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Day Trip to Keukenhof.

May 20, 2010

I’ve been told that only old people and tourists go to Keukenhof. And while I do live in the Netherlands now, I’m still pretty much a tourist. And my mom, who visited me last week, was definitely a tourist.

So we went!

And I thought it was beautiful. We spent about 3 hours there, looking at flowers and sculptures and other people and that’s about it.

Oh, and we ate. But when do I go anywhere and not eat? I mean, really.

The basic set-up of the park was just…lots of different areas of flowers, with sculptures throughout, and then a few separate buildings that were more about what you can do with flowers after you pick them. Various arrangements. Or potted plants.

My mom and I both got excited pretty much anytime we saw purple and gold flowers paired together.

You can take the Tiger fan out of southern Louisiana and all that.

Wait. That doesn’t work. Because the sentence would end, “…but you can’t take the southern Louisiana out of the Tiger fan.” And that’s not what I meant. So you can take the girl out of Tiger Stadium? Out of Death Valley?

I’m just trying to say we like purple and gold no matter where we are in the world!

Moving on. I don’t have any great pictures of purple and gold pairings. So have some straight up purple instead.

These are almost purple and gold. I could’ve photoshopped the orange flowers to be a little more gold, but that takes photoshop skills I don’t have!

On to the sculptures! Let’s start with a dog.

And a turtle.

Turtle

There were so many sculptures over the entire grounds, and for some reason, I only seemed to take pictures of the ones of animals.

Well, I did take a picture of this sculpture, too, but I’m not happy with it. I’m really only sharing this picture to let you know there were sculptures of non-animals.

Sculpture

And then this one is another sculpture picture I’m not happy with. Why oh why didn’t I focus on the face and then let the flowers in the foreground be slightly out of focus? THAT would have been a much better picture!

Out of Focus

Maybe next time.

Enough pictures for a moment. Time for a story.

So we were wandering around, and a couple asked me to take a picture of them. I held on to their camera while they hemmed and hawed about which background would be the best for their photo op (I think that’s what they were doing; they weren’t speaking English). They finally settled on a direction and were giving each other a congratulatory kiss for deciding when another couple walked in between the camera and the couple.

So I waited a few moments for the people to pass, and when they did, I realized that the couple waiting to be photographed were kissing again. So I waited once more.

After about 15 seconds, I realized that this couple wanted to be kissing in their picture. That they had been waiting for me to snap the pic the entire time they had been kissing. I felt foolish for not having realized it. So I quickly took the picture then ran away giggling.

I realize that’s not the most exciting story. But we were spending the day walking through flower fields. Not a lot of stories present themselves in such a setting!

On to the pavilions. Where they showed off pretty arrangements. Like these hydrangeas:

And these day lilies. Are they even day lilies?

White

If they are day lilies, then I think these are, too.

Pavilion

And this is an inexplicable display of paper-mâché spheres:

Planets

There was also a section of seven different gardens that were set up to inspire you at home. To give you an idea of good combinations to try out. I got distracted by one backyard grouping though. Sure, I know in my head these are just canned vegetables, but I can’t help but feel like they would fit perfectly in a witch’s kitchen.

Witch's Pantry

But Melissa, you must be asking, didn’t you take any pictures of you and your mom?

Well, I did take a couple of pictures of my mom. And she took a few of me. Let’s start with my mom.

Aww. Isn’t that nice.

Although she wasn’t smiling quite so big about an hour later when we realized we missed the last bus home. Which was at 5:33. What bus route ends at 5:33?! There’s so much of the day left to experience! We ended up catching a bus to Schiphol, then a train home from there, and wouldn’t you know it turned out to be even faster than the route we had taken to Keukenhof? Although I did something completely out of character for me, and I’m still not over it a full five days later, and that is: I LOST our train ticket! There’s a spring/summer special going on right now where two people can ride anywhere in the country all day long on a single 45 euro first class ticket, and I lost it. Ugh. I don’t lose tickets.

I don’t lose money or keys or tickets.

Except for this one time.

So there was a moment, when we were standing at the bus stop at ten after six, and we were reading a sign saying that our route home had been discontinued, and I was also just realizing that I couldn’t find our train ticket, that getting home seemed to be a slight impossibility.

But thanks to common sense and helpful strangers, we figured out the whole Schiphol idea and while it meant we got to get home in a timely fashion, we still had to purchase new train tickets once we got to Schiphol, and I was just so upset by it.

Oh, and you know how I love coffee mugs? And Nathan loves cows? Well, in the gift shop was a perfect combination of our two loves. A coffee mug with a cow on it. I didn’t buy it because I had my heart set on another mug to represent Holland plus I feel bad about buying a mug with a cow on it because it is celebrating the country’s dairy industry and I’m opposed to consuming dairy, so when we got home, we went straight to the store with the mug that I thought I wanted, and after having seen this cow mug, I realized that I didn’t like the first mug anymore. So I didn’t buy it. And I’m on a new mission to find a Holland mug. One kind of like this cow mug, but maybe without a cow. If that’s possible.

Let me share one more pretty flower picture to bring the mood back up after all that talk of lost train tickets and mug purchasing opportunities.

There. Much better.

Oh! And one more picture of my mom. Because she looks like she’s on a flag.

Mom as a Flag

Don’t you think? There are stripes and colors. Just like a flag.

And if I can post two pictures of my mom, then I can post one of me.

Me on a Log

Yes, I am wearing a winter coat in May. We had highs in the 60s the week before my mom’s trip, and today’s high is 70, but the week she was here was a bit less warm. Mostly sunny, but still a bit chilly.

Uh oh. I’ve moved on to reporting the weather. It is clearly time to end this post. More to come!

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