early today and driving east to Pella, Iowa. Pella is the home of your Pella windows and is it a very nice little town. It’s very clean and very Dutch.

I will meet up with a friend and we’ll go out to eat before we go around the corner to the Pella Opera House to see Gaelic Storm. I saw Gaelic Storm perform way too many times in 2009, but the POH is the only setting in which I feel like they’re practically in my lap. This is what I think is a new publicity shot. Anyway, it isn't the one I've seen a million times:

The theater, built in 1900, is on the second and third (balcony) floors of the building and seats only 324 people. The sight lines are clear and so there is almost nothing between you and the performers, which is really nice. Last year they invited people to go back to the hotel bar for a drink. We didn’t go and won’t this year, I’m sure. But after all the other performances last year, they never made that offer in the bigger venues. This is the theater:
This is where I am eating and the nicest hotel in town. It's around the corner from the POH. This is also the hotel the band stayed in last year, so while we ate we got to listen to Gaelic Storm over the sound system. Um, I'm pretty sure this is the right place. In my mind, the windmill in town is not behind the hotel.
Pella used to have the smallest Wal-Mart still being used in the country. It was even a question on Jeopardy once. The city finally let them build a new, big Wal-Mart on the other side of town but it had to have a Dutch look to the fa├žade. The old Wal-Mart was oh, maybe circa early 80s: very small with tiny aisles that needed to be one-way so you didn’t clog things up. When you walked in the front door, you could have spit on the back wall.

Of course, in Pella if you got caught spitting, the old Dutch ladies would probably beat you to death after they made you scrub it up.

I jest about the “to death” part.

Pella is a nice place and that’s where I will be this evening with my delightful Dutch-speaking friend Trudy.

According to Wikipedia other people from Pella include:
Kory DeHaan — former Major League Baseball player
Kyle Korver — forward/guard for the Utah Jazz
Dave Keuning — guitarist for The Killers
Louis LeCocq — Pella native, WWI era auto racer, killed in 1919 Indianapolis 500
Wyatt Earp — lawman and gunfighter of OK Corral fame, spent most of his childhood in Pella
Paul Emerick - professional rugby player, 2006 MVP


UrbanIdeas said...

Aren't you forgetting to talk how absolutely amazing it is to go to Pella in the Spring especially when the tulips come out? You do indeed feel you stepped back into a Dutch village from the 19th century but with people wearing 21st century clothes!

A piece of news said...

Yea, it's a neat little town. That angle of the windmill is correct, it just isn't the door I walked through. We had a really good time last night.

MyMaracas said...

Sounds like a great time. Have fun!

And by the way - "road trip" is a state of mind, in my opinion. Party on.

Rambling Woods said...

Have a great time Caron...Interesting place to visit.. Michelle

Rose said...

An hour is a road trip; at least to me it is. I cannot believe I have missed all these postings...I wish the pictures of the theater and the hotel enlarged. They look like beautiful buildings.

A piece of news said...

They are beautiful buildings, Rose. It is a very nice town. I was alone in the car for the road trip, which isn't nearly as much fun. But I met up with someone who really enjoys the concert as much as I do and that makes the evening a lot of fun.