Who knew Holland was only 2 hours away? I have found memories of Girl Scout trips to the Netherlands I took when I was in grade school. We always drove to Holland from Germany on an enormous tour bus. Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, the Anne Frank House, canals cruises in Amsterdam, and of course a visit to an old time village with a windmill, cheese, Delft pottery, and wooden shoes – these were the activities that filled our days. I was in grade school so I haven’t experienced Holland as an adult, but I have a lot of great memories of trips there.
We’ve been living in Iowa for 6 years now and I’ve heard about the Tulip Festival in Pella – but we’ve never been before. I mean, how could it compare the real, live deal? I guess I can be kind of a snot sometimes… If it’s not as good as the real thing, why go? Sometimes I’m sad that I can’t provide my own children the experiences I had when I was little. Exploring Europe as a child is something I really treasure but isn’t exactly feasible right now.
But when our home school group organized a trip to Tulip Time in Pella, I jumped at the chance. And this past Thursday, our whole family loaded up and made the two hour trek to Pella to see what all the hub-bub was about. I’m so glad we went! It might not have been the real deal, but it was awesome and we all had a great time.
The Vermeer Mill was built in in 2002 ~ by Dutch craftsmen. It is a working flour mill and it was a lot of fun talking to the millers who were as interested to hear about how I grind my flour as I was to hear about how they grind theirs!
But my favorite part of the day was the parade. It looked like most of the “Pella-cans” donned traditional Dutch dress and came out for the parade. It was so much fun to see such a very well orchestrated parade. I loved watching the kids especially. No expense was spared for this parade, let me tell you! I loved it.
I highly recommend Pella Tulip Days. The only sad thing was the lack of tulips. Our non-existent winter coupled with a very early spring meant tulips in March instead of May. I would have loved to see all of the tulips. Oh well ~ it gives us an excuse to go back next year!