Thursday, June 26, 2014

De Zwann

These photos were taken back in April when Roibeard, my brother, and I all went on a little trip to Holland, Michigan.  We were in Grand Rapids that weekend to attend my sister's college gradation (Congrats Sheryl!) and decided to take a stop over in Holland on our way back to Chicago.  Growing up I had always dreamed of the Holland Tulip Festival.  It sounded so unique and fun to me.  Now that I'm (mostly) a grown-up I have been here on two occasions.  My younger self would have loved it.  Unfortunately we came approximately one week before the tulips were in bloom.  Bummer.  Still, we saw the odd tulip here and there and were able to tour the windmill!

De Zwann is the only authentic, working windmill in the United States.  How amazing is that?  It is five stories tall and was first erected in Krommenie, Netherlands in 1761.  It made its way to Michigan by way of the Muskegon harbor in 1964.  One interesting thing I learned is that the position of the blades are used for communication.  The way they were positioned when we visited was to indicate that the mill was in a state of repair. 


The lone tulips:


We also saw this amazing street organ and beautifully painted carousel...oh my wonderful.

On the way back to Chicago we made a brief stop in Beverly to see Chicago's only castle!  It is now a Unitarian church, it was built by Chicago's early Irish settlers in 1886. (Yes, in America that's old for us...)  Anyway, it was a way to start getting pumped about our trip to Ireland...there's a bunch of posts and a lot of photos to follow!

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