Monthly Archives: April 2014

“It Is Not Possible”

Easter Monday is a federal holiday in Germany, as is Good Friday.  Everything is closed:  shops, offices, schools.  Since we are affiliated with the U.S. military base, today was a normal Monday for us; Jason went to work, Natalie went to school and I went to the gym.  As I was driving through the village between my house and the gym, I noticed that it was extremely quiet.  No cars parked on the street, not one person waiting at the bus stop, etc.  It was quieter than even a Sunday morning.  I saw a few people, dressed in riding gear (not an unusual sight), riding their bikes and I thought, “Hmm, this is what some locals choose to do with their day off work.”

I should have known better!  Continue reading


Keukenhof Gardens

IMG_2673IMG_2636A feast for the eyes and a balm to the soul.  I couldn’t take enough pictures!  The Netherlands has been growing tulips for 400 years and those Dutch people know how to ‘do’ bulbs!  Centuries ago, tulips were so valuable that a single bulb was worth as much as a canal house in Amsterdam!  At Keukenhof Gardens (near Lisse, Netherlands) 100 participating companies showcase their living catalog of bulbs.  Every year, beginning in September, 7 million bulbs are planted – all by hand!  IMG_2625There are 30 gardeners and it takes 3 months to plant all the bulbs.  This park is only open for 8 weeks – during the bloom time of the bulbs:  daffodils, hyacinths and tulips.  When the park closes for the season all the bulbs are dug up and destroyed.

Hoping to avoid crowds, we intentionally visited the park on a weekday and in addition to all the privately owned vehicles, there were 30 tour buses in the parking lot when we ended our visit.  However, with the exception of simply getting through the entrance, it never felt crowded.

IMG_2693On our drive from The Hague to the Keukenhof Gardens we passed numerous farm fields growing colorful bulbs.  It looked like a rainbow in the fields.  The Netherlands exports 45 million flowers…every day!

This post is dedicated to my friends who are anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring!