Maurice and I decided to do a quick trip recently. We were talking about various options when I mentioned I’d love to see the tulips in bloom in Holland and off we went. It turns out we were two to three weeks too early for the tulips but we still had a great time. Tulips originally came from the middle East and became crazy expensive in Holland and made many people a fortune. They were like gold. I heard that the ones we buy now for our homes as cut flowers come from green houses not fields. Holland is the center of the cut flowers world. Many are flown in from Holland all over the world. The florist at the George V Hotel in Paris goes there to pick out flowers in person. We found the Dutch to be a very welcoming people and everyone seemed to be fluent in English. When I listened to the radio I found the cadence very American like even though I didn’t understand one word and when they used an English word it was done in a perfect American accent unlike in France where an English word has that strong French accent. Just interesting to me.

We first went to the Keukenhof Gardens where there are over 7 million tulip bulbs planted. It is only open two months a year. Most of the tulips blooming on the grounds on the day we arrived were forced as they say but a few had started. Mostly there were daffodils and hyacinths.

Here are some tulips blooming with some purple hyacinths and there is a huge field of red tulips in the back ground.

The grounds were stunning. Here is the flowering branch of a tree hanging over some water. We were there on a Saturday and by the afternoon it was packed with people. The grounds are perfect, rather like Disneyland, and the crowds were Disneyland-like too.

Unusual, and beautiful, tulips.

They had little gardens around and this one had pots made of the famous Delft pottery topped with these two cuties.

Some of the people selling food there wore Dutch costumes.

A look at the perfect grounds with hyacinths with tulips to come.


Another birthday rolled around (March 30). It seems like I just had one a month ago although last year we went to the Maldives for my birthday which refreshes my mind. We didn’t do anything much except go out to lunch this year.

We went to the Bistro Valois which has two large terraces that were covered and heated as it hasn’t warmed up much in Paris. It was nice to sit on these fur lined seats under heaters.

I had a kir to celebrate and a yummy shrimp and avocado salad.

Maurice brought me a beautiful bouquet of tulip looking very springlike.

After lunch we walked in the nearby Palais Royal with its famous Buren columns.

I was happy to see flowers and trees in bloom there.

Here and There

The wisteria is starting to bloom. I love the look and the fragrance. I’ve read that it takes 7 to 8 years for them to start blooming after being planted.

This restaurant always has a great display of wisteria. It’s called Au Vieux Paris. It has a very interesting interior but I’m not sure about the food.

A different view.

Not too far from Notre Dame is the beautiful Place Dauphine. Last year I was able to get a photo of these trees blooming with flowers but I was too late this year. It’s a really lovely place I wouldn’t mind having an apartment overlooking those trees.

Love seeing tulips blooming. They seem more special because they are only there a short time.

Such great architecture.