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.
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.|
|Dancing to Timberlake "Can't Stop the Feeling"|
|Photographing tulips is a serious business!|
|These two monkeys, not so serious!|
|It could not have been a prettier day!|
|A header poised and ready.|