Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Let's Go Dutch!

I hope you like tulips!  This post is big on tulips.  We popped over to Holland for the weekend and had the good fortune of seeing the most beautiful tulips, crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths in bloom.  

Claudia liked the flowers, but was most content sitting around in a giant wooden clog.
The highlight of the weekend was visiting Keukenhof, a massive, manicured garden in Lisse, just about 40 minutes outside of Amsterdam.   I read that they plant about 7 million bulbs every year. 
  The attention to detail is amazing.  At one point I saw a groundsman fluffing up group of tulips that was slightly drooping.  
The highlight for Claudia was the Miffy playground at the garden.  Miffy ("Nijntje" in Dutch) is a popular little bunny girl from the Dutch book series by Dick Bruna.  We are a big fan of the books, so it was exciting to see so much Miffy everywhere.

I can only imagine what all the technicolor flowers looked like for Patrick.  

I'm guessing he liked them, though!

My favorite thing was the river of latifolium flowers that wound its way through the park.
Here is a closeup of some latifolium that popped up in our garden.  I miss Texas bluebonnets, but these guys are a pretty nice substitute.
The garden was perfect.  I can only imagine how much time and energy it takes to cultivate 7 million bulbs.  All I know is that the bulbs in bloom are a work of art.  

In the fields around the garden, farmers are growing acres and acres of flowers.   It looks like someone just painted the fields in different color stripes.  Amazing!

We stopped to sniff tulips in the city too.
Amsterdam is a bike city.   Cars yield to the bikers here.  Moms take their kiddos everywhere on bike.  If you have more than one kid, you ride a bike with a cart attached to the front and load it up with kids.  I never got a good picture of that and I'm so sorry, because it was the coolest thing!

This little girl desperately wanted a bicycle ride too.  Once I'm cleared to ride a bike on the road, I think I will get a seat put on for Claudia.

(nestled between the "a" and the "m")

Bop and I took a girls trip to the Rijksmuseum while Paddy and Daddy napped.  She had no interest in the Dutch masters, but asked a lot of questions about art from former Dutch colonies.  Specifically, she wanted to know why the Dutch took the art and when they would be giving it back.   I'm starting to have trouble answering her questions.   

Walking the canals was also a pleasant way to spend the day.

Those clogs are pretty much glued to her feet.   At least I always know where she is in the house.   Perfect Dutch souvenir from a perfect Dutch weekend!


  1. I love this post! I have always wanted to visit Amsterdam and now I want to even more! Such a beautiful city and you picked the most glorious day! And I so want a pair of clogs! I think we will definitely have to take a trip their soon, we have been putting it off until the kids are older but you have proven there is so much for them to enjoy. And it's so cool that it's full of biking mums! :)

  2. Wow! Talk about technicolor! I can't even imagine how beautiful it all was in person! And I was hoping you purchased clogs! So fun!

  3. How fun!! Wow- those flowers are beautiful! (great photography btw!) Love CC's clogs :)

  4. Oh Meryl this is my favorite post yet!
    For a few reasons!
    What gorgeous smiles and colors and photos. STUNNING.
    I have Dutch roots so this is also really wonderful to me.
    My parents are going to Holland in a few short weeks so I've shared this with my Mom. Any suggestions on MUST SEE spots.
    Love all these adventures. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Ahhhh! So insanely jealous! "Hopped on over to Holland"....ha! As a landscape architect, seeing the Kukenhoof tulip gardens is #1 on my bucket list!! I've been dying to visit Amsterdam!! If yall are still in Budapest next spring I am kidnapping my husband and forcing him to accompany me on a visit to Dutchland!

  6. Beautiful pictures, as always!! Love all of Claudia's outfits!! These followers are absolutely gorgeous, I've never seen anything like it!

  7. Beautiful!!! We are going in a couple of weeks, so hope it still looks like that!!

  8. What a sweet little trip!! As always, great photos!

  9. Gorgeous!!! Seeing these photos brought back memories - I'm glad you had a great time! The bike riding is quite a sight, I love how parents cart their kids around. In our town there was even a Dad who had a special platform built off the front of his bike and his son's wheelchair used to strap onto it. It was a pretty special thing to see. I started riding with Oliver when he was about 8 weeks old over there (the capsule used to strap into the bike trailer), and I miss it!

  10. What amazing colors in those tulip pictures- unreal!!!

  11. Wow. Looks like it was an amazing time. Loving all the clogs and flower photos. We will have to make a holiday over there some time! Thanks for sharing! Xo, M&K at

  12. Holland looks sooo pretty, I like all the buildings! In America we don't have architecture like that so I'm always swooning over images like that. And that tulip garden is BEAUTIFUL! My mom's favorite flowers are tulips, and she would freak coming across that haha. And I love Claudia in that wooden clog hahah, too cute.

    xo Marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

  13. Those clogs!! And what gorgeous photos. I am so ready for spring! We do have cut tulips on our dining table :) I love the photo with the shades of purple

  14. So beautiful!!! you, the kids and the scenery!!! I LOVE Your posts!!! AND your kids are getting SO big and they are SO stinkin' cute!!!


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