Monday, May 4, 2009

The Tulip Festival

It's tulip time indeed! Saturday's big outing to the tulip festival did not disappoint! Tulips lined the streets, were in planters all over downtown, and in the flower beds everywhere! We left bright and early at 6 AM in the morning and got there as the Art & Crafts Fair was beginning in Centennial Park. We had just enough time to browse the booths before we had go meet Katie and her family before the Klompen dance performance. You can see part of Katie's performance here.

It was really neat to see all the groups lined up in the street each wearing a costume that is handmade by local seamstresses and patterned after the traditional dress of the Dutch provinces. There are over 1,100 Klompen dancers, including 675 alumni and community dancers that dance in the various performances put on throughout the day.
After we walked around downtown with Katie and her family for a little bit, we went to Kinderplatts and found this area with large tulip beds near by it also in Window on the Waterfront Park. The colors were lovely and of course we had to stop and do the touristy thing and take a ton of pictures.This is the look ER got on her face when I told her we were almost done and could go play in the inflatable bounce houses she could see from the hill we were on. Guess she was more excited to play than look at flowers, what a surprise!So I didn't get my dream picture of ER in front of fields and fields of tulips that stretch as far as the eye can see, but I'll settle for these! It was tough getting her to hold still for even a second, she wanted to run up and down and all around the tulips. She kept telling us that they were all her flowers.
Kinderplatts was so much fun and a great bargain for a ton of family fun! It was only $5.50 for ER to get in and do all the activities, that's so much nicer than having to buy tickets for each and every thing. There was so much to do there...
She enjoyed the two petting zoo areas, especially the little ponies. She is all about ponies and horses. There were also dogs she could've visited with but it was too close to the bounce houses and once she saw those nothing could hold her back!
This one had cow print all over it. She told me today that she liked bouncing in the cow the best. Unfortunately, some of the inflatables were too big for our little one to climb up on her own. She was pretty upset that she couldn't go down the huge slide, as parents weren't allowed on them. But then we found something to distract her...
All I can say is that it's a good thing my camera has a good zoom on it, as I kept pretty far back! Brad says the snake was surprisingly heavy. ER wasn't too crazy about it, she did eventually pet it a little. I didn't get any pictures of her looking up at me, her eyes were on the snake the whole time.
She also went in another bounce house and in this inflatable maze. Then Brad got in line for the clown who was making balloon animals. It was a long and very slow line, so we went and...
Made this very fun hat! All you do to make it is lay a large sheet of paper over a foam hat shape. Then ER held the paper in place, while the volunteer put masking tape around it at the widest part. ER got to pick out a pipe cleaner and a paper die cut. She picked out an orange star, because, "I orange today."
The line to the clown was still very long so we went and dug in the dirt for awhile. ER got to plant a seed to take home. Then we went and got a balloon but we did NOT go near the Curious George or the Pig from the book If You Give a Pig a Pancake, no siree. She's still very afraid of dressed up characters.
Brad was STILL near the end of the line for the balloon animals so we went and sat in the extended taxi cab. I think it had three or four sets of doors and for some reason ER was crazy over it. We had to go back and sit in it four or five times. Isn't it funny what kids end up liking, I'd have skipped that one all together if she hadn't gotten so excited over it. All she did was climb in, shut the door, put on the seat belt, and then roll up and down the manual window over and over. She'd still be sitting there if we'd let her. That's Brad with her at the very end after we'd finally given up on the balloon animals. He'd only moved up a third of the line or so, and once ER announced she did NOT want to see the clown we got out of line.
We also got a caricature of ER drawn, blew some bubbles, and got ER a fitted for a bike helmet where all the police, fire trucks, and other civic organizations were set up. We'd been looking and looking for one small enough for her without luck, who knew we'd find it at the Tulip Festival of all places! The last thing we did at Kinderplatts was let ER ride the horse and buggy ride. There weren't too many carnival rides there, as there is complete carnival area elsewhere but this one was just perfect for her to go on all by herself. She loved shaking the bells and got the biggest grin on her face when it started going.

Are you tired yet? There was just enough time for a leisurely lunch at Subs-N-More in downtown, where I gobbled up a huge plate of nachos, before we had to head back to the car to drive an hour south to a first birthday party. We left a lot undone, there were a bunch of fun shops and a Dutch marktplatt to poke around, Windmill Island I'd have liked to seen, a tulip farm I must see, and even a whole Dutch village attraction! We'll be back, one day was just not enough time!

11 Friends Said:

Hadley said...

Looks like you had a great time! The tulips are beautiful, and it looks like they had tons of fun things to do!

Valerie said...

How blessed you were to have this beautiful day! The tulips are amazing.

Missy said...

It looks as though you guys had a good time. Pretty tulips,as well. Sorry I haven't visited in a while. I am finally back from my trip and back in the groove of things.

Courtney said...

How fun!!! LOVED the beautiful pictures! I bet that was a lovely site in person!

Mama King said...

Looks like a great day! I love festivals of any type! Just being outside walking around, people watching... What great photos ops with all those gorgeous tulips! It is also great how you and Katie met. I always assumed you guys were friends from college or work!

The Katies said...

It was so fun to see all your great pictures of your time in Holland. I love the super happy smile ER has in the picture by the tulips (the one where she was promised one more photo b4 you played!) It looks like you found plenty to do.
I know you would have really would have loved the tulip farm and would have probably gotten the picture you were dreaming of! Next year....

Holly said...

Looks like you all had a great time, Katie! (Except the snake- no thanks!) ER's "here comes the bounce house" face is priceless! So adorable! I know God knew what He was doing when He gave me all boys but golly gee whiz, ER brings tears to my eyes! ☺ ♥

Annie said...

Looks like a fun place and that everyone enjoyed it. Is so nice when we have a great time.

Have a nice week.

Together We Save said...

You have been tagged. Stop by my blog and check it out. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

Maridith said...

Beautiful day and a beautiful little girl!! Great pictures

Kris said...

Oh wow! Looks like a wonderful time! I love how ER said they were all her flowers! So cute!!!

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