We actually had 3 umbrellas in our car (shocking as true Washingtonians do not carry umbrellas! Yeah~whatever!), plus Donna had one. Then I broke into our car emergency kit (yay! I finally got to use it!) and pulled out the 2 tarp-like rain ponchos in it. We traded items around...I ended up w/my hoodie, a lightweight hood-less jacket and a blanket from our trunk to protect my camera (frankly I didn't care about a jacket for myself, it was the camera I was worried about!). I had no fashion pride that day! Greta and Tiffany also broke any fashion sense and wore the plastic ponchos (they probably stayed the driest!). James refused a poncho and wore his hoodie like a man! (But he did take an umbrella for Dante.) Danielle was the only bright one who actually wore a fashionable hooded coat! Mom had a pretty coral colored trench and umbrella and Donna had come prepared with warm vest and umbrella. Teagan delightedly claimed the prettiest umbrella in the bunch, a Monet Water Lilies umbrella courtesy of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation that I've had for years. So off we all trooped. Brightly colored, fairly unfashionable, and most of us quickly drenched in no time flat. But happy as could be!
While we stopped on the road to photograph fields fewer times than in the past when we had gone on sunny days, I think we still got our fill of tulips. We went to one of the main tulip growers in the region, Roozengaarde, where they have beautiful display gardens as well as access to their fields. In fact, the majority of my close up pictures of tulips were taken at Roozengaarde. Their facility is wonderful and they truly make their gardens a delight to wander through!
While we initially started out as a group, we quickly scattered off into smaller groups of ones or twos as it is easy to get lost in the wonder of the colors of these incredible flowers! And Roozengaarde makes it even easier to get lost in the wonder of it all as they make their grounds so whimsical...you never know what you might run across...
Frogs showering under a watering can...
Or perhaps a Frog Prince sitting in front of his windmill...
It makes you wonder who might live in this windmill???
And the flowers themselves take on different forms...are they flowers or magical rivers in an enchanted garden?
Between the flowers and the whimsical things around every turn, children were as happy as adults here. The only cries you heard was when it was time to leave. It's just that sort of place: even in the rain!
Teagan was delighted with it all and kept forgetting to stay close and you would find her standing, staring at flowers, holding her precious umbrella, singing softly to herself. (This completely delighted several of the workers there!)
He just didn't know where to look as there was so much around to delight the eye! I think this is what he was looking at just then...
Below are some of my favorite pictures from the day. I was photographing Dante and Daddy in the bright tulips and then Teagan joined them of her own accord. Dante was so happy to see her and she was so happy to be near him. I love it. And the colors, of course, are incredible!
It was while I was taking these that everyone seemed to congregate at this exact spot and declare that (perhaps) they were wet enough for the day! Greta took off and the rest of us gratefully trooped over to where huge clear plastic tents had been set up on the lawns over-looking the tulip fields and went inside to get out of the rain, shed extra layers, sit down, and compare our joyous excitement.
As for Auntie M, I went off in search of a long-promised treat for Teagan-Rose. Of course, the vendors only took cash and the only ATM was at the park entrance so off I trooped again. But eventually I made it back to the shelter tents with the biggest chocolate eclair funnel cake ever! Teagan's eyes about popped out of her head! (What she didn't know and never realized, so concentrated was she on eating, was that I had brought extra forks and a few of us did dip into her treat at times.)
When Mommy suggested that perhaps she'd eaten quite enough of her treat for that day, she shook her head and began eating not only with her fork but also with her other hand! With great gusto!!! LOL!!! She didn't quite manage to finish the whole thing (and grown ups quickly devoured it!) but she gave it her all! How is this for a look of satisfaction??
While the grown ups blathered on, the cousins communed in silence and smiles.
Doesn't it seem as though these two have their own secret language?
Whatever they're saying seems to make them happy!
And what can be more fun than exploring a big tent--with clear walls??? This, of course, presents the challenge of trying to escape!
Teagan didn't want Dante to escape,
so she decided to pick him up & move him...
...while standing right next to that gigantic spike
that was just waiting to crack open a head
or knock out a tooth or poke out an eye...
...grown ups protested this move...
...Teagan protested our protestations (nicely)...
(I'm not gonna drop him! I'm strong!)
...and over walks a mother to spoil all their fun! Parents!
Then eventually, of course as all excursions do, the time came to leave. This event Teagan protested more loudly: "But I love it here! ... But I love Dante! ... But I want to be with Dante! ... But leaving makes me sooo sad!" All these heart-wrenching and true excuses to stay were sadly nixed by the grown ups who (unlike the kids) were starting to feel cold & tired.
Notice Teagan is headed after her cousin,
not her mother!!! LOL
Turned out Teagan was heading in the correct direction and all the adults in her party had to turn around and follow her anyway!
About 5 minutes after getting in the cars both (untired) kids promptly feel asleep. But Teagan has talked about going back to the tulips ("Not flowers, Auntie M, Tulips!) Frankly, I want to go back too!
This was near the exit as we left.
And as it has rained (a nice, soft rain) the past couple days (after days of lovely sun), perhaps the tulips are still blooming and haven't been de-bloomed yet (that's how they preserve the bulbs).
These pictures are from a previous trip...gorgeous, no?
Hmmm, yes, I think another car trip is calling my name!