Monday, May 9, 2011

Windmills and Wooden Shoes

There are certain things that quickly become family tradition. Tulip Time in Pella is one of those things. How can something that involves windmills and wooden shoes be anything else?

Last year, despite it being cold and windy, we had so much fun, we knew we would go every year. This year, it was sunny, warm, and crowded. And perfectly delightful.

The cooler weather has lasted longer into the year, so the tulips, instead of being a little past prime like last year, were at their peak this time.

Tulip Time always feels a little surreal, because not only are the people in the parade dressed in authentic Dutch garb, but many of the observers. During the parade, we sat next to a family where the little boys were wearing the loose pants, black caps, and neck handkerchiefs of Dutch tradition.

Everywhere we walked, we heard the hollow thunk-thunk of wooden shoes.

After the parade, we wandered the clean, beautiful streets of Pella (maybe even splashing in the canal to cool off). We shared funnel cakes and Dutch letters.

Flaky pastry, almond paste, and sugar: Delicious!

We strolled past the windmills. We had planned on touring the historic village and Vermeer Mill, but with long lines and deteriorating moods in our boys, we decided the tour will wait until next year.

And the tulips...

They were just breathtaking. There was every color possible.

It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday: Full of tradition, sweets, and flowers.


  1. You have a beautiful life, Katherine. I love your posts.

  2. I love the hug! The flowers are sooo vivid in their colors. What a wonderful day!

  3. Love these photos! What a beautiful family you have.

  4. Looks like a spectacular day! I'd say it's a tradition worth continuing! :)

  5. Hey, I am visiting from SITS! I was recently in Holland, and wow, this city really has an authentic Dutch feel to it. All of the tulips are amazing (in both places). The last picture of your boys is absolutely adorable!

  6. Absolutely beautiful pictures. Sounds like a downright magical weekend.

  7. Something so beautiful it hurts! Especially the last.
    Thank you not only for seeing the beautiful for but sharing it so that its real even from a distance.

  8. Post script: That does it! Mercy says you are her photographer for her pre-wedding photos when she gets married (whenever that is..)

  9. So pretty! I really wanted to go after your recap last year, and now I want to go even more... Now to convince the hubby...

  10. I am not exaggerating when I say that tulips are my absolute favorite flowers. Tulip Time in Pella just got added to my bucket list.

  11. I love your pictures. Especially the last one of the boys. Too sweet.

    We have a place similar to this here in California. I haven't been in AGES, though. I should go.

    One of my favorite things about the brief time I lived in Ottawa was the tulip festival. Tulips are my favorite flower, so seeing millions of them around the city just made me SO happy!

  12. What a magical place! Where is this? Love all your photos.