Sunday, April 25, 2010

Celebrating end of Tax Season with a weekend trip to The Netherlands: Keukenhof Flower Garden (Day 1)

I was counting down the days until the big April 15th tax deadline, so Reagan and I could spend more time with Shannon (aka Daddy)! We had planned a little get away in The Netherlands to celebrate this occasion. First we went to Keukenhof Gardens which is located near Lisse and only open from mid March – mid May every year. It’s an amazing garden displaying beautiful Spring flowers. We’ve actually been there once before, but thought it would be a fantastic place to take Reagan and of course get some incredible photos! Even though the weather and timing of our visit wasn’t during the peak of the garden, we still enjoyed seeing some of the earlier blooming flowers, mostly the hyacinths, daffodils, blue bells, and a few tulips. There were several indoor exhibits along with spectacular floral displays around the park and even fascinating sculptures placed sporadically throughout the grounds. The theme for the park this year happened to be “From Russia with Love”, which was displayed through several special exhibits, such as St Basil’s (“onion domed”) Cathedral portrayed by flowers.

Now, if only I could smuggle some of those amazing tulip bulb varieties back to the States, I would have a mini Keukenhof of my own! I’ll have to research our contract to see what is and isn’t allowed on our shipment home next year since I would love to bring some back. I have a new found love for tulips and usually end up buying some at the markets during the Spring in Brussels. They look so lovely on our dining room table and are actually quite affordable, 10 tulips for 4 Euro or 20 tulips for 7 Euro. Overall flowers are quite cheap here compared to the US. You would think I would get them more often from someone! Oh well, I have no problem buying them for myself every once in awhile!

One of several cool sculptures

The daffodils were so vibrant!

One example of the parks landscaping skills

There are ponds throughout the park along with a few fountains
Reagan loves her new backpack carrier which we found through the classifieds. Shannon's back seems to be holding up so far!

Since we had Reagan we didn't actually go on these wooden lilly pads, but thought they were pretty cool!
Reagan was such a trooper and got tons of attention in her carrier which I'm sure she was thrilled about!
Mommy and Reagan enjoying the beautiful flowers!
Thankfully Reagan was full of smiles this day!

Several pathways were lined with flowers
Another cute little waterway surrounded by beautiful flowers

River of bluebells

I thought this was pretty with the mix of tulips
Since the theme of the park this year was "From Russia with Love" they created a display of flowers portraying St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow (you'll see the real thing in another blog soon, I promise!)
Russian lady painting the famous Matryoshka dolls (aka nesting dolls). Don't worry plenty of these photos in an upcoming blog as well!
An interesting indoor exhibit with ballerinas
Mommy and Reagan as Matryoshka dolls!
There are lots of areas for kids.
There's a traditional Holland windmill in the park which you can climb up.
Reagan had fun in this cute traditional Holland wooden shoe
A bit larger wooden shoe!
Just outside the park, you can see fields of hyacinths, tulips and other flowers. It's quite an amazing site since I'm only use to seeing cornfields back in Nebraska and they're not quite this colorful!
Logs made into benches with shovels as there backrests
The following pictures are from the indoor exhibit. There are several unique varieties of tulips along with many that look like they're on steroids!

Back outside again

Thankfully, we were able to get one decent family photo!Another cool work of art


Dallas said...

Wow, you got some really gorgeous photos. Did you go on a weekday? I don't see any crowds in your shots.

John said...

Wow i love you blog its awesome nice colors you must have did hard work on your blog. Keep up the good work. Thanks

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