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May 4, 2012 / staceyj

Tulip Time

I am smitten.  My dear friend, C, her niece, B, her son, J, my son and me all headed to Pella to partake in their annual Tulip Time festivities.  I have been to Tulip Time once before when I was in the third grade.  I remember loving it then as a nine year old kid and I loved it even more over two decades later.  Pella is a charming, friendly and beautiful place.  Plus, it is home to at least two bakeries that make homemade creme horns.  I’m just saying.  This trip was all about Tulip Time but I would be perfectly happy heading back soon to explore the local shops and restaurants.

Unseasonably warm spring = tulips blooming before Tulip Time.  But that didn’t dampen our spirits or the beauty of the celebration.  We did happen to spot these pink beauties soldiering on.

Beaut.one was excited to spy tulips and he immediately made his way over to sniff them.

We headed to the Dutch Craft Market to get our shopping on.  It was a very strategic move.  We told the boys if they could make it through the shopping portion of our adventure without incident a playground wonderland would be waiting for them at the end!  It worked…occasionally.

The boys loved these sand animals…snakes, dragons, frogs, dinosaurs, oh my!

And the ladies loved these adorable retro aprons by Hip Chix Creations.  Aren’t they just charming?  I love the flower embellishment.  Love.  I am pretty sure my meals would just taste better if I had one of these.

Literally four tents in and the dudes are needing a little R&R.

I scored these three magnets (3 for $5!) from Pine Creek Hand Painted Originals.  I have been collecting magnets for years and couldn’t wait to add these beauties to my collection.  My friend, C, bought an antique window that had been converted into a chalkboard.  It was awesome and my brain still hurts from racking it as I attempted to unsuccessfully come up with a place it would have worked in our home so I could justify its purchase.  Ouch.

And for Tulip Time, Kyle Korver’s Seer Outfitters had a temporary store front.  Kyle, a Pella native and guard for the Chicago Bulls, created the Kyle Korver Foundation to help underprivileged children and those in need.  All profits from this clothing line fund the foundation.

Shopping with a greater purpose?  Count me in!  And then I saw the shirts and what they represented and I was inspired.  So inspired I bought three.

The theme of this one?  Honor.  “You don’t always take the easy road.  Sometimes, doing what is right means being willing to stand alone.”

And this one?  Strength.  “Fierce confidence in who you are.  Have the tenacity to face any moral and social pressure with unwavering conviction.”

And I snagged this one for Beaut.one.  I know it will be a little big for her now but I thought it would make a great nightgown or could be fashioned into a shirt-dress with a pair of leggings.  I couldn’t resist.

Faith. Hope. Love. “Expectations and selflessness in harmony.  Reach for the stars, but not at the expense of others.  Real success is found in service.”

Well-made clothing, with an edifying message, that helps others.  Yes and amen.

With the shopping portion of our trip complete, we headed to the West Market Park to let the boys run freeeeeeeeeeeee!

This playground is a little one’s dream, which makes total sense since it was designed by Pella’s children.  Those kids know how to play.

The boys enjoyed the playground so much that we could barely get them to stop for a quick photo.  It was either that or they didn’t stop moving for fear we would take them shopping again.

And now for the grub!  We grabbed a quick lunch and then headed out for dessert, the most important part of any adventure really.

C had gone to college here and swore that poffertjes were delicious, pancake-y goodness and that I wouldn’t be the same after I tried them.

She was so right.  They resemble pancakes but are light and spongy and just.plain.divine.

As evidenced by this photograph and my hips.

We then made our way to Jaarsma Bakery and loaded up on the sweet stuff.  I brought home two of everything so I could have one and my family could try the other.  At least that was my original plan but sweets make people crazy.  I am happy to report that I did get a taste of everything and it was all light and utterly delicious.  Creme horns,

Dutch letters,

and cherry turnovers.  Beaut.two and I also bought some doughnut holes that may or may not have made it home.

Our posse stopped to watch some authentic Dutch dancing

and singing.

After witnessing folks in traditional Dutch costume we decided to give wooden shoes a whirl ourselves.  It was much too hot for the rest.

B and J.

And as you all know, Superman is a very important part of any Dutch festivity.

And here I am getting my wooden shoe groove on.  Seriously, why am I standing like that?  I look like I’m expecting.  I’m not.  And I hadn’t even eaten those heavenly cherry turnovers yet.  Sheesh!

The Vermeer Windmill.

I absolutely loved the Dutch architecture.  The following sentence actually came from my mouth while touring around Pella.  “That is the cutest Dollar General store I have ever seen in my life.”

This police station is so beautiful it almost made me want to get arrested.  Almost.

More beautiful architecture.

By this point in the day we were sweaty messes and the waterways through downtown proved entirely too tempting!

Whether Tulip Time (which continues through Saturday, May 5th) or not, make plans to visit Pella soon.  Maybe I will see you there!  I’ll be somewhere near the bakery.

Stacey

2 Comments

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  1. Teenie Bird / May 7 2012 12:40 pm

    How and when you had time to take all these photos and gather corresponding information is beyond me. I clearly had my head buried in a plate of poffertjes! Such a lovely day together – Tulip-riffic!! Here’s to historic tours and aimless wandering through beautiful shops filled with glass-based items in our near future!

    • staceyj / May 8 2012 3:02 pm

      Yes and amen to future adventures! As for my stealth photo snapping and info gathering…I’ve had to learn to be a quick study and a fast picture taker. After all, I am mother to K. Everything around here happens at a fast pace.

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