Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tulips & Tie Rods

We had an appointment at Spartan Chassis for the annual service and inspection. We like to go to Spartan when it fits our travel plans because they are so thorough in checking everything out and our rig is seven years old. Well, the inspection turned up bad tie rods and ball joints so we ended up staying an extra day to have that work done. They did a new alignment but a tire has worn because of the problem so we now have a slight pull and we may have to get the tires rotated. We will drive to PA to see how it handles and, if need be, will plan to travel back this way on our way west to have that done. This is one of those times when the "camping is free" but you learn that is a relative term when you get the bill. Oh well, the work is done and we are back on the road. Nanc told me we were near Holland and we could add another country to our map while they were doing the work, so we drove to Holland only to discover it is a town in Michigan. It was a great day with so many tulips in bloom everywhere.

At the Veldheer Tulip Garden and DeKlomp Factory they produce 5 million bulbs a year and have 3/4 of a million flowers in bloom. The variety of color is really beyond belief.
This is one of those places where words cannot describe the beauty and each picture is worth a thousand words. Just enjoy.

Nanc among the blooms.

A small windmill in the garden.

Who knew there were so many varieties?

You can buy a pair of klompen (wooden shoes) that are made in the factory. The wooden shoes were used in Holland because leather was too expensive and would not last in the damp Dutch fields. In the top two pics Elmer is making shoes the old fashion way, by hand. He said it takes about four hours for each pair starting with a block of wood that is first cut into the shape of the shoe and then hollowed out. In the factory they can make a pair in fifteen minutes. Bottom left a machine using a jig shapes the outside from a block of poplar in a few minutes. I am holding the results of the first step. These are then dried for about a month before the inside is cut out by another machine (middle). You can also buy hand crafted delftware here from the only remaining factory in the US that produces the famous blue and white earthenware. This was a very interesting stop.

Statue of a Dutch couple and, of course, more tulips in a park in Holland.

One of the six miles of streets in Holland that are designated as "tulip lanes." We were here the day of the Tulip Festival parade but we skipped all those festivities.

The De Zwaan (the swan) in the Windmill Island Gardens was originally built in the Netherlands in 1761. It was the last authentic windmill the Dutch allowed to be taken out of the country.

The Holland Lighthouse (Big Red) is on the shore of Lake Michigan at the entrance to Holland Harbor. The drive to the lighthouse is through a beautiful area with many homes along the water. We had a great time in Holland and recommend it as a must see if you are here in the spring.


Jim and Bobbie said...

Beautiful, beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing. Amazing colors!

Merlene + Dan Goan said...

We know that one! Glad Holland was nice. Se ya soon!

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

A flower among the flowers, great pic of Nanc. Beautiful post!

Dean and Judy Sheeley said...

Love the flowers! What great pictures.

Anonymous said...

hi guys, missed you by 3 weeks, we are in holland fot aweek now. will run into you guys eventually take care enjoy, PRETTY DAMN NICE. john