Friday, April 20, 2012

Tiptoeing Through the Tulips

We started doing the math and realized we'd be next door to Holland during the bulb blooming season.  It fast became a priority to make the drive there to see the legendary bulbs in bloom in person.  The drive was about 3 hours (one way) from our gite in Belgium, and as we headed out I began to question whether the long drive for a single event was really worth it--especially as the kids were having so much fun with the friends we were staying with.  Let me just say, for the record, it was 100% worth every kilometer we drove (although, technically Ted did the driving through the construction and crowded city traffic, so maybe we should ask him).  We had a lovely day, exploring the Keukenhof Gardens (near Lisse, Holland) on foot.  They claim to plant more than 7,000,000 bulbs every year.

After that, we explored the countryside on bike.  

The tulips hadn't yet peaked, but that was no disappointment, because the hyacinths had, and suffice it to say that the scent was delicious.  Mary Beth and I just drove down the path and inhaled deeply hoping to remember the smell forever.  

We followed a marked path, but got a little turned around at one point.  Our attempt to return to the bike rental shop led us, instead, to the North Sea (the rental guy mentioned that one of the paths would take us there, so we weren't terribly shocked).  Not what we had planned, but it was a great accident.  Now we have a few shells to add to our shell collection from other ocean visits.  

But the real highlight was the tulips and other flowers in the gardens and carpeting the countryside.  It was beautiful.

And now, let's see how smart you are (or how well you google).  This year, Keukenhof was featuring Poland.  So, who is this famous person from Poland.  You probably don't need a hint, but here's one anyway--he's a composer.  

First one to respond wins the prize.  (Note I say "the prize" not "a prize."  My kids win "the prize" sometimes for being the last one up in the morning or for being in the clean plate club,  for example, and I will have to admit, they're always disappointed that "the prize" is just a phrase.)

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