Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Windmills, Gardens, Wooden Shoes and such!

Unlike home, Holland seems to stop functioning on Sundays.  In some ways it is kind of nice because families can spend the day together, but if you are visiting a town where everything shuts down on Sundays it gets tricky to figure out what to do.  Happily Windmill Island was openon Sunday.  This really isn't exactly an Island as the name says, but it does have a fully functioning windmill on it and the gardens that surround it are absolutely gorgeous!  I must say the one thing I love more than anything up here are all of the beautiful flowers, trees and natural wildlife everywhere!  So we visited the windmill and the gardens and then ventured to downtown Holland where low and behold everything was closed!  Well, almost everything...we did get some ice cream at Kilwin's.  So we proceeded down to Rivertown Mall to try to was some time there.  While we were at the mall Emily decided to get her right ear cartilidge pierced, which we had agreed that she could do while we were on vacation.  So we did that and the girls did a little bit of shopping with their spending money.  Our last stop of the day was TGI Fridays for dinner and then back to the hotel where the girls got to go swimming before we called it a night.

Happy Independence Day!  Like Sunday most things were closed in Holland, everything that is except for Dutch Village, a traditional Dutch theme park.  Not like Disney or anything like that, this one shows what living in Holland, Netherlands was like along with a few authentic rides like the wooden carousel and swings.  They also have lots of farm animals and the cutest bunnys you could ever hope to see.  Not to mention the gardens that are beautiful with all the different flowers in full bloom.  They also have an amazing pipe organ straight from the Netherlands that is absolutely beautiful and every couple of hours the dutch dancers come out in full cosutme and their wooden shoes and dance.  When there are done with their dances they invite the audience to come up and learn to dance so of course the girls got to try out their dancing skills while mom stayed back and took pictures :)  After Dutch Village we all (Aunt Sylvia included) went to Crystal and Rich's house for a cook out!  What a great time that was.  Crystal, Rich, Justin, Arianna, Amber, Jimmy, Oliver, Eric, Katie, Addison, Aunt Sylvia, Angel and the girls and I were all there and boy was it fun.  The kids went for a ride on Rich's quad and proceeded to get stuck in the mud and then the guys took Bekka, Emily and Sam out for target practice and Rebekka got to try her hand a shooting a hunting rifle.  After the cook out we went back to the hotel where we were able to watch the fireworks from our room.

Today was a very busy, but fun day.  We started out going to Saugatuck to go a dune buggy ride through the Michigan Sand Dunes.  We had so much fun on this wild and crazy ride...to make it even better we had a great, enthusiastic and funny driver.  The landscape that we saw was breath taking.  After our dune buggy rige we ventured into historic Saugatuck were we had a great lunch at The Butler.  We left Saugatuck and drove down to the Holland State Park to see Big Red...the most photographed lighthouse in Michigan...it was not a glamorous as it sounds, actually it was quite small and not at all what I expected.  Oh well, at least the girls got to see the beach and even walk around in Lake Michigan and it's 72 degree water...brrrr!  The big event for the day was for Rebekka...she decided that she wanted to get her belly button pierced; so with Amber's help we found a reputable tatoo parlor and she bravely got her piercing...OUCH!!!  Now we are quietly back in our room with our pizza, salad and chicken wings for dinner.

Tomorrows adventures will lead us down into Indiana the Shipshewana Flea Market in the heart of Amish ville.  Should be interesting.  I will let you know what great things we discover there!  Good night for now and thanks for following along!

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