Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cherry Blossom Centennial

This year's Cherry Blossom Festival has been touted as a once in a lifetime celebration.  Washington, DC received a gift of 3000 cherry blossom trees from Japan in 1912, and they have survived and stood the test of time for a full century now.  

Peak bloom, when 70% of the blossoms that surround the Tidal Basin are open, was happening right at the end of last week.  We should have been home Thursday afternoon baking a birthday cake for Brent, but I made a split-second decision and threw Joseph in the car for a chance at experiencing one of our most beloved national treasures in person.  The weather was gorgeous and I knew we'd have no other opportunities due to work schedules and other obstacles.  I was afraid the closest we'd get was just a drive-by like the last time, but it was a chance I knew we had to take. 

Even though it was a weekday afternoon, there was still quite a bit of traffic and mobs of people everywhere.  It didn't look good for us.

But then I found an amazing parking space on the way out, right on the edge of the Potomac River, near a grove of cherry trees, easy walking distance to the Tidal Basin.  It was meant to be!

At first it seemed we'd never get there, as Joseph was more interested in going near the water, picking every dandelion in sight, and making it "snow" by gently shaking the low hanging branches of the cherry trees.

Even walking through the Roosevelt Memorial he was so taken by the water features and rock structures that I wasn't sure we'd ever leave.

Of course, we did finally make it down to the path around the Tidal Basin with the most breathtaking 360 degree views of the monuments and trees.

So lovely just to sit on a bench and take it all in with my son!  I only wish Brent could have been with us (and that a birthday cake for him would magically appear without my being home to make it.....).

We even managed to see the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial as we were heading back to the car.  Especially glad we got to see it before they "fix" the quote on the side of it.

Back at home I still adore our own solitary little cherry blossom tree.  I think it was the only thing I asked for when we landscaped our backyard a few years back.  It's thin but tall and has branches that so gracefully reach out from behind the swing set to provide a stunning backdrop for....well, whatever the heck it is that Joseph is up to.

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