This trip was exciting for me for a lot of different reasons. First of all, my husband is originally from the Chicago area, and during my trip, I got to meet my Mother-In-Law, Dan's biological mother, for the first time. (HE hasn't even met her yet!) Also, we are die hard Chicago Bears fans. In addition to that, Dan's family owns a summer house in Harbert, Michigan, not too far from St. Joe. So in a lot of ways, by venturing to this region, I got to share parts of my husband's life that I hadn't experienced before, like seeing the Windy City and seeing the beautiful little lake communities on Lake Michigan where he spent every summer growing up. How cool is that?!
But the main thing that was super cool was that I got to learn SO much about the Whirlpool Corporation, who makes Maytag, KitchenAid, Amana, and Whirlpool products. (Just to name a few!) 8 Maytag Moms were selected for the Real Whirled experience, and we got to get an inside look at this iconic brand, and even got to check out things behind the scenes.
I would love to take this opportunity to share the highlights of my trip with you all, and share some of the things I have learned. I am fairly sure that I know more about appliances than your average person now, and I went home feeling so much more confident about my already amazing Maytag kitchen appliances!
The Real Whirled House
I loved the decor in the Real Whirled House. There were wonderful accent pieces, tons of candles, and the place smelled absolutely amazing. The folks at Whirlpool really went out of their way to make this condo feel like home to us Maytag Moms.
Dinner at Bistro on the Boulevard
As soon as we entered this establishment, we were greeted by a spectacular Christmas tree. (The folks in St. Joseph really get into the Holiday spirit!)
Exploring St. Joseph, Michigan
We also explored several little shops and boutiques. My favorite was Moxie's, which is an upscale clothing store that carries brands like Karen Kane and Jagg Jeans. Another great one was a little shop that carries tons of local Michigan merchandise like jams, wines, and art.
Maytag Moms Can Cook!
She even brought us a dinner menu complete with recipes, and we split into 2 teams to make our own dinner! I have always loved to cook, so I felt right at home! One team made pasta, cookies, and salad, and the other made broiled hamburgers, baked potato soup, and a cheesy foccacia bread. (I was on team Hamburger!)
Our meal was pretty good, but nothing like what I make at home. I guess I am a more experienced cook, so I add a lot more flavor to my own meals. The recipes we were provided were very basic though, to accommodate all skill levels. Still, the experience and the meal were both rather enjoyable!
Whirlpool Test Labs
Interesting fact: Whirlpool actually got their start RIGHT HERE, in this very building, 100 years ago! The company name has changed, the building has been expanded, but the core values and dedication to providing excellent products to their consumers has never wavered a bit!
I also would like to point out that every single person we had the honor to meet has been with Whirlpool for 20+ years. This says a lot about this company and the way they treat their employees. At Whirlpool, it's not just a workplace, it really is a family. I love that!
Here is a bit from the laundry labs. See how all of the machines are hooked up to odd looking devices? These actually monitor exactly what is happening inside of the machines under a variety of closely monitored industry tests. Each machine is fed the same amount of detergent and clothing, as well as different variables like sand, to test just how well the machines hold up in real world conditions. (Like peoples' homes!)
I never knew this, and was quite shocked to learn it. I actually spent so much time rinsing and pre-washing my dishes before this trip because I thought it was the right thing to do. Well, it isn't. As a matter of fact, it can be harmful to your dishes! The best thing to do is to scrape any huge chunks off of your dishes without rinsing completely, and then just run the dishwasher. The machine as well as your dish detergent will do its job, leaving your dishes clean. If you pre-wash and remove all food residue, your dish detergent can actually harm the finish of your dishes over time. Who knew?!
My teen is absolutely thrilled at this news, by the way. He has been yelled at SO many times for not rinsing his dishes when he's through with them. Guess I won't be harping on him anymore!
We also got to see just how the inner-workings of a dishwasher operate! This was really neat! They have a few units with transparent, sealed doors that allow the engineers to see exactly how the water is spraying inside the machines.
Goodbye, St. Joe....Hello, Chicago!
I also learned a lot about the Whirlpool family of brands and about my own appliances. I came home with a wealth of knowledge and even started using my appliances in more unconventional ways since I understood all of the settings better! I already knew that Maytag was synonymous with quality and dependability. Now I know that this isn't simply a marketing ploy. It's a promise, and a commitment to their customers. The folks at Whirlpool strive to be the best in the industry, and they have definitely succeeded, in my humble opinion. I am proud to be a Maytag Mom, and I know one day, my Sophie will be a Maytag Mom, too!
I would like to sincerely thank the Whirlpool team and MomCentral for allowing me to experience the Real Whirled. I had a wonderful time, and am proud to be a part of the Maytag family!
***Disclosure: I wrote this post participating in an Maytag Moms Ambassador program by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Maytag. I was provided with a trip to the Real Whirled house to facilitate my post.***