"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cherry Blossoms!

We went to the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC yesterday. We went last year, our first REAL spring ever, and had a beautiful time. This year the cherry blossoms were just as spectacular...except since we went on a weekend, there were SO many more people there. 

Cherry trees line the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. The Tidal Basin is a partially man-made reservoir between the Washington River and the Potomac, built both as a thing of beauty and as a means to flush the Washington Channel. The Jefferson Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the George Mason Memorial can all be found around the Tidal Basin. If you've seen any of these monuments in person, you've seen the Tidal Basin. So where do the cherry blossoms come from? In 1912, Japan gave the US 3,000 cherry trees as a sign of friendship between the two countries. You can read more about the history of the National Cherry Blossom Festival and see more stunning photos of the flowers taken this year here.

We take the Metro from home whenever we do anything in DC, as it is so much cheaper than driving and having to pay parking, and to me, being able to take a train into town is one of the biggest perks of living on the outskirts of a major big city.

The Metro was CRAWLING with people...I've NEVER seen so many people in line to take the Metro other than during rush hour during the week. The BIG festival with the parade and all of the activities was yesterday; we had deliberately waited until after the parade to get going, but apparently everyone and their brother had the same thought. I actually turned around to walk back out of the station, but then Charles and I decided to just go ahead anyway. I'm not claustrophobic on a normal basis, but I have problems with huge crowds of people in enclosed spaces. I have to concentrate really hard so as not to work myself up into a panic. It's better if Charles is around, and of course, thank God for an iPhone to help keep me distracted...

We made it into DC and had a hard time taking photos without people in them, but we got to walk around the cherry blossom groves and enjoy the first hot day of the season outdoors.


Cherry trees lining the Tidal Basin. They go ALLLL the way around it.
We actually had to make a line to be able to take this photo on the edge of the water!
You can see the mass of people on the sidewalk that goes around the Tidal Basin.

A lot of people bring picnics to enjoy in the shade of the beauty.
We prefer to walk and walk and walk through it.

A better idea of the amount of people. Walking slowed to a crawl when you tried to get through on the sidewalk. Charles and I gave up on trying to go all the way around like we did last year.

We walked around for about 2 hours and then I was just tired of trying to avoid the crowds. I had to go back to the barn to give Lily her extra meal, so we returned to the Metro station.

If it was crawling with people before, it was nothing compared to this:

Yes, there are masses of people lining both sides of the Metro.

Trying to get down the stairs.
We've taken the Metro during rush hour. It can get crowded, but NEVER like this.
I focused really hard on the jokes Charles was making (because he can find the humor in just about any situation you can imagine...he kept making Fifth Element references "Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass!" which inevitably made me snort with laughter. If you've watched the movie and been on the Metro, you will see the similarities) and tried to not think about human stampedes if something were to happen in that enclosed space with that many people and an electric moving train right in the middle.

We made it onto the train on the first attempt and after 2 stops were actually able to sit down for the rest of the way home, as the train emptied out more and more the farther we got from DC.

I'm still glad we went as the blooms peaked this weekend. They don't last very long after they peak so regardless, we got to see the best of them! Note to self though: next year, we'll go on a weekday!

Spring in the Northeast makes long winters like the one we just had completely worth the wait. At least, for me. This is my second real spring ever and I can't get enough of it!
This is a stunning magnolia tree in our neighborhood.


  1. The pictures are stunning, but I think I would have turned around and gone home before getting on the plane. And J would have left screaming.

    Crowds are not our friend.

    I love that C was able to make you laugh and forget your distress while waiting for the train. (And that train runs on railroad ties my company makes. How's that for a fun fact?)

    1. Charles loves crowds but they are not my friend. He is the best at getting me to laugh in almost any situation though...hahaha... And your fun fact made my world feel very, very small! How awesome!