Hello there dear friends! Life has been such a whirlwind of late. Most of you who follow both Bek and I as a blog on other social media sites (Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter) have some idea of where we've been and what we've been up to since our little blogging break. But to give all of our audience an update, we thought it would be appropriate to share a bit of our lasts two weeks with you right here!
The first weekend we were missed here on the Blog, we traveled over a few States to Fulton, Illinois to participate in that quaint little town's Dutch Days festival, which is very much like our own area's Tulip Time. But the reason for attending such a celebration has been kept quiet, or at least here. You see, our family, as well as the rest of the cast, was asked to travel in lieu of putting on our Dutch Heritage show just for their festival! Of course we were delighted! Who wouldn't be with gas payed for, a house for the whole family to lay our heads down at night in, a beautiful scenic drive, and the anticipation of putting on the Show for a new crowd, equals a delightful mini vacation!
This is the home we were given to stay at. The family that accommodated us was raised in within it's walls, all 8 kids to be exact! It was a darling little setup with three small bedrooms upstairs, a kitchen that had been remodeled in the mid 90's or so, the rest of the place was still in it's prime from the early 1900's. Beautiful woodwork galore! It was such a nice home away from home for us.
Once we arrived in Fulton around noon on Friday, we unloaded our over night bags at The Bly House and headed over to the venue we would be performing at for rehearsal. After a fairly taxing four and a half hours of dress, tech, dance, props, blocking, and singing practice we all dispersed for about an hour before show time! Oh my! Saying it was a long day would definitely be an understatement!
The show went so well though in-spite of our rough rehearsal. We cheered each other on from one scene to the next, anticipating what was next on the show order banners that hung behind stage. We were praised at the end for our diligent work, talked of our drive over from Michigan to people leaving, and even shook the hand of the Dutch Consul General (like a diplomat) who was in attendance!
The following day, Saturday, was packed with events for us to attend. What events? Well spending all day in their downtown area; dancing in the streets, singing on a nearby outdoor stage, putting on style shows of our costumes at the Masonic Lodge (that was something!), and wrapping up the day by being in their parade.
What was to come later that evening was a true delight....
Right across the street from the house we called home for the three days we spent in, stood this majestic house. It's historic beauty was so rich you could feel it as we walked through. Oh, but why were we there? Well, let me explain. The dear lady who had been trying to bring our group in to perform for the past few years is the blessed owner of this place. She graciously set up the large outdoor event tent along with tables and chairs for us to take the rest of the night off beneath. Complete with dinner for all and a tour of the place as well! The weather was amazing. A cool breeze blew through the tent as we swapped stories of past family trips and future plans...
After a well deserved rest (day 3), we began to make our way home after Mom and I visited a church for their Sunday morning services. We packed our bags, straighten the place up and headed out. A day before, whilst Dad was driving about, he'd come across this rock wall with a couple of the kids, but they are unable to stop and investigate it, so after a bit of backtracking we were all able to get a glimpse of it as we were heading home anyway. God's creation is so astounding.
As we continued on our way Rebekah piped up, "Hey, aren't we going to stop at Antique Archeology?" Mom quickly Googled how far into Iowa their store front was and what their hours were. Ha! Little did we know that they were only a half hour's drive in and were closing in about an hour! We reset our route and headed their way! It was super fun to actually see some of the things that we had seen them "pick" right on the shelves for sale! We were all so glad Bek thought to say something! For those who may not know, American Pickers is a reality type TV show about two guys who go all over America (and beyond!) looking through people's "junk" to find "treasure" to resell. It's fun to grab a season or two every once and a while for us from the library since we identify with their "one man's trash is another man's treasure" motto. ;~] It's amazing to see what they find!
Our last stop was a neat little village of sorts, one that had been put together to look like you had stepped back in time to the mid 1800's. It felt good to stretch our legs before the next 3 hours or so of driving had to be endured. The sights were profound. It was just a little bit fabulous that we had the whole place to ourselves as well. :)
The Mississippi River was our guide as we wound our way out of Illinois and ventured home. It was so beautiful to behold for the first time! ...us kids anyway! :)
So, after this busy-packed yet very enjoyable weekend, we were home, and it was time to unpack our little duffel bags and prepare for the next week of more Dutch History Live rehearsals/the performance (we also put on the show once more, here in our hometown area) and a very full week of volunteer work.
If you are a newer reader or would like to refresh your memory on our area's Dutch event and what we do to volunteer, just click right here to see the whole lowdown from last year's post!
Have you ever been to a Dutch festival?
Are you comfortable on stage?
Have you ever been to the Mississippi River?
Do you watch American Pickers?
Do you watch American Pickers?
Ta-ta till the weekend!
the elder sister