Windmills, Delft and Lighthouses

Our seven week trip to the mid-west was nearing an end, but I had one more town I wanted to visit: Holland, Michigan. With my maiden name being Updyke, I have always been interested in all things Dutch. Since I doubt I will ever get to the Netherlands, I decided that we would go to Holland. Plus, we needed to capture a lighthouse along Lake Michigan. We settled into the Oak Grove Resort Campground and decided to find Big Red. It was nearby and there were bike paths, so we peddled our way to the shore.Big Red Lighthouse, MichiganWhat a beautiful area! There were bike paths everywhere. We found a few geocaches and Matt took a photo of me in my new hoodie. We had found it in Leland and in my quest for more color, I couldn’t resist it.New HoodieI saw this building in the distance and took a quick pic. Isn’t it marvelous? I never did find out if it was a home or a business.DSC_9329One more day in Holland made it possible to explore Windmill Island. I was eager to see De Zwaan, the only authentic Dutch windmill in the United States.  This 125 foot tall windmill is 250 years old and still grinds grain today.DSC_9382 2 De Zwaan means “the swan” or “graceful bird” and it looked beautiful against the striking sky.De ZwaanDelft, the blue and white pottery, was another interest that brought us to Holland. I remember calling a crewel piece I had made delft and our son thought I made up a word! Actually, our sons have accused me of inventing that word ever since. But no, it is blue and white pottery that was originally made in Delft, Netherlands since 1512. I was intrigued by it because of the family heritage and had heard that there was a Delft factory in Holland, Michigan. DSC_9348 2

DSC_9375 2I was hoping that we would be able to tour the factory to see how Delftware was made and sure enough we could! Deb spent quite a long time explaining the process. She obviously loved working there and appreciated that all the methods they used were authentic.DSC_9349 2This photo shows each step of the process.DSC_9352 2Every piece of delftware in Veldheer’s Delft Factory is completely handpainted. Even pieces that are imported from the Netherlands are often not hand painted. Bonnie has been painting delftware at Veldheer’s for 35 years!DSC_9369 2They also acquired equipment from the Netherlands to make wooden shoes. Travis demonstrated the machinery and explained that the shoes were made from green wood, poplar and willow. DSC_9361 2We bought a shoe as a souvenir and Thoa decorated it by woodburning our name onto it. DSC_9370 2In the shop, I found this tee shirt. I’ve heard my dad say this many a time!DSC_9373 4As much as I loved being around all those Dutch things, it was time to keep going. We had one more stop. I still needed a lighthouse along Lake Erie to complete getting ones at all the lakes. We stopped at Sandusky, Ohio. Our day at Marblehead Lighthouse was beautiful and relaxing.DSC_9420 2e DSC_9441 2c

We could see Cedar Point amusement park across the water. That’s the closest we got though.DSC_9427 2It was finally time to go home! What a glorious excursion; seven weeks of adventure. We often spoke that getting our 5th wheel camper was one of the best things we have ever done. Traveling is a challenge with my dietary restrictions. But with a roving kitchen, that problem is solved. In seven weeks, we ate out only once. What a blessing to be able to be together, exploring our great country! One that we will never take for granted. Until the next trip, peace to you!DSC_8277 2

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15 thoughts on “Windmills, Delft and Lighthouses

  1. The Lake Michigan Lighthouse is the one from my Somewhere in Time movie. Always wanted to visit. The Delftware factory is an added plus. Looks like a trip to Holland, Michigan is in my future. The colorful hoodie is a great find.

  2. Wonderful Janine! I loved seeing the wooden shoes. When Ashley was about 9 or 10 her dance class did a dance in the recital called the wooden shoe dance and they danced in wooden shoes custom made to fit their feet. She still have those shoes. (a little scuffed in places, painted yellow)

    • That is really fun, Karen! I kept thinking that the shoes must be uncomfortable, but one woman there said she wears them every day and they are wonderful. Who would have guessed?!

  3. It certainly is a blessing Janine, and one that is clearly not wasted on you and your family! It’s easy to see you love and appreciate this beautiful country. Now that your travels are over for now, will we be hearing from you?

    • Definitely, Doreen! I still have our trip to England to finish writing about. And I love to write about my creative endeavors too. Besides, I’ll always have something to say! 🙂

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