Author Archives: Sue - GetAway Travel Service

About Sue - GetAway Travel Service

Owner of GetAway Travel LLC - a boutique travel agency located in Hartland, Wisconsin

Even if you don’t own a garden

Tom Thumb, Green Thumb all I know is I’m all thumbs when it comes to gardening.  In my house I have exactly 2 plants…that are still alive.  I’ve been told it is impossible to kill a Christmas cactus…well I’ve just completed losing #4.  Out back I have a “garden” and I use that term very loosely since we refer to it as the weed bed.  So, I’d be the last person in the world you’d expect to want to visit the famous Keukenhof gardens in Holland.  Yet somehow it was on my bucket list – go figure!

So, this spring we set off with a few great friends to visit the Netherlands (okay so we got the men to go because we included Belgium and you all know how good their beer is) and on the itinerary was a visit to the famous Keukenhof gardens.  Keukenhof gardens is open only mid-March to Mid-May and our trip was timed right for the tulips to be in bloom.  We had to decide, full day or half day visit….OMG, we did the full day and still did not see everything so if you are even in that quandary….go full day for sure.

Miles and miles of tulips (well 32 hectares to be exact), every shape and color you can imagine.  Throw in some daffodils and hyacinth and you have a color mania of flowers.  But it’s not all just flowers, there are activities in the park like boat rides, cycle paths, fun signs and wooden shoes to put your face and feet into for that ultimate photo op.  Definitely climb the windmill to get a bird’s eye view of the vast tulip gardens.  If you are taking the kids, then be sure to download the treasure hunt before you go.

Ah yes, a full day at Keukenhof gardens will inspire you…I promise.  How do I know this you ask….well I left the gardens that day 300 or so tulip bulbs heavier (or shall I say $300 or so lighter since the tulips were to be shipped to the US in the fall).  Yes, me the ultimate weed bed owner left the proud owner of lots of tulip bulbs without one single plan for what I’d do with them.

They arrived this fall and I am happy to say they are all planted into a brand new flower garden…now we just wait till spring.  I’ll keep you posted but in the meantime, put Keukenhof gardens on your bucket list, you won’t be sorry.  It was beautiful!

Every kid should swim with the dolphins

Depending on your age, you either grew up with Flipper or Dolphin Tale or Free Willy.  Me, I’m a Flipper fan through and through.  Maybe it was the crush I had on Sandy (the cute teenager in the show) but regardless, I never missed an episode and secretly longed for a job as dolphin trainer.  If you’ve read my blog before you know I grew up in small town Wisconsin and dolphin training wasn’t exactly a sought-after career so the likelihood of that ever happening was…well let’s face it….zero!

But it’s hard to kill those childhood dreams and then one day….the dawn of swim with the dolphins started showing up in places like Mexico and Jamaica.

Oooh boy I could not wait to do it!  I got in the water, stood on the platform as instructed and then got my first feel of those lovely gray mammals.  I shook its fin, I waved to it.  I was in heaven!  I’m sure my smile was ten feet wide.  All that of course was the buildup to the ultimate dolphin experiences…..so as instructed, I got in the water, stretched out my  arms when my (yes my) two dolphins passed by I grabbed their dorsal fins and got towed through the water.  Hint, stop smiling here or you get a big drink of dolphin pool water.

Now that was fantastic…but wait…it gets better.  Back out into the water and floating on my tummy, toes pointed down and the next thing you know my dolphins are pushing me right out of the water.  I had my arms raised in victory!  Nothing could have been better.

At least that is what I thought at the time (circa 1980) until this past winter.  You see my husband and I had the privilege of taking our grand kids on a cruise in January and the two older ones (15 & 11) got a swim with the dolphin experience as a Christmas gift.  This time I got to watch and yes, it was even better than my own dolphin encounter.  I was able to witness them learning to love the dolphins as much as I do.  Two super wide smiles, two kids who could not stop talking about their experience.  I guess you could say it was twice as good as my own experience.  So, take my advice, splurge on the Royal swim for your kids…and the kid in you!   It is a memory you’ll cherish forever.