Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Roller Coaster

By now most of you know that I was not able to make my original flight to Atlanta (from Holland) a week ago Saturday because of the volcanic-ash fiasco. My flight was automatically rescheduled by Delta for this past Wednesday at 1p. Good. So I kept my eyes and ears open all week for the status, knowing it, too, could be cancelled at the last minute. It was an hour-by-hour, day-by-day roller coaster of emotions.

Now, hold that thought.

I had sat at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport that Saturday for 8 hours before my original flight was cancelled. During that time, Schiphol was offering free wireless to everyone! Plus free water and free buns with cream cheese. So I was happy as a lark (almost as good as a free ice cream), sitting on the floor with my back against a pillar, plugged in to the power outlet, working on my photos from England and catching up on my e-mails. The time flew.

Then reality hit and I realized I wouldn't be leaving that day. But when? Who knew. So I contacted Astrid and she drove back the hour's drive one-way to take me back home. Two round trips in one day. Thank God for Granny Towanda!

Now here's what happens, remember, when they hand you a lemon! You go to the Keukenhof Gardens! We had planned to go when I returned from the States but we'd have only one week left for the tulip season and who knew what the weather would be like. With Sunday now free (no flights again), we made the spontaneous decision to go to the gardens NOW and not wait. That was a week ago today. The day was sunny and perfect in every way...not too hot and not too cold. So we drove past Schiphol airport, the third round trip in 24 hours, and "made lemonade!" I can't begin to tell you how everything I had ever heard about Keukenhof was even BETTER than what I had ever imagined. It was incredible in every way.

It even has a windmill, so you know I was in heaven.

Oh yes, and tulips of every kind and variety....

AND, orchids, of course....

It was a day to never forget. Totally worth the trip if ever you are in Holland during the Keukenhof tulip season.

Now, back to Schiphol and flying out to the States: it happened on Wednesday but NOT on the flight for which I had been rescheduled. The chaotic mess at Schiphol was so horrendous, I missed my flight! But they put me on standby for the next flight 2 hours later, which I made. It was a domino effect all day at the airport, I'm sure: people missing their first flight but making it on standby the next flight. While in the sky over the Big Pond, Astrid e-mailed daughter Amy who was able to reschedule a new flight from Detroit to Atlanta so that once I landed, I was able to go to the gate just as it was boarding. Son Mark was in Atlanta to pick me up and take me to Amy's...and I was in bed by 11:30 that night, 24 hours after having awakened in Gorinchem at the start of my day! THANKS to everyone doing their part!

And now I'm getting ready to go meet up with Vagabonde! Another sunny day (after rain all day yesterday and tornado warnings last night) and all's fine with the world...once again! (My return flight is on Monday the 3rd, via Chicago and London, adding another $900 to the cost of my flight back because of the change. But it's just money, right? Will there still be volcanic action then? I'm trying not to even go there yet....)


  1. Wow! What a gorgeous, gorgeous place! Nobody does flowers like the Dutch.

    So glad you got out in the end, and hope you have a lovely time with your family. (It's pretty short!) I feel like I should be asking you to give Vagabonde a hug for me!

    I like your brand of lemonade, Ginnie.

  2. With a big smile on my face am I looking at the beautiful pictures and reading your post.....all this happened in 8 days, quess what, I had to say to Granny Towanda...NO NOT TO SCHIPHOL (airport) TODAY...... grin.
    I love your collages and we both had a great day at the Keukenhof, I am so glad we went that day, you know our weather, it can be over in NO time.
    For me explaining what Keukenhof is, is just not possible, how do you explain ten thousands of bulbs, planted each year, one by one, each year they have a theme, each year it is beautiful.
    I am glad that you could experience this, nature is booming blooming rigt now, you will see the difference when you come home again.
    Don't you worry.....there are ships from the USA to Rotterdam........

  3. Ginnie, your tulip garden pictures are spectacular. It seems to me you are ahead of the game by any scoring system.

  4. I love the photos of the gardens. And what a whirlwind of an adventure at the airport!

    Now those photos are beautiful. Do you remember when I took you to Queen Elizabeth Park?

    I can't wait to go out to more gardens, and hopefully soon.

    Thanks for sharing and yes one day I will get to those gardens! Hopefully soon!

  5. The garden of tulips is truly gorgeous. I think my favourite flowers are tulips and daffidils, and all the other spring bulbs, so colourful and happy to wake up after all those winter months in the cold ground.
    Good to know you finally arrived in Atlanta all in one piece in spite of the volcanic ash. What a mess. Thank goodness I wasn't planning on any air travel at that time. I haven't been a very good blogger just recently, what with painting and re-carpeting my house, and also preparing and rehearsing for the annual variety show, but I'll be posting again soon. Have fun in Atlanta, say hello from me to Vagabonde. And next time, fly home via Toronto!!!!

  6. You're always such an inspiration, continuously turning lemons into lemonade! All those flowers are so beautiful and it certainly looked like the perfect spring day to be out there among the flowers.

  7. Lush and vibrant, they planted so many bulbs together, and it makes an extraordinarily beautiful park. It reminds me of Central Park in its layout and pond(s).

    Are the orchids outside?? So lovely.

    Amy told me about the call she made to Delta that got you on a flight - she was amazed!

    Sweetie, you ALWAYS make lemonade. No one has a more positive outlook than you. I know many people who would bitch and moan about your experience, and yet you found such joy that was just waiting for you and Astrid. I admire that in you.

    Beautiful post.

  8. Oh, and I'm so proud of you for making that decision to spend the extra $900. It's terrible, but it's only money. We were just watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Charlie wants to sell his golden ticket for money his family so desperately needs rather than go to the factory for the day. But his grumpy grandpa says, Charlie, there is always a lot of money in the world, but there are only FIVE golden tickets.

  9. One more!

    I can't wait to hear about your visit with V! Both from you, and from her. :) I wonder what you'll do? . . .

  10. I've been more than once to the Keukenhof and was always amazed! It is indeed breathtaking! Glad you finally made it to Atlanta after all that mess up :) I'm looking forward to read about your stay in the US. In the meantime, enjoy the family :)

  11. Spectacular pictures!! Stunning and vibrant.
    I'm so thrilled we connected while your here in the States.
    Hugs and kisses to Astrid...the smitten faces and apple cheeks are still on both of your faces. WooHoo.

  12. Deborah: The Dutch are very proud of their flowers, for sure, and rightfully so. It was an incredible place. And yes, I have a feeling I gave Vagabonde a hug from many of you. What a sweetie-pie she is. My next post will be about her! :)

    Astrid: It was so much better than I expected and I expected the best, so that is really saying something. We will go again one day with family/friends, I'm sure. What fun. Let's hope and pray I do NOT have to take a ship back to Rotterdam. God have mercy.

    Ted: I don't know about scoring but you sure would love the and Jane both!

    ET: I will never forget our time with you at Queen Elizabeth park, Jen. Keukenhof might beat Queen E. by a smidge, however. :) It is really incredible.

    Sham: Besides the tulips, there were all the other spring beauties like daffodils, hyacinths, etc., etc. A total splash of color, as you see. I don't think we could have picked a better day!

    Mad: Lemonade is so much better than the alternative, you know! :) Thank you.

    Ruth: The orchids are in one of the buildings in the park...very beautifully done, like a huge greenhouse. I had no idea they'd be there. Thank you for your kind words about making lemonade. It becomes a way of life, I think. So much better than the alternative. Thank you.

    Money is such a funny thing. It's important to plan wisely and be responsible, but in the end, things happen that test your views of it. These things happen for a reason and I know I am being taught how to let things go. I will always err on the side of being too thrifty, so the lessons are there to let go, I know!

    And yes, you will hear all about my time with V my next post. What a sweetie-pie!

    CS: I'm so glad you know what I'm talking about! I was thoroughly impressed, big time!

    Bob: Thank you for reaching out! Let's try to see each other...or at least Skype!

  13. My husband and I went to Keukenhof Gardens many many years ago – let’s see, must have been in the early 80s, but I still remember it as a wondrous trip. Too bad I did not have a digital camera then. I could not believe the varieties of tulips and the colors. I am so pleased that Delta came through for you. Meeting you and your grandson was a delight. It was short though but what it lacked in length it gained in quality and fun.

  14. Well, if you had to be stuck somewhere Holland is not such a bad place!!!! The Keukenhof is AMAZING!!!! is much of Holland!!! My wife's parents immigrated from there to California two years before she was born! All the rest of her relatives are there. I've spent three vacations there and absolutely love The Netherlands! beautiful! We were actually engaged in Rotterdam in the very park where my in-laws were married by a little Norwegian fisherman's chapel! can see I have many reasons to love this place!

  15. Vagabonde: To think you and I have seen some of the same places...just makes the world feel so much smaller! It was pure delight to meet you...and now you have your own post from me! :)

    Charley: What a small world, again! I absoloutely love Holland and want to see every square inch of it. It's always fun to find someone else who loves it as much as I do. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  16. Ginnie,
    I think I've had some ashes on my in the past.
    I only missed a trip to Northern Norway.
    The point with this comment:
    Holland and Flowers in Spring is nothing but and excotic Garden,
    which you so masterly have proven by your excellent photos.
    They all does fascinate me and I feel soooo calme and comfy while watching.
    Happy you are back in real Holland, not Holland in MI, LOL.
    (There is also a good terrain for Biking)

  17. I really hope to get to the gardens someday! They are absolutely gorgeous!
    And I thought our Holland had lots of tulips. I was also surprised about the orchids, its no wonder I love them (I have two right now :) know its just that strong dutch heritage.

  18. Tor: I can't believe I'm just now responding to this comment. Thank you for it. And yes, this is the REAL Holland. :) No doubt about it. But the other one is darn-tootin' nice, too.

    Wilma: Is that YOU?! Ohhhh, thank you for your comment. I had no idea you liked orchids, too. Astrid has 6 orchid plants on the window sill right now. I hope you can come here some day while we are here so that we can show you around. YOUR heritage, yes.