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More than just tulips.

MoreThanJustTulips7.jpgTulips are in full bloom everywhere that they've been planted that the squirrels haven't found.  Though the bulbs we planted at our old house never really did us the favor of growing buds, our new garden surprised us with several different kinds and colors of tulips this spring.  But if we can see tulips anywhere, then why do we have a tradition of driving two hours to the city of MoreThanJustTulips2.jpgHolland, Michigan, to attend the annual tulip time festival?  Well, there is the fact that there are few places closer to us where one can find so many tulips in one place.  And part of the answer has to be the annual offer of a free place to stay right on beautiful Lake Michigan, which makes for a great mini vacation.  But to get to the heart of the matter, you'd have to know that Calvin is about as Dutch as a little (over half) Dutch Boy can be.  MoreThanJustTulips5.jpgHeritage, genealogy, tradition - all of these things are very important to us, and the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan is more than just a celebration of those pretty flowers;  it is a celebration of the Dutch heritage that is still strong in the area.  On Monday we visited Dutch Village where we fed goats, tried on wooden shoes, watched a Klompen Dancing demonstration, then tried our own feat at it, and enjoyed a traditional Dutch meal.  Monday evening, after walking the beach, MoreThanJustTulips6.jpgwe spent in Centennial Park enjoying not only the beautiful flowers but also another Klompen Dancing performance, this one by high school dancers from the area who filled the streets surrounding the park.  Calvin loved the dancing, and we loved seeing so many young men and women involved in keeping this part of the heritage alive.  And today we spent in Windmill Island Park where we climbed to the top of and learned all about the country's oldest working authentic Dutch windmill, De Zwaan, MoreThanJustTulips8.jpgtiptoed through rows and rows of beautiful tulips, ate another authentic Dutch meal, and listened to the street organ while playing on the wide lawns of a replica Dutch village.  The weather was fabulous, and the crowds low thanks to it being mid-week, all adding up to a great mini-vacation.  The only downside?  Our garden of tulips looked suddenly quite modest upon our return home.

A profusion of Tulip Time pictures can be found in that album. 


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Reader Comments (2)

Beautifully written, I live near there and see the festival on TV the whole time pretty much but you made me consider visiting.
May 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
I just came by to wish you a Happy Mother's Day! :-)
May 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

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