Monday, April 17, 2006

Tulip Festival and Kite-Flying

Last Tuesday, Bede, Lucia and I went to the Annual Tulip Festival of Skagit County, Washington. We always go prepared for rain. Even when there's sunshine (as there was last Tuesday), we can almost always count on lots of mud. There's something wonderful for me about attending the Tulip Festival every year. It's not just looking at all the tulips and daffodils, lovely though they are. It's the one time of the year in which I go out of my way to appreciate my adopted home state of Washington. Many of my friends go hiking and skiing in the mountains on a regular basis. They are "connected to nature." Usually, I'm not likely to go hiking anywhere more adventuresome than the Arboretum. Mount Rainier has some good walking trails, but it's two hours away, and while we're sure Lucia would be cheerful for the drive out to Paradise, we're not so sure our girl would keep from having a meltdown on the return trip. The Tulip Festival, however, is only an hour's drive from where we live. With all of its open fields and muddy puddles, the festival is heaven for a child in rainboots. We don't spend that much time looking at the tulips up-close, but appreciate the swaths of color over the landscape:

Flower rainbow of Tulip Town

Alkelda and Lucia within the flower rainbow

I admit that one of the main reasons I like to go to the Tulip Festival is so that I can fly my little kite. The average kite needs 8-12 mph winds to stay up in the air. I have one of those kites, but I like my little 5 mph kite. I'm a beginning kite-flyer, and I need a bit of success at the onset for encouragement. While we have a Kite Hill at one of our parks, if the wind is good, the hill is filled with other kite-flyers. If I take my kite out to an open, empty field, there's a good bet that five minutes later, someone is going to start a baseball game. Normally, I'm a city girl to the bone, but when it comes to flying kites, I long for wide open spaces. I find those spaces at the Tulip Festival plus the bonus of children saying, "Look! A kite!"

Alkelda flies the kite (superimposed to show that in theory, there is something at the end of the string)

Lest you think that this storytelling blog is turning into a scrapbooking blog of my travels in the Pacific Northwest, here is a song about kites, and here is a story in which kites are important.


Nonny said...

The pictures are breathtaking. The only time I enjoy really being outdoors is during early spring. Just to get the musty cobwebs out of my brain.

Your kite picture is hilarious, thanks for the disclaimer because I couldn't tell (haha). I love to fly kites when we visit the ocean.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Nonny, Nobody has ever told me to "go fly a kite," but I wish someone would.

Then again, what am I waiting for?!

Lady K said...

Akelda, I SO needed pictures like that. Daffodils and tulips are also among my favorites. Actually, jonquils are my absolute, but I can never find them down here. I suppose I could order bulbs over the net but I worry how they'd do down here.

Looks like you had a blast! It's been windy here lately and I keep saying that it's great "kite weather." I really need to get in touch with my inner child again.

Lone Star Ma said...

I love tulips.

The weather is always right for kite-flying in Corpus Christi, Alkelda! Come visit! Any little park will do here and you can get big, gi-normous kites up at the beach. We used to have a kite museum here, even!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Lone Star Ma: I want to visit! Let's make it happen. We may need two years to plan it, though!

Lady K: Is it possible for you to visit a conservatory/greenhouse that has jonquils? I love it when other people do the caretaking and I get to appreciate the flowers.