IMAGE00403Some of my favorite memories with both of my grandmothers involve flowers.  There is a reason that flowers are used to express a range of emotions from “I love you,” to “I am sorry I screwed up.”  When you see something as beautiful as a tulip field, you can’t help but smile.  The first time I saw tulips the way one should was in the Netherlands with my grandma and my mom on an epic Rome to Copenhagen cruise on the Crown Princess.  I was immediately mesmerized and knew I had to come back.  Little did I know that I would visit the same place two years later with my wife to be when we were studying abroad in Europe. This year I have the pleasure of visiting with my dad and next year Ava Jane will go for the first time.

Other than the stunning beauty, what makes tulips so special?  Tulips have meant many things over the years.  They were once a commodity worth more than gold.  For thousands of years, seeing that green shoot poke through the earth is a sure sign that spring is on the way.  Tulips are more than the sign up spring and a favorite of my grandmother, they are the emblem of the Netherlands.