Keukenhof and Noordwijk~ Among Europe’s Must do Attractions

flower sign

I love visiting Botanical Gardens. I have been luck enough to live near several really impressive ones over the years – Long wood gardensbelingrath gardens, Missouri Botanical Gardens and loved to visit especially when the tulips bloom and the cherry blossoms blow good luck though the air.

petals fall under cherry trees

petals fall under cherry trees2

under the cherry tree

The world famous Keukenhof doesn’t try and be the biggest, it doesn’t have to advertise much, it is just the mother of all tulip gardens. Its only open for about 7 weeks, from the end of march through the end of may. People, buses and trains full of people, descend upon the tiny farming village for 7 weeks a year. The tourist invade the tulip fields (of course we did) for photos and the Keukenhof welcomes them with the efficiency and precision of a swiss watch. From parking to ticketing to feeding the massive amounts of guest, you’d never know that this is just a temporary-seasonal operation.

flowers everywhere2

The question of the day was “where to start?”.

big landscapes

Kuekenhoff is world famous and must be geographically located in the absolute perfect spot on earth where bulbs thrive because they are not only abundant but perfect. I didn’t see a wilted, drooping, scorched, or dead bulb in sight.

beautiful dark purple mascari too

beautiful coco


There were simply acres and acres of color (mixed with a whole lot of tourist).

flowers everywhere

Even with the massive numbers of people around I never felt crowded, Its like a huge park with room enough for everyone and their cameras.

flower petals in canal

flower petals floating in canal

We studied the weather for days and picked the afternoon with the most sunshine to visit, it was lovely.

rows and rows

montage flowers

The kids got to pet baby animals.

coco and lambs

petting zoo


I got to talk to a peacock.


What tulip garden in Holland would be complete with out a windmill? Not this one.

complete with windmill


There was a playground just in case you needed a break from sitting and looking at flowers.


playground 2

There was also a shrub maze that fascinated Axel but it wasn’t blooming so I didn’t take any photos of it. The GIANT cotton candy however was very impressive. I use the kids begging as an excuse to buy it and “share” with me. So pretty much the Keukenhof thought of everything.

giant candfloss

a little bit heavenly

Oh and there were swans, and fountains and ponds too.

swan too_


beautiful whites

beds of color

plantings between rocks

almost as big as her head

The tulips are almost as big as Coco’s head!

hydreangea macrophylla

Some of the hydrangeas were much bigger than her head.

hydreangea dress coco

river of mascari

And when Keukenhof closed at 7 pm we decided to stop a million times to try and photograph the unbelievable fields, miles and miles of fields packed with rows of colorful flowers.

mom and me and the tulips

rows and rows!

tuplip fields at 7-00pm

tuplip fields at 7-00pm 2

coco in field of red2

And I couldn’t resist jumping out of the car time after time to stand in the middle of all those flowers and snap a few shots of my baby girl- who of course wanted to pick them for her teachers, and for her friends, and the neighbor, and the bus driver, and the nice people at the grocery store, and, and, and. 
coco in field of red3We drove until the road ended at the Atlantic ocean in a town called Noordwijk and what we saw made me cry a little.

beach path

It was beautiful wide sandy beaches.

so happy to see the sea

sparticus at sea2

beautiful beach boy

It looked like it could have been Florida, or South Carolina, it was the most familiar looking place I had seen all year.

coco running from sea

And we ran through the warm-ish sand with bare feet for an hour until dark. And we loved it, and we had missed it. And we sent silent wishes across the big Atlantic Ocean to our loved ones on the other side.

running to camera

And it was a perfect day. Amen.

me at beach