Thursday, May 31, 2012
We started the day off bright and early. Wait. Scratch that. It was early, but it wasn't so bright as it was only 1:00 in the morning!!! :) We got on the road about 2:00 to make it to the base in plenty of time to catch our 2:30 bus for Holland and the Tulip Festival. The bus ride was something all the kids had been looking forward to and I think daddy enjoyed not being the driver for once!!
Just a note - this is part one and contains the story of our day. Part two will have the majority of the flower pictures!!
Sleepy eyes, but at least their smiling! :)
Hey up there!
There ended up being quite a few people and two different buses. We were assigned to the second one.
Everyone getting settled into the bus
(I don't have a picture of daddy, but he was sitting behind me!)
After the excitement died down, everyone tried to catch a little more sleep.
Early morning sunrise out the bus window
My travel partner
On our last trip to Holland (to the hiding place, etc.), we had wondered what the rows of water in the fields were for. The bus driver explained that this is Holland's form of irrigation.
We drove right by Amsterdam
Then we arrived at our first stop of the day - Clara Maria - a wooden shoe and Dutch cheese making farm
We divide into groups to watch the different demonstrations
Mrs. Van Wees
She gave us a Dutch cheese making demonstration!
Some of it was a little bit familiar since we've made goat cheese before, but it was neat to see it on a much bigger scale!!
This slowly heats and mixes the milk while waiting for curds to form
Aging cheese - their cheese is delicious!!
Look at those curds already forming!!
Next, Mr. Van Wees gave us a wooden shoe making demonstration
On the way to the other building, we got a peek at all their cows!!
He called on this young man to help him
First they chop a block of wood into a reasonable size and take the bark off
Look at all the shoes!!! Aren't they really cute?!
They even have little baby ones!!
Secondly, they put the block of wood into a machine that shapes it into a shoe
The wood chips fly!
Thirdly, they transfer the shoe-shaped block to a different machine that carves out the inside
The kids were able to get closer for a better look
Now it's ready to be sanded and set to let dry. They form the shoes out of wet wood to avoid cracking, then they let it dry for several weeks before finishing the process. At this point the shoe feels wet and is quite heavy!
This shoe has just been finished after sitting for the proper time and feels dry and is very light!
Then we sat down to a traditional Dutch breakfast
cold ham, bread with jam and sprinkles, hard boiled eggs, a little fruit and lots of yummy cheese!
The place settings were very pretty
The little egg holders were cute
I think everyone enjoyed breakfast very much!
Jam with chocolate sprinkles is very good!!
The gift store had a really neat set up and was a lot of fun to look around!!
A little Dutch Windmill out front
We very much enjoyed our time at Clara Maria!!!
We then headed off to the Kuekenhof Gardens
Shenandoah enjoyed the bus ride
(the following couple of pictures look terrible taken through the bus windows, but it was better than nothing!! :)
As we got closer to the gardens, it was amazing to see whole fields of beautiful colors from all of the flowers!!
The sky was really pretty
Look at that red - Wow!!!
And we arrive!
Everyone on the bus tour split off on their own at this point and we had the whole afternoon to explore!!
We had these delicious sandwiches for lunch
They were delicious!!!
Shenandoah - I love this picture that mommy got of her!!
Standing in line for the zipline
A cute little duck on its nest
This was a neat music machine!
(I wasn't trying to take a picture of the people :)
A couple of people in the back feed new "books" of music through the machine that are programmed to make the different instruments play their parts.
This little girl was too cute - I just had to get a picture of her!!
Seth loved seeing all of the swans
Seth, Stasia and I
Mommy and Daddy
A Dutch windmill
A pretty little stream
I love dolphins!!
I thought this was a pretty row of trees
At the end of the day, we managed to find our bus in the long row of buses!!
It didn't take Shenandoah long to fall asleep
The rest of our time was in the bus on the way home and an interesting rest stop where we ate a German dinner (that actually ended up not being bad)! The following pictures are a little dark, but were taken without a flash in the dark bus!!
Stasia and Sabrina
Seth and Sienna
Mommy and Shen
Sayer and I
And we're back!!!
We slept in late the next day after being up for almost 24 hours!!! (except for a little sleep on the bus). What a great day!!!