Friday, August 12, 2016

8/11 and 8/12 Holland and South Haven Michigan and a new computer

Who knew how hot it can get in Michigan?  It has been in the 90's and humid.
We got a rental car from Enterprise on Thursday, August 11 and headed to Holland, Michigan.  We had some missions to accomplish.  Our mail and some packages were going to the marina in Holland and we had made the choice to get further south because heavy winds were forecast.  So we needed to pick those up.  But I really wanted to see the Windmill Island Gardens.

Holland, Michigan, was settled by the Dutch and they are very proud of their Dutch heritage.  The town has maintained close ties to the Netherlands.  Some of the other tourists were Dutch spoke Dutch with the staff.  The Windmill Island Gardens has the only authentic working Dutch windmill in the United States.
The miller is a woman who apprenticed at the professional grain millers guild of the Netherlands.  The tour of the windmill was fascinating. 
The workings are wooden gears and pulleys that are lubricated with beeswax.  The grist stones are huge.  In their hey day windmills were used to pump water and as saw mills, in addition to grinding grain.
This particular windmill was given to the United States after WWII.  It had been used a lookout during the war and bullet holes are still visible.  The grounds were beautiful.  My gardening friends would be so impressed.  Of course, we were not there during tulip season.  I spoke with one of the women on the horticulture team.  She told me they plant over 100,000 tulips each year and when they are spent they dig them up.  They get new tulips each year from the Netherlands.  Wherever they dig up the tulips, they plant annuals for the garden goers enjoyment.

At the garden, they have an Amsterdam Street Organ that was given to Holland, Michigan in 1947 as a thank you for the liberation during WWII.  The organ is very ornate.  The women are former queens of the Netherlands.
  The organ is run by electricity for the demonstrations today but still uses a punched book to send the air through the pipes and beat the drum.  The man in this picture speaks Dutch and says he wears wooden shoes to work in his garden at home.

The young women giving the tours of the windmill demonstrated Dutch dancing.  It was a hot day to be dressed in authentic garb. 
In the gift shop, one could buy wooden shoes.  I had to try them on.  I didn't think they were very comfortable.

After the Windmill Island, we went to see the Holland Lighthouse, which resembles those in the Netherlands. 
It looked particularly pretty with this tour boat going past with its flags.

Downtown Holland was lots of fun.  They are doing a project where they are putting in heated lines under the side walks to keep them snow free.  Along the downtown, there was a fire pit with chimney for cold days. 
I liked this statue of children raising the flag.

There were many street performers.

The Holland museum had all the usual history of the town but on the second floor had a full gallery of the art of the Dutch Masters.  It was a wonderful collection.  I got there at the end of the day and the docent was so knowledgeable.  He gave me an individualized tour. 

Our computer has been showing signs of wanting to give up the ghost.  We went shopping last night and got a new one.

Today, we headed to South Haven for the South Haven Blueberry Festival. 
We bought blueberries, blueberry pie and a fiery blueberry sauce.  There was blueberry wine, blueberry syrup, etc.  The rain was threatening so we left before the blueberry pie eating contest.  Here is what the skies looked like off the back of our boat. 

The winds are still supposed to be high tomorrow so we will take the car and do some provisioning.

Lat 42 degrees 6.91 North
Long 86 degrees 29.03 West

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