Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ballard Marches with the Tulips

Er, something like that.

The 8th and 9th grade bands were able to march in the Thursday afternoon parade during Pella’s Tulip Time. It’s a festival that celebrates Pella’s Dutch heritage. It’s quite the deal.

My mom and Bill’s parents were able to meet the boys and Chiara and I in Pella for the day. While Bill’s parents perused the craft section, Mom and I took the kids to the historic village. There we toured little shops and businesses, an old log cabin, Wyatt Earp’s boyhood home (we also met his great-grandnephew who looks A LOT like him) and so forth.

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Then we took a tour of the big windmill. It is quite fascinating that with just two huge millstones (believe me, you do not want those tied around your neck!) how fine of a flour you can get.

Then we walked out to the upper deck. I went all the way to the edge, looked up and took some shots. My mom, being afraid of heights, managed to walk a good bit of the way around the decking with the kids before making her way back. Luke, afraid of some heights, and here because he could see through the decking to below, was almost crawling back. Smile

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We munched on pizza for lunch. Why? Because it was hot and muggy out and they had air conditioning and also because it was quiet and a place to sort of re-group before the parade.

Then we found the other grandma and grandpa, who had found us a great place to watch the parade!!

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Oh, the parade is chock full of kids. I’m pretty sure there was not one soul in any school in Pella that day because they were either working there or in the parade!

First come the street washers! Whether they actually get every square inch of the street scrubbed is debatable but it all does get wet. At the very end of the washers was one little fella- you could not have staged him more perfectly. He sort of set his pail down, looked at the crowd, and then slowly dragged himself along, maybe giving a wave or two.

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With the other clusters of kids, many of the littles were in wagons and the very youngest were nodding off. Finally, do you know how adorable any kid looks in authentic Dutch clothes? Yeah- just like in the pictures!!!

Finally the Ballard band came marching along. Yay!!! Audrey, of course, was on the other side of us. It turns out there was some sort of band competition and Ballard won first place!

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After the parade, Audrey met up with us long enough to say hi and get some money. (BTW- starting about 8th grade your kid suddenly needs a lot more money) After she ditched us, Bill’s parents and the kids and I got ice cream at the Smokey Row Café. It was delish and I would really like to go back. I saw that there is one in Des Moines!! Then we made our way to a park where I proceeded to run the bathroom relay. What’s that you say? Oh, that’s where you take one kid potty a block away, come back and get another kid who suddenly discovers he’s got to go, only to get back and find the last one is really in need of visiting Mr. PJ (that is Porta John). Grandpa took the last leg for me.

We said our good byes, loaded up on cotton candy and bologna on a stick and headed home. We had tried poffertjes earlier in the day that those were good, too. Thanks FB friends for the food info.

I bet there is a lot more to see and do there, however, I decided this wasn’t the year for that. And I bet it is gorgeous when the tulips are blooming. Because of our very warm early, early Spring, they had all bloomed. Sad smile

There is next year though!

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