Friday, May 18, 2012

Tulip Festival

 The outing for our retired teachers was a trip to Orange City to experience the tulip festival.  Diane W.  unfortunately  got sick the day before we were to go, and Candace ended up caring for sick grandchildren. Carol, Diane L., Nora and I, however, took off on our adventure.  I did not take alot of pictures, but our first stop was the information center where we got tickets for a horse-drawn trolley ride.  Our guide pointed out places we might want to visit. 

 We spent time in the park and imposed on another individual to take our group picture - Candace this is the best we could do!
 As beautiful and clean and well-kept as the city was, it was pretty difficult to find any tulips this year.  I looked long and hard, but I finally found four tulips still in bloom.  We were told that they replant the tulip bulbs every two years.  That is alot of work, my friend.
 We had really good seats to watch the street festival in which hundreds of children and adults participated.  They shared cultural dress and dances.  The Dutch have a very strong sense of their heritage.  It was very impressive.  I did not get any pictures of the street washing.  I was paying to close attention not to get my own shoes soaked!  They wash the streets for the queen.  The boys and the men washed, and the girls and the women scrubbed and swept - go figure!
 In the background is the throne where the queen and her court sat during the festivities.  We were sitting across from the court.  There was a little shop that specialized in poffertjes.  We  tried them after the parade.  They are little pastries about the size of a half dollar, with rum sauce and powdered sugar sprinkled on them.  They were pretty good, but very tedius to make them - in my opinion.
 The floats in the parade were absolutely beautiful.  Below are some of the ones I thought were especially nice.

 After we left Orange City we came home through Remsen, which is where Diane L. is from.  She took us to the Catholic Church and gave us a tour.  The church seats over 800 and is absolutely gorgeous.  The pictures do not do it justice.
 Two examples of the stained glass windows, which went all around the sactuary.
The is a picture of the pulpit.  We had another fun day.  It was windy and warm, but not uncomfortable.  We need to go back again sometime.

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