Tuesday, April 25, 2017

2017 Skagit Tulip Festival

A few weeks ago, I made the executive decision (as I am known to do) that we should visit the Skagit Tulip Festival because it conveniently coincided with the kids' spring break. My reasoning, you ask? Well, not only did the festival work with the school schedule (and trust me, you do not want to go to the festival on a weekend if you can avoid it), but neither of our kids nor my sister (who was in town) had ever been to the festival. 'Nuf said ... going was our only option!

So, last Thursday, a rain boot-clad Suzanne arrived at our door. I handed her a cuppa coffee (it was 8:30 ... we needed the fuel!), we got the troops wrangled, and we headed up north to discover some much-needed tulip eye candy.

As soon as we were buckled, Suzanne plugged in her phone and started up the playlist she created for the trip. I was highly impressed with her song selections, as were the kids when they recognized some of the songs. We diligently taught them how to "bom bom bom" during "Sweet Caroline" and all of us did our best YMCA dance moves while in seat belts.

Before we knew it, we were in Mt. Vernon anxiously trying to find the stupid illusive tulip fields. I'm not normally one to complain, but I have to say that the signage for the festival left a lot to be desired. I kid you not, one "Tulip Route" sign pointed us down a dead-end road ... that had a mechanic shop at the end and no flowers! (In hindsight, I'm wondering if some locals were having fun with us lost tourists...)

Thank God for our cell phone GPS and Suzanne's idea to navigate to a place called "Tulip Town"... two things that got us right where we wanted to be... in the middle of fields filled with stunning tulips, which were much more attractive than the fields of dandelions we passed trying to find said tulip fields.

Because we visited the fields on a weekday, the crowds were rather minimal. We easily found parking and often were able to get photos without extraneous people in the shots. Bonus!

Sisters selfie

Talk about picturesque

Hello, tulips

Fortunately, many of the rows of tulips were marked with the tulip type. Unfortunately, many of the times, we were on the opposite side of the row from the markers. Whoops! Didn't plan that so well, did we?
Double pinks

Conor had much more fun than his expression conveys in this shot; to his credit, Suzanne was saying "don't smile!" (Conor has the reverse psychology thing figured out!)

I like how the kids' boots compliment the tulip colors
Auntie Suzanne and the kiddos

I suggested to the kids that they might want to pop their faces through the various cutouts that were on the edge of one field. Both kids high-tailed it to this one, not even taking the time to look at the cutout. All that mattered was the foot race ... and winning it. 
Yup - this is what happens when you win a race before knowing about the prize

Annika, guardian angel of the tulip fields 
 Shockingly, we didn't have a single drop of rain fall on us the entire time we were out in the flower fields. We had prepared for a day of dodging the drops. Instead, we were dry (except for the random splashes we got when the kids opted to stomp or jump in the puddles). Thanks for giving us a break, Mother Nature. We are grateful!

Near the end of our time among the flowers, we ran into a very nice gentleman who started chatting with us and asking about our visit. Lo and behold! He is the owner of Tulip Town and emigrated from Holland (how authentic!!). He told us about his acreage, the various flowers, and even a bit about their business model.

Soon enough, we realized we were tired and getting rather hungry. We bid Tulip Town adieu (after buying a few pots of tulips for our front yard, of course -- Eric later said he had a bet with himself about how many flowers would come home with me. I never asked what his guess was... I should do that!) and we headed back into civilization (aka Mt. Vernon) and gobbled up a rather tasty lunch at the Skagit River Brewery.

A final, closing shot of our trip... just a last bit of floral eye candy for you, dear readers! I envy the farmers for getting to see these beauties day in and day out. I don't envy the work they put into them, though!!

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