We were tired of zoom calls and staring at our computer screens. When we have not been working from home we’ve been working on projects all around the farm. We .. well, we were just exhausted. We typically go for a walk during Joe and I’s joint conference call but the other day we decided to go for a drive instead. We have to do something to keep otto contained if we both have a call otherwise he goes missing, get’s into something or lets a bird out. We hopped in the truck and headed Holland way to get some lunch and take a break.
I have lived in Michigan all my life and even went to college in Holland, Michigan but I have never gone to Windmill Island. It was the perfect place to take Otto to blow off some steam. It was open free this year because of the cancelled tulip time and the crowds were non existent because of the overcast clouds. Otto and I stopped here on our way to pick up our farmers market order earlier in the week and he couldn’t wait to show his dad all of the flowers, the bridges and the windmill.
I love seeing the world from his vantage point. What feels large to me must feel grand to him. He showed Joe over the bridge and to Mickey Mouse’s windmill (every thing belongs to Mickey) and then on to the tulip field. Even though the petals were starting to fade they were still stunning to see all clumped together. He loved running as fast as he could up and down the aisles and rows of tulips. Each row was his new favorite color.
After we ran all over the island we packed up to check out the train station and then to pick up our food.
We picked up our order from Sluggos and headed out for a pizza picnic on Joe’s tailgate. Otto is obsessed with having picnics and every time we eat outside it’s an automatic picnic. It’s fine with me. Zero mess and clean up and we have been keeping a blanket so we can avoid public picnic tables. You cannot take a toddler to the beach without dipping your toes in the water. It doesn’t matter how cold it is they’re going to push the limits.
We crept to the water edge and it was FREEZING. Otto would go in deeper and deeper each time until finally a wave caught him off balance and in he went. It was absolutely freezing cold and he ended up wearing Joe’s sweatshirt home.
It’s moments like this during quarantine that make everything feel ok. We would never have taken a lunch break to just wander around outside. I am grateful that amidst all of the chaos in the world right now we were able to slice out a little piece of quiet family time together making memories we will never forget.
Both the Holland State Park and Windmill Island are free (for now) The tulips are almost gone but the gardeners are busy replacing the plants with gorgeous seasonal blooms. If you need a space to walk around and be 6 feet apart I would highly recommend going.
See my former Tulip Time posts from previous years here.