Sunday, April 29, 2018

Hillagom, Netherlands

Riding our bikes along the trail to the gardens and what do we see....?

Thousands and thousands of colorful Hyacinth, brightly blooming! Oh. My. Gods. Fragrance so intense it could almost give you a headache.

This flower field is located about 1/2 mile away from every gardener's dream destination: the Keukenhoff Gardens in Hilagom, Netherlands. (South of Amsterdam.)

I have arrived.

Scratch one biggie off my Bucket List.  💜

Thursday, April 26, 2018


A Swan Butt sculpture! :) i.e.tails up, heads in the water, feeding.

It's been on the Bucket List for a long, freaking time...

Traveling to Amsterdam to terrorize the tulips!

Keukenhof! The largest flowering bulb garden in the world!

7 million blooming bulbs on 70+ acres.

FYI, it's not in Amsterdam. Keukenhof is located south of there in beautiful Lisse, Netherlands. We rented an airbnb a mile from there and bicycled to the gardens.

Every color, every bulb imaginable is showcased at Keukenhoff, which is only open 2 months out of every year.

Since it's in Holland, the paths wind through rivers and canals. Past a windmill, or two.

I'm a sucker for Fritallaria. So, now I'm dreaming of an acre of these in my own garden.

Or, a jumbled mess of every bulb I've ever fallen in love with...

What's missing from these photos?  A: Throngs and throngs of tourists! If you're gonna tour Keukenhof try to get up early. We arrived about 5 minutes before they opened. The crowds showed up about 2 hours later...

Are you a lover of flower bulbs? That's my favorite type of gardening. Plant them on a cool, autumn day. Plant 'em. Forget 'em.

They pop up early in spring, adding much needed color to a dull, brown garden still reeling from a too-long winter.

I hope you enjoyed the show.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Tulips and Windmills

Biking around Kinderdijk - UNESCO World Heritage Windmill Site

Whats the #1 mode of transportation in the Netherlands? Nope, not trains -- it's bicycles! Everyone bikes here. Because it's FLAT!

Oh, how I've missed those days. Growing up in the Midwest, I biked every where. To work, to play, it was easy! It was fun. Because there were no uphill battles in the flat Midwest!

After moving to the mountains, I sold my bike. I hated that uphill jazz. If you choose a direction in Park City, Utah, you could be biking uphill all day long. Where is the fun in that?

I was happy to see that people still live in windmills. 

Anyhoo....    When you think of Holland most folks conjure up images of tulips and windmills. And, we did, too. So, we toured the windmills at Kinderdijk and Zaanse Schans on bicycles.

* It's a bit of a trek but well worth the effort to tour the 19 windmills of Kinderdijk.

Monday, April 23, 2018


Geithoorn, Netherlands - the village without any streets. Boats and bridges are how we get around!

#netherlands #iamatraveler

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Wait! What? Look at that!

We were on our way to Bláskógabyggð ~ to see the waterfall. In the rain. Because it's raining. And, we couldn't think of anything else to do.

But, when this gent trotted past our car, we finally discovered the real draw, the real excitement, and the real passion of Iceland. (At least, for us.)

Passion is a funny thing.

You see, I didn't want to get out of the car, in the rain, to hike to a waterfall. But, I didn't mind getting soaking wet petting this little doll. Check out that crazy hairdo!

Icelandic horses are pony-size by American standards but the Icelandic people take offense when you call them ponies. This is the only horse you'll ever see in Iceland. They have been bred in isolation for over a thousand years.

And, I can't wait to ride one!!!

* Kismet means "fate, destiny" in several languages, including Icelandic and English.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sveitarfelagio Olfus Iceland

The view from our Airbnb rental in Grindavikurbaer, Iceland. 

We woke to a cold, icy rain on our first morning in Iceland. Sipped a lotta coffee and took advantage of the chickens on the property. Wise chickens that they were, all huddled in their coop, and perfectly delighted to gift us some eggs for breakfast.

Can You Pronounce Eyjafjallajökull?

At first glance, this house would be the ideal place to hunker down during a hellish rainstorm. The cottage is filled, to overflowing with books. But, they're all written in the Icelandic language.

A 32 letter alphabet (vs. our 26) which allows them to confuse us even further with double Y's yet no Z's.

Like this! Do not confuse the use of those double Y's!  Yy Ýý Þþ Ææ Öö

Have they ever even seen the Wizard of OZ?

This is a major highway! Welcome to the moon.

We drove for hours to get to the geyser.

Only to return home and discover we've got a 'geyser' at the end of our driveway. 😊

So, we're learning a thing, or two, about Iceland. And, it's all good. Weird, yes. But, good. The people are wonderful. It's the most interesting landscape I've ever encountered.

* I still don't understand why everyone says Iceland is beautiful. But, we have a couple more days to figure that out.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


"When is it gonna get pretty?"

That was me, whining to my traveling companion, as we drove away from the Keflavik airport in Iceland. Having just departed the lush and lovely Netherlands where I was surrounded by brightly blooming Tulips..

It felt as if we'd landed on the moon.

Gulfoss on the Golden Circle
Iceland is not very pretty. 
There are majestic areas worth seeing.
But, you have to drive for hours and hours and hours to reach them.

It only costs $99 dollars, round trip, to visit Iceland from Amsterdam. Like we're gonna pass that up.

Seeing as how Iceland is one of those hip countries that everybody brags about visiting these days, and we believed everything they said about the place...

Off we went on our next adventure to Grindavik, Iceland aka the middle of nowhere to our cozy little cottage by the sea..

AIRBNB USES THESE HOME HIGHLIGHTS: Sólveig is a Superhost · Superhosts are experienced, highly rated hosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests. 

Sólveig lives in this house. She simply moved out of it, for the days we were visiting. She didn't even take her food out of the 'frig, or move her clothes out of the closet. Toothbrush still resting on the edge of the sink. She simply moved next door and stayed with her neighbor, while collecting money from us. Money, I would like refunded by the way...

This could be a long week.