Monday, May 16, 2016

Keukenhoff, The Netherlands

One place I've always dreamed of going to, but never imagined that I would get the chance to is Keukenhoff, the world's largest spring flower display.  It has been an extra chilly spring in Europe and so the flowers were not yet out in full glory, but it was still incredible.  

The hyacinths smelled the best!  Outside the gardens there were whole fields of them that made the air smell heavenly.  Tessa and Jonah broke off more than one trying to get a real good smell in other places, here the bench was a big help.
Max is always the first to be willing to pose for a picture for me, I tell the other kids that he is going to dominate the blog posts, but most of the time they don't seem to care.  Maggie wowed more than one tourist with the animals she was able to nab in the petting zoo.  Meanwhile the most incredible thing happened, we ran into family!  We were not even aware that we were in the same country, but by chance, or more like Divine intervention, we ran into Aaron's angelic Aunt Barb and Uncle Wayne as well as his cousin Spencer, wife Brittany, and their four kids, Isaac, Anne, Ty, and Josh.  
Suddenly flowers were not so important and we spent the rest of the day soaking in the joy of family time.  All the kids absolutely loved being together and we were able to really enjoying catching up with the Holts.  
Wayne, Barb, Spencer, Brittany, Aaron, Kari, and Tessa
It started to downpour, and so we headed inside to the greenhouses which were full of tulip displays.  The kids all seemed to naturally find another to explore with and it was so nice for them to be able to wander the flowers together while the adults could chat.

Lots of fun with Uncle Wayne
Tessa, "Today we went to a flower garden that had like 90,000,000,000 tulips.  We met Dad's Aunt and Uncle and his cousin and their kids.  We also played predator and prey.  We played on a playground, petting zoo, maze and stepping stones.  My favorite part was that Aunt Barb gave us STARBURSTS!  I loved that it was so funny that we met in Holland."
We hadn't quite seen all the garden, as the Holts had so some of us did a quick run through the rain to see the beautiful lake.  I could have wandered through Keukenhoff for hours, but flowers and beautiful scenery wasn't quite as captivating to the younger members of our group.  So we packed up, headed out of the rain, and went to the apartment we were renting for a little bit more family time.   

After a few snacks, games, and some time to dry out the Holt's were gracious enough to head toward the beach with us for a game of capture the flag.  However, when we got walking down the trail towards the beach we discovered it was much farther than we originally thought.  No problem, we found a little clearing and played a round of predator and prey and one of capture the flag nonetheless.  We are so happy that we were able to spend this day with family.  Spencer and Britt are fabulous and they have wonderful kids who were so great to include, interact, and entertain our attention hungry children.  

Max, "Today was a new day in a new country.  Yesterday we drove the long drive to the Netherlands.  We are in Holland right by Keukenhoff.  We went there today and it was beautiful!  We walked in the entrance and saw tons of flowers not yet in full bloom.  We walked through the majestic park in a tizzy of flowers and beautiful grass and plants.  Then by a complete fluke we found some relatives of ours, the Holts.  We played a little then, to escape the pouring rain, went into a massive greenhouse.  We picked our favorite flower.  Mine was a crazy one that's middle petals went crazy"

I loved the huge windows in this apartment.  It gave us a good view of The Netherlands, which spread out as flat as a table dotted with a beautiful floral tablecloth.  We had a fun time asking Siri what our elevation was and hearing her tell us we were several feet below sea level. The next day we made it out to the beach and it was so windy we almost blew off the beach.  I had a final bag of confetti that had been floating around in our car since Carnival in Italy and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to let it fly.  The wind carried it away in a matter of a few exhilarating moments.  Then, like the confetti, we fled the freezing beach.   We found a little spot to play some more capture the flag, fly our kite in The Netherlands, and a final game of predator and prey.  

The little ravine we played in was great because it kept the boundaries
small enough that I could keep running, and protected us from the wind.
A random giant chair as we exited the beach, thank you for posing Max.
April 6 - 7, 2016

1 comment:

  1. What vibrant flowers! I'm sure you, particularly, were in botanical bliss. How phenomenal that you ran into family. In another country, by chance, at the same place at the same time. Amazing.