Tulips & Towers: This Week In Travels

by farrah on April 9, 2015 · 4 comments

We’ve had visitors in town this week- my mother in law is here as well as my husband’s uncles. Since they’ve all been to the Netherlands before, we decided to forego the ‘big cities’ tour and instead take them to lovely Keukenhof for the flower bonanza. Later this week we head to Paris for the marathon that they’re running (my husband and the uncles- definitely not myself or grandma!) and the weather looks to be quite delightful.


Still some room to improve- which I know it will with some more sunshine and warmth. It didn’t rain on us though- which is a great thing. Also the crowd on this ‘Second Easter Monday’ was definitely thinner than years’ past when we went on Queen’s Day and Easter Sunday last year.


We’ve got a four year old who is in the ‘another photo?’ mode. It’s all good. He’s 4. I’m lucky he isn’t jumping into the fountain or ripping up tulips. Speaking of tulips- they’ve replaced any other as my favorite flower. They’re simple, long-lasting, and just pretty all on their own. No need for frills and filler. Maybe I should try to live like a tulip- seems like a good mantra to me.

Keukenhof isn’t quite ready

vincentPoor Vincent! Not ready yet.

Since this was the third season my family has visited the enormous gardens, we were a bit disappointed with the turnout. We’re used to going late April or even in May when things are in full bloom and exploding everywhere. Unfortunately, the spring this year has been a bit chillier and the gardens themselves were underwhelming to say the least.


It’s still beautiful, and the indoor pavilions had so many lovely arrangements to look at- so the trip wasn’t a loss at all. Our family visitors had a great time and the boys loved running around. It’s something to see and if you have the luxury of waiting about a week or so- you should be able to catch more blooms than we did.


Tip: We did take the Combi-ticket train + bus this time and it proved to be very easy. It’s a combo ticket you can buy online which is your train/bus/park entry all in one. 

A few days in Paris

With the boys coming off of a nasty cold, I have been a bit nervous about this trip. My hope has been that we’re all healthy enough to enjoy what promises to be some spectacular temperatures this weekend and enjoy Paris in all its spring glory. My husband’s training has tapered off as he gets ready to do the run, and I have actually started to pack. I still cannot fathom running for four hours straight.

We’ll be staying in a large-ish apartment rental for the eight of us, near the Champs-Élysées which is not far from the start of the race. We should arrive in time to enjoy a few sights before Sunday’s race and then the crew comes back home. I will be staying all day on Monday- fumbling my way through some kind of personal mission to fall in love with the city.

Audrey HepburnPhoto from French Girl In Seattle (but I assume she didn’t take it 🙂 

I haven’t made any plans other than my Notre Dame tour- although I would like to make it up to Montmartre and see Sacré-Cœur. The sun should be shining and I am envisioning myself whittling away the afternoon at a small cafe sipping red wine and watching the world go by. I have an entire day to myself- something that I’ve never had in Paris before. Can I swing some kind of Hepburnesque experience? Probably not, as my life is not cut out for magical afternoons anywhere on the planet- so we’ll just have to see how it goes. I have no expectations other than decent weather, so maybe that’s the key.

I almost wish Parisians still sported berets as wouldn’t it be ridiculous if I tried to get one and pull it off…. oh well. Maybe in another life since Paris is always a good idea.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Julia April 9, 2015 at 10:46 am

Tulips are my favorite flower, I’ve loved them since my mom used to grow them when I was a little girl. Sounds like you have some great travels planned, enjoy it!


2 farrah April 10, 2015 at 8:08 am

Thanks! I don’t know how I’ve overlooked tulips all this time. I mean, growing up in Michigan we even had our own ‘Holland’ and tulips 🙂


3 Ellen April 9, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Here a link to a autoroute http://www.stepnop.nl/tulpenfestival/tulpenroute-2015 where you can see lots of tulipfields in bloom. Drive by the farms with thousands of tulips…(you know they are not gardens, do you?) It is close to Giethoorn so maybe a combination.
groeten en geniet van Parijs, Ellen


4 farrah April 10, 2015 at 8:09 am

Thanks Ellen!! And yes! I’ve seen some farms- but not the ones you’ve mentioned. Looks like we have some driving to do 🙂


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