The long road to…Tulip Festival 2017!

We recently took our annual trip to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. 6 years running now!

Cue traditional two wooden shoes photo, which we seem to be completely filling up now:Tulips 2017

Here again are the last 6 years, just for a little perspective, and a strong dose of nostalgia:Tulips 2017-2Tulips 2016-5Tulips 2016-4Tulips 2016-3Tulips 2016-2Tulips 2016

This year was filled with, shall we say…some challenges. Firstly, it has been raining non-stop for FOREVER. I know I always say that, but for realz, this past March set rain records. So, the tulips were a little late to bloom this year.

After weeks of waiting, we saw a sunny day in the forecast and made plans to go.

So did every. single. person. in a 300 mile radius.

We left a little later than normal, and that translated into sitting in our car in line for more than an hour to creep inch by inch for the last 2 miles of the drive.

Crazy, you might say. Not worthwhile, perhaps? I know, I know. But there’s something about a tradition, especially one that is this cute:Tulips 2017-5

that makes even the crankiest Mommy dig in her heels and shout, “WE’RE GOING TO DO THIS AND EVERYONE BETTER HAVE A HAPPY ATTITUDE ABOUT IT!”

After the wide-eyedness and shock wore off, everyone had a good giggle. And we did, in fact, enjoy the day. Even the drive. The highlight of which was deciding to change Baby G’s diaper. My intention was to change her diaper on my lap, feed her, and then set her back in the car seat, which the kids were very nervous about. “Mommy! We are in the car! The car is on! You can’t take her out of the car seat!” Worry quickly turned into peals of laughter as we discovered the extent of a surprise she had for me: baby poop- all the way up her back.

Not even I, Mom of Four, Master Baby Wrangler, Queen of Diaper Changes, could manage this one on my lap.

Thank goodness (again) it was a sunny day! I gathered Baby G, all the diaper changing accoutrements and walked to the edge of a nearby field. Within minutes her diaper was changed, soiled clothes wrapped in a plastic bag, and I carried my mostly naked baby back to the car. Which had moved forward…6ft.

Once we (finally) arrived, Andy snagged an excellent parking spot (defined as: a spot close to the entrance/exit and near porta-potties). We changed into our mud boots and headed out into the tulip fields, where, by golly!, we saw tulips! Tulips 2017-3

And mud.Tulips 2017-7

Lots of mud.Tulips 2017-8

Turns out mud is a favorite.Tulips 2017-9 But these guys are my favorites:Tulips 2017-6

It was a little more crowded than in years past (remember, only sunny day in forever!) but the flowers were at peak bloom. Andy got to see two drone operators flying their machines (I saw one crash land, just about hitting a lady in the head!).Tulips 2017-4

The kids knew they should smile when I asked, and we did let them roam and explore. There are lots of fun things you can pay extra for, but even more that are free. Tulips 2017-3-2Tulips 2017-4-2

Tulips 2017-12I recently upgraded from a D3100 to a D7100. I’m still getting the hang of it, but the pixel density amazing. It’s a joy to get to know. Some day I hope to take advantage of the field’s early open/late stay option for photographers. During normal hours, you have to get creative to avoid a lot of extra people in a shot.

Or, you just make those people the focus, which isn’t a sacrifice for me…Tulips 2017-10

(that hair!).

We default to our phones, though, when asking for a group shot,Tulips 2017-13

and thank goodness for helpful strangers, because I love seeing our crazy crew all together.

The drive and poop and mud were definitely worth it.Tulips 2017-2-2Tulips 2017-5-2


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