M4L, Inc, a custom millwork online retailer, sends an east coast
associate to meet up with a west coast associate, rents them a pair of Eagle Rider Harley Davidson motorcycles, and visits customers who have installed a wooden front entry door purchased from their website, millworkforless.com.
Billed the 1st, possibly annual, M4L Door Tour, Alan Rehm from the Hershey, PA home office joined Monica McCready working from Los Angeles and the two co-workers spent 5 days traveling 898 miles taking
photographs of customer homes who have purchased a new front door over the past few years. What follows is a photo journal detailing the trials and pleasures of their experience.
July 6, 2005
After landing at LAX, we stopped for lunch at the Cheese Cake Factory and had lunch on the beach in Marina Del Rey. Lunch was good and the weather was even better. The coastal breeze
felt really nice.
From there we went to the first address to snap a picture of a door.
Then we stopped at Monica's garage to drop of a little motorcycle that was in the back of her Jeep. The gas fumes were very strong inside the vehicle, so it was good to unload it. We hung out in the garage for a while and drank a beer and talked about her bikes there.
After checking into the motel, we went to Mann's Chinese Theater for a special preview of a very funny movie, "The 42 Year Old Virgin." We didn't have a dry eye the whole time because we were laughing so hard. We then stopped at Johnny Rockets for a burger
before calling it a day. The burgers were so good!
July 7, 2005
Thursday we went to Glendale Harley Davidson to pick up our motorcycles.
Alan expected to get a nice clean Road King with gleaming chrome. This wasn't the case. Since they
are rentals they don't take the best of care with these. The bikes were very dusty & dirty. Both had many dings & scratches. The front end on the Road King was bent and out of line, but it still handled and rode just fine. The Low Rider had been crashed and had some damage. The tank was dented and
rusting on the one side. The front head light assembly was bent making night time riding a bit of a danger because the light shined down to the left instead of straight ahead. None of this mattered because we were excited to hit the road on 2 wheels for the next few days.
We loaded up the bikes with our gear and headed off into the Angeles National Forest. We road over several mountain passes on the way to our first home and stopped for breakfast at a little road side cafe. We talked to a nice local man who was there for lunch
and he told us about some road closures do to the heavy rains that washed out the roads from previous weeks. So we had to take an alternate route, but all was well.
The roads were a blast. High elevations, lots of twisty turns, smooth pavement - a motorcyclists dream. We were traveling along at a nice pace and we started to scrape parts of the Harleys through all of the turns. This was very easy to do, and a bit frightening at times.
Now we were out of the forest and were on our way to Lancaster, CA to snap a
The next house in Santa Clarita was in a gated community. We tried to call the homeowner only to get the answering machine, so no picture.
After some more riding, we headed back home. We had dinner at a little Thai restaurant where Pam waited on us. She was very nice and funny and the food was excellent.
July 8, 2005
Friday took us East on the 60 freeway towards San Bernadino. We roared along side tractor trailers and rush hour traffic.
When we arrived at the first stop, the house had a beautiful door, but the gate & hedges were blocking it so you couldn't see it. We tried to lean
over the gate to get a good shot, but it didn't come out like we wanted it to.
So Monica leaned through the hedges and tried to
take a picture only to have the camera batteries die. She did bring extra batteries, but we needed a screw driver to open the battery compartment. No problem, but we have no tools! Luckily, there was a neighbor out mowing his grass who was kind enough to loan us a screwdriver. In a few minutes, we were back in the
bushes taking another photo.
From there we headed to Alta Loma in the foot hills of the San Gabriel Mountains. We found our destination with ease and snapped a few photos before eating lunch.
Ahh, within a few miles, we were off the freeways and cruising through the country climbing up to 7000 ft to Mt Baldy.
July 9, 2005
Saturday we headed south down the Pacific Coast Highway toward San Diego to meet our CEO's
brother Chip and his wife. On the way, we stopped in Long Beach at a home for a photo, but the house was still under construction.
We then continued south along the coast to Carlsbad and met Chip and his wife, Mary Jane at our next destination only to find the address didn't house our door. We all drove to Lunch on the beach at the Poseidon and had some very tasty fish tacos.
Then we were of to take a tour with Chip along the coast of San Diego. It is a beautiful city, but
we got tired of seeing stucco. A Lamborghini drove by us. Then we passed the dealerships for Rolls Royce, Bently, Ferrari and Lotus. Not the type of cars you see every day. That was pretty cool. We did get
to the next house which was a Timberlake home.
This would be a great photo opportunity. Oops, another gated community. So we waited and before long a car pulled up, entered their code and the gate opened.
We decided to go for it.. We found the home and walked up the drive and took a few pictures and we
left. Easy enough!
One more pic and we left Chip and went off toward the mountains for a few more addresses. The next place was a bit hard to find. The directions were right, but the street was a private road and it wasn't labeled. We took a chance and found it. We peeked over the fence and there was the door.
Great, but the door was hanging open. This will not make for a good picture. So Alan went to the door and rang the bell twice. Now, here stands this lady in her bathing suit, and Alan is on her front porch with his motorcycle gear on holding a camera! She looked a little concerned. After he introduced
himself, she was happy
to close the door so we could get a few pics. She then came out and told us how happy she was with her door. Her builders did not want her to order a door online. They tried everything to talk her out of it. She told them if they could find something like it for the same price she would buy it.
They came back and told her they couldn't touch the price. The sale was ours.
Our last stop in Temecula was a doctors office and it was the weekend, so
no photo. So we rode across the street and ate dinner at a Sushi bar. The people were very welcoming and overly friendly. The food was excellent. Then came the long ride back up the high way. No fun on the Harleys. You sit straight up with your legs out front, your arms open wide to
catch all the wind. Human kites. We had blisters on our hands from holding on so tight.
July 10, 2005
Sunday was a fun day to relax and ride north up the coast towards Malibu. Once you get out of
the cities, CA is a beautiful place. Monica's friend, Tarra, rode along and we stopped for some breakfast at Paradise Cove, a place on the beach. During breakfast a lady across from us came back from the restroom with a toilet seat liner hanging out the back of her pants. We thought we would die. After breakfast, we rode along some great mountain
passes and stopped at a biker bar called the Rock Store, a cool hang out in the middle of nowhere. Jay Leno frequents the place on the weekends, but this weekend, we didn't spot him. We were there for a little bit to relax and then we hit the road back to Glendale to return the bikes by 3:00PM.
This was the end of our Door Tour 2005 as we headed back to LAX for
Alan to catch his flight home.
Will this be the 1st Annual M4L Door Tour? Who knows. It doesn't matter. We had a lot of fun and hopefully we got some great pics and can put together an entertaining story to post and show people the final product. It
is sometimes hard to sell a product to someone when all you have is a picture on the web, or in a catalog. As sales people for M4L, this is hard because we don't work at the factory/mill and we cant often see the finished product. It is difficult to describe the beauty of these wood doors without seeing them.
shocked at the difference when we got to see these doors up close already in the homes. The pictures do not show the details and beauty of these doors. All finished and installed. We are proud of the products we offer. They really do look great and we wish we could
have gotten to meet each homeowner to take few minutes and get their opinions about the whole process of purchasing their door. Maybe if we get to do this again in the future, we will work ahead and call these people and let them know we are coming to do a photo shoot and talk with them. If it allows us to get into a
gated community and snap a few more pictures, it could be worth it.
Door Tour 2006