Monday, September 24, 2012

Tesselaar Tulip Time

I grew up in a city called Holland, Michigan. It's a cute little town (settled by the Dutch) right on Lake Michigan, and every May there is a festival called Tulip Time. About a million (literally) tourists come to see the streets lined with and fields full of tulips, watch the klompen dancers and multiple parades, and eat Dutch food and festival specials like 'elephant ears'. As corny as it is, I sometimes miss Tulip Time. I even had my very own Dutch costume and marched in the parades as a kid. So imagine my delight when I discovered that a little town called Tesselaar, about an hour outside of Melbourne, has their very own Tulip Festival during Australia's spring season. I just had to go!  

The "festival" was really just one large area with some food stands, Dutch souvenirs, and thousands upon thousands of tulips. I was actually quite impressed with the number of tulips; it reminded me of Veldheer's Tulip Farm in Holland. People who aren't from Holland probably won't get the song reference, but here I am "tiptoeing through the tulips"!

I got a chance to play with my camera lenses and tried to take a few decent pictures of the flowers...

Obviously several people had the same plan we did on this rare sunny and warm Saturday!
There were several interesting sculptures, like the one seen below left, among the flower fields. Also, I'm glad that Zack is willing to go along with taking ridiculous pictures such as the one below right!

Holland, Michigan has its own authentic Dutch windmill called De Zwaan that's over 250 years old. My brother Justin and sister-in-law Cindy (the ones who are watching our dog Molly) actually had their wedding reception on Windmill Island a couple of years ago, and I did some photography for them. That's where I took one of my all-time favorite pictures (seen below).

In contrast, here I am with one of the tiny, unimpressive windmills at the Tesselaar Tulip Festival on Saturday. Ha! Hey, at least they're trying to be authentic I guess!

The people who were working at the Tulip Festival were all dressed in Dutch costumes. When we saw this girl in the souvenir shop, we couldn't believe how much she looked like a younger version of me, and I just had to get my picture with her. Seriously, this picture kind of freaks me out, because I feel like I'm looking at myself about 15 years ago!
Even though we're on the other side of the world, I felt like I was back in my hometown for a bit on Saturday. The sun was shining, the tulips were in full bloom, and the Tesselaar Tulip Festival did not disappoint. Unfortunately though, they weren't selling any elephant ears!


  1. Oh gorgeous tulips!! We are from the Netherlands and this would be something I'd tell my husband to tempt him into moving to Melbourne as this is a "slice of home" for him! It reminds us of Keukenhof (which I've visited 5 times now!) :) Beautiful picture of your in-law's wedding with the windmill backdrop, it just captures the moment! Did you manage to get some stroopwafels there?

    1. Thanks. And there was a booth with stroopwafels, but we didn't get any. I've had them before though. I had a student in the States from the Netherlands, and she brought some back for me one time. Yum!