Sunday, April 30, 2017

Helicopter Tour over the Tulip Fields in Flevoland

Crossed one off the bucket list yesterday. First helicopter ride! And over the tulip fields. What an experience! When I saw the tours advertised back in February, at a reasonable price for a short trip up and down, I couldn't resist. We talked our friends Courtney and Karl into coming, in part knowing that we'd need someone to watch our kids while we went up and visa versa. It was such a beautiful day! The only disappointment was that the tulips peaked early this year so there were many fields already "headed." We even saw a field being headed as we made the 1+ drive North and I wanted to yell out the window, "No! Wait!" The helicopter guys said that in the next 1 or 2 days, all of the tulips there will be headed, so at least we caught it in time. 

The area of the tour was a town called Creil in Flevoland. This was the furthest North we've been in the Netherlands yet. The area all used to be ocean, but the Dutch dredged the ocean, created a massive dike and voila- land for farming and tulips! The whole area runs along the massive Ijsselmeer and is lined with modern windmills. Just a beautiful all around. 

There was a mini tulip festival set up at the site of lift off with a variety of tulips, a food tent, bouncy castle and craft vendors. This would have made it easy to watch all 4 kids (ours plus Courtney and Karl's two) for the short time that we would be up in the air. However, due to an event where kids were doing dance moves on a trotting horse that was happening at the same location, they had to move the launch site. So Courtney and Karl had to take all 4 kids on a tractor-bus to meet us when we landed at the new field. Always an adventure! 



A fun place to frolic
Soon after we arrived, it was our turn to take off! A few comments about this being our "Bachelor" date, outfitted with ear protectors, duck under the propellers, buckle in and up we go!" It was a tiny helicopter. Modern looking on the outside, ancient looking instruments on the inside. Definitely a shaky ride wondering if the pilot had complete control at times. All of the green fields were once tulip fields that had already been headed. The brown fields are for growing grain. 

Excited!


One big attraction they created this year was a Mondrian tile-esque field seen below. At the end of the day, we stopped there to take our up close and personal pictures in the fields.

 And now for a LOT of pictures of the fields from above. Sorry, just couldn't narrow them down!










Back on firm land, we watched while our friends took off. As they were boarding the helicopter, their older son turned to me and said, "Is Mommy coming back?" So sweet!





Life as the parents of 4 under 4. No thank you. 
Back at the festival, we stopped for lunch, watched the horse event and treated the kids to 1 euro pony rides.


Dancing to Timberlake "Can't Stop the Feeling"



Final stop at the Mondrian field. So happy there were still some gorgeous tulips to see and capture pictures in front of.

 Recreating last year's tulip picture, which hangs prominently in our downstairs bathroom on our "Birthday Calendar." Love and hate to see how he's grown!






Photographing tulips is a serious business!
These two monkeys, not so serious!





It could not have been a prettier day!
Hard to resist the drive by photos of fields on our way back home.
A header poised and ready.




Already cannot wait 'til tulip season next year!!

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