I love going to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. This year was beautiful as always, but I made many, many mistakes. Mistake number one: I used my husband’s car. This wouldn’t be a big deal except that my car is always filled with the things I need, and my husband’s car isn’t. So the first and biggest mistake I made was not checking to see if there was a stroller in the back. When heading on an adventure with an ACTIVE toddler, always, always have a stroller.
Mistake number two was not leaving early enough to make sure our fun adventure didn’t bump into naptime. We went with a big group of family, which was so much fun, BUT that meant we were working with many different schedules. We ran into tons of traffic, which slowed things. We also decided to hit a street fair in Mount Vernon first, which is always fun, unless you don’t have a stroller and the only parking you can find is on the opposite end of the fair from where the group decides to meet. By the time we were wrapping up eating at the fair, H was falling apart. Shoot, naptime. I decided to haul him back across the fair to rest in the car while the others peeked at the booths.
Finally, we were all ready to meet at the fields. Mistake number three: I didn’t print out a map. You really want to know where you are going here, because one wrong turn leaves you sitting in a heap of heavy traffic entering a tulip field. No problem; I can pull the map up on my phone. Revert back to mistake number one: taking my husband’s car, which also didn’t have a charger in it, and my phone was almost dead. Bad situation when coordinating with a huge group. Thankfully I found a family member and followed her. Phew.
Mistake number four: I think the tulip fields are amazing for photo ops. So of course, I dress H in an outfit I want photographed. Well, we take one step into the field, and H makes a run for a mud puddle. He doesn’t just splash in it; he gives it a running start, which makes him slide and cover his new seersucker pants in mud. His cute blue shoes, now brown. He was the entertainment of the field. People weren’t watching the flowers. Oh, no; the boy running from his mom to jump in puddles—now that’s a show. Where oh where was my stroller? Sigh. I gave up once he was covered and let him splash around a little. But really, he was so strung-out tired by the time we arrived, I was getting complete wired behavior. So we snapped a few picks and bolted.
One more mistake: I’m not used to planning for sun, so I didn’t pack sunblock. We both came back with rosy cheeks.
Now, if I had been prepared, this outing would have looked so different. I have always had such a great time at this festival. Next year, I will be so prepared and we will have a great time, dang it. I feel like Chevy Chase in Vacation right now. On a mission for a successful tulip festival. Yes, I’m a nerd.
To not be me and plan ahead, check out the website at http://www.tulipfestival.org/. Happy tuliping!