Cherry Blossoms (Finally)

Cherry Blossoms (Finally)

When you visit D.C., particularly in spring, many people will insist that you see the cherry blossoms. It's an impressive sight to see, but those trees never seem to bloom as scheduled. My roommate and I walked down to the tidal basin to see the trees supposedly in "peak bloom," and there was not even a single bud on any of the trees (this was in mid-March). Afterwards, it seemed like every week that past the "peak bloom" would be in just one more week. Finally, when the weather warmed up we were able to see these world famous trees with their glorious blossoms, but the festivities were a little disappointing.

 

The Trees are Beautiful and Crowded

The warm weather finally arrived and everyone was talking about seeing the cherry blossoms. Since there had been a few weeks of reasonable weather, I assumed that the trees would really be showing their colors. It was a Sunday when I went to go look at the trees, and they weren't quite ready. They were partially bloomed and it was extremely crowded near the tidal basin. I was somewhat disappointed and walked back to my apartment since it's not far from the National Mall.

 

The following day was very warm and sunny. My roommate said we should visit the cherry blossoms since it was such a lovely day. I was skeptical, but I decided to give those damn trees one more chance. Needless to say, one day really made a difference. The trees were beautifully colored and it was quite the sight to see.

 

 

It's amazing what one day can do!

 

This was a great way to experience something uniquely D.C. There's nowhere else in the country where you can truly enjoy hundreds of cherry trees in one place. These trees were gifts from the Japanese government and they really add to the culture of the city. Everywhere you go, there are advertisements for various activities or special products that have a cherry blossom tie-in. You can order cherry drinks, buy meals with cherry products, or buy some t-shirts and gifts with cherry blossoms all over them. It is quite an international festival with people from all over the world attending.

 

 

 

Cherry blossoms cover the entire National Mall, particularly near the tidal basin!

 

Another surprising thing is the amount of cherry trees all over the National Mall. Most are concentrated near the tidal basin, but it's awesome to see the trees close by the Capitol Building as well. The festivities are also quite fun. There's live music, special events, and park rangers everywhere. However, the crowds tended to ruin the festival since everyone was standing shoulder to shoulder, pushing towards the bathrooms or posing for pictures. I lost count of how many times I had to stop moving entirely because some random person wanted a picture in front of every tree in the park.

 

That entire week was very enjoyable. On Friday, a bunch of students and I met near the Waterfront Metro Station and had a huge buffet in honor of the cherry blossoms. We literally sat there and ate for 4 hours. It was quite the feast, and everyone really enjoyed themselves. I probably ate too many plates worth of seafood, but it was very good and cheap. The only downside is that I felt ill after eating so much food.

 

After being stuck inside all winter, it was great to finally enjoy some nice weather. The National Mall is much more appealing now that you're not constantly battling the wind and rain. There are activities such as the Blossom Kite Festival and random performers all over the park. I have never seen a city with so many different FREE attractions all in one place, and it's one of the great things about living in Washington, D.C. I can officially say that spring has arrived!

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