Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tip Toe Through the Tulips

We did it on a lark. Monday morning I looked out at my blooming tulips and thought the tulips must be blooming in Pella, Ia. For years I have wanted to see this quaint town with it's Dutch heritage and spring celebration of tulip time. I asked Jon if he was up for a little drive and we were out the door in less than 15 minutes. It is great to be retired.

We had friends who lived in Pella in the seventies - eighties. They told us what a charming place Pella was but I had never been there. This is a small town proud of it's heritage and styled after a little town in Holland. 400,000 tulips are planted in parks and boulevards and bloom between mid-April and mid-May.

Tourists pour into town on these weekends and especially during their official Tulip time celebration. Going on a Monday seemed like a good idea and was. No crowds but plenty of gorgeous tulips and blooming crab apple, rhodendron, lilacs and tulip trees. It was warm, sunny and the skies were blue. We couldn't have timed it better. Even our suite of rooms at a new Country Inn Suites was a bargain.

Pella windows are manufactured in Pella. Many of the other shops and businesses have names that sound like they are from Holland. Several were had windmills.

Don't miss the Historical village just off the town square if you go and keep your ears open for the Klockenspiel. A man made canal winds past a brick courtyard mimicking canals of Amsterdam. Look at the facades of old storefronts on the village square with their curvey rooflines. Sample the letter cookies at the dutch bakery and marvel that almost all the churches in the old part of town are Reformed churches. The First Reformed Church is across the street from the Second Reformed Church. There is a Trinity Reformed Church and a Reformed Presbyterian Church. Only the Baptists aren't reformed.

We eyeballed postings of houses for sale in Pella and marvelled how cheap real estate is compared to home. I could live here but we would miss our family too much to move to the middle of Iowa.

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