A few days ago I took a little visit to Holland. No, not the one in Europe, the one in Michigan. Yes, we have our own little Dutch wonderland. We had our yearly support staff outing where I work and spent the day in Holland, Michigan at Windmill Island. Holland is a nice little town with cute shops in the downtown area and then there is an actual working windmill that comes directly from The Netherlands.
The windmill is still in use and the miller is a woman which is pretty rare. She studied the Dutch way of milling in The Netherlands and learned to speak Dutch to do it. Pretty impressive. The mill does have contracts with various businesses in the town and does quite a bit of work. She was not working that day as she is on maternity leave. Good excuse I suppose.
The bottom 3 levels of the mill were built on the spot but the rest of the mill was taken apart and sent over from Europe piece by piece. You can still see some of the numbers marked into the wood to keep track of what goes where.
There are some cute shops and lovely gardens at the windmill that you can visit and purchase wooden shoes or some of the flour from the mill or plenty of other Dutch lovelies. I only purchased some candy because wooden shoes simply aren’t practical but they did have some painted like the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz and it was hard to leave them there. My dear friend Kari bought some Violet mints which I didn’t try but everyone else admitted were horrible. In case you are unsure, that’s violet as in the flower, not the color. They taste like flowers. Think on that for a minute. I already made the mistake of trying rose jam when I was in France and let me say, flowers should not be eaten, they taste the way they smell. Yuck!
The grounds also contain a carousel that is over one hundred years old. The animals are stationary but the kids love it all the same, so the guide told us.
The other antique treasure is an old traveling pipe organ. It plays very jaunty music.
We did have a slight scare when we finished the mill tour and thought that the apocalypse was starting earlier then expected because there was a rainbow around the entire sun. It also could have been some kind of alien invasion but the world is still safe so I guess that wasn’t it. Actually it was pretty neat to see. It was hard to get a good picture though.
All in all we had a lovely day. The weather was wonderful and it was quite interesting. I shall now leave you with a few more pictures.