Friday, April 20, 2012

Raindrops on Tulips

This variety of tulip grows with a readymade bouquet!

The forecast was for rain, but we went anyway, armed with changes of clothes and rubber boots.  I've taken my kids to see the Skagit Valley tulips for the past ten years, and for the past 8 years, we've gone with my friend Josie and her kids.  This year, my friend Julie, her kids and her mom in law joined us.

A few raindrops weren't going to put a damper on our adventure!  We drove the tulip field route in dismay, noticing that "Private Property" signs were more prominently displayed than in years past, and edges of fields were plowed up, making parking impossible.  We finally gave in and paid $5 to park at Christiansen Nursery.  The kids were happy because a rubberband bus was parked there.  Read my blog post from last year to find out more about this phenomenon.

We parked under heavy skies, bundled as much as we could be and headed toward the fields.  The kids ran ahead, and as we rounded the corner to catch up with them, we saw someone chasing them!  A farm employee wielded a big orange flag and was in hot pursuit, chasing the kids out from between the rows of tulips.

Clearly, the farms were enforcing the "Don't Go Between the Rows" rule more vigilantly, and this gal was taking her job very seriously.  Forlornly, they tried to check out the rubberband bus, only to find that is was being well guarded by more workers.  I started to wonder if they had read my past blog posts when the flagging worker followed us through the fields.  We kind of felt like teenagers being shadowed by security guards in a music store, like they were waiting for an infraction to occur.  But still, I think the flagging job would be a really fun one, and I told Eva she should get that job next year.

We tried valiantly to group kids for family group photos, with the children instead wandering like aimless gnats among the field.  Desperately, we brought out the Snow Goose Produce ice cream bribe.   The kids agreed grudgingly in order to earn the immodest ice cream cones that the Snow Goose produce stand sells.

We wandered the tulips for a little longer, when Josie announced, "I have a bad feeling that it's going to dump rain."  I didn't quite believe it, and decided to be optimistic, but I had to admit she sure seemed right.  Not ten minutes later, the rain started coming hard.  Julie and her kids got out just in time because one had slipped was covered with mud, but we were out in the torrential rain.

 We began to head back to the vehicles, but noticed how beautiful the raindrops looked on the leaves and tulips and how they changed the ambient light.  We got some raindrop pictures, then realized again that we were miserable and ran through the mud past the rubberband bus.  Levi kicked it in frustration.  We posed the miserable and sad kids next to their unattainable dream, then again next to the car.

It was time for ice cream.  At Snowgoose Produce, the ice creams were even larger than we remembered. There were heaters on the ceiling, and we gave ourselves bellyaches gorging ourselves on the high fructose corn syrup delight.  It was time to go home.  We were filthy dirty and thoroughly happy.

Later, Josie and I were trying to remember why we do this every year.  It's just tulips right?  Who really thinks tulips are that great?  They're the cliche flower that everyone draws to represent springtime. She said that for us, it wasn't about the destination, but the adventure.  We certainly got an adventure that day!

Daffodils still in bloom.  We were looking for tulips...

the boys, guiltily returning to us after chasing a farm truck
Sienna + Mud = Pure Bliss
The raindrops are beginning

Enjoying the squishy muddy

Farm workers were culling the misfit flowers, tossing them into the back of the truck.  This one missed the ride.

culled flowers at the edge of the truck like a readymade bouquet

Levi pretends to kick the bus
forlorn in front of the rubberband bus

oops, he has snuck the door open, time to get these kids home...
fields ready for some other planting...

neat and tidy bouquets for sale as we exit

miserable children
maia is still happy 
gardening gloves that were in the car, beside a matching tulip petal
Although it's prominently displayed EVERYWHERE, we always forget whether we for sure need to bring cash to buy the snowgoose ice cream.

crabs for sale, fresh crabs for sale!

Maia and auntie Josie


  1. It looks cold, wet and FUN! Snowgoose is one of my all time favorite places!!!

  2. Your pictures are stunning!!! My favorite is squishy mud!! I was more excited to go, but my "energy" for it faded as it neared and happened. I know I didn't get near as many fun pictures as yours!!! Yours are so great! I'm so glad I went with you because that's what made it fun!!!

  3. Very impressive photos, Angie! You're right, it's totally about the adventure of going up there and being with friends. BTW, at Snow Goose, you can pay with a debit at the register, then bring your receipt through the ice cream line. We had some poor guy wait 30 minutes in line behind us before he saw the 'no cash' signs. He almost left, but they didn't make him wait in line again. We had to testify on his behalf that he had actually waited in the crazy, long line. It was hilarious.


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