zach and i had a fabulous time visiting the extended boomsma side of the family in holland, michigan a few weeks back. 

i
think we would have enjoyed our first flight together more had we not
been in the very back row of a rear-engine plane.  yikes.

now, i am a very low maintenance and easy-going traveler, but even i was
sorely tempted to complain about the constant rattle that gave me a
headache by the end of the flight.  not to mention having zero view out
the window. 
see where the cylindrical turbo prop things are?  see that little
window on the other side of the emergency exit door?  our seats were
right BEHIND that window.  so although we had a “window seat,”  all you
could see was blue metal when you looked out.  i was kinda bummed. 
thank goodness for The Bourne Ultimatum dvd and our headphones that made
the flight go by much faster. 

we spent the days hanging with
family, driving back and forth from Uncle Rick & Aunt Elly’s house
(where we were staying) and Grandma and Grandpa Boomsma’s house (where
there rest of the Boomsma clan was staying). 

as you may already
know, holland, michigan is where a very large number of dutch
immigrants settled in the states.  the city is full of dutch culture and
it’s so much fun!  wooden shoes, delft porcelain, windmills, dutch
words and tulips (although we didn’t get to see many tulips since it was
july…)! 

uncle rick owns Vander Veen’s – The Dutch Store.  naturally, we had to go visit!

The Dutch Store has tons of delft porcelain…

… dutch food…

…and fuzzy slippers that look like dutch wooden shoes!  (that i, of course, HAD to get)

we
also got some dutch soup mixes and sauces, de ruijter chocolate
sprinkles, a delft mug, and delft salt & pepper shakers.  and
grandma sent us home with a pretty little candy dish, candles and a tea
towel with a dutch proverb on it.  we couldn’t experience all that fun
dutch-ness and not take some of it home with us, now could we?

one
day we went to see Big Red – an old lighthouse on the coast of lake
michigan.  it was a bit hot and humid, but the coast was beautiful!

hanging on the pier… this picture pairing cracks me up:
what i was taking….                                                                      

what courtney was taking…. 

(pc: courtney boomsma)
 

we
also attended ben & kristi’s wedding.  ben is zach’s cousin – uncle
rick and aunt elly’s son (picture of the couple totally swiped from
kristi’s fb):

(pretty
much from here on out, all the pictures posted were taken by courtney. 
i’m awful enough as it is at remembering to take pictures on any
vacation, but when i’m with someone who is actually GOOD at taking
pictures, my picture-taking-laziness knows no bounds.  shameful, i
know.  and yet here you are, enjoying them…)

we loved spending
time with grandma and grandpa boomsma.  they immigrated here from the
province of friesland, the netherlands and have some great stories (ask
grandma about smashing pie in her co-worker’s face).  plus they still
have a fair bit of the dutch accent, which is so fun to listen to!  i
have so much respect for their hard work (grandpa worked 3 jobs for
awhile when they first lived here) and patience and determination in the
face of hardship, persecution and struggle, not to mention a
significant language barrier.  they are amazing.  and very cute.  and
very funny.    what delightful grandparents they are! 
 

courtney took this picture of zach and i at the wedding and simply HAD to post it because it’s my new favorite:

we visited this place called Dutch Village that was full of shops with neat dutch foods and souvenirs…

by
far the coolest thing there was the candle shop.  they dip a base
candle in many layers of various colors and then, while the wax is still
soft, handcarve them to make the designs.  it was so impressive and
beautiful! (see the ones hanging on the wall to the right?)

the
last full day we had in michigan we went to the beach at kirk park
(lake michigan coast).  i had gotten a wicked sunburn the day before
(stupid overcast skies that STILL let the sun through even though it
doesn’t FEEL like it.  even just 30 minutes and i come out looking like a
lobster.  sigh.), so i camped out underneath an umbrella most of the
time.

zach attempted to fly a kite and i attempted to help him.  he was marginally successful.  🙂

we
loved our time in michigan!  seeing the family and enjoying the green
landscape and thunderstorms.  celebrating with ben and kristi at their
wedding.  sleeping in and enjoying slow-paced days.  learning more about
my husband’s family’s dutch roots.   

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