Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring in DC {and the Cherry Blossom Festival}

Hubby has a conference in DC this week. Since I'm on vacation I used this opportunity to travel with him. As luck would have it, we are lucky enough to be in DC during the Cherry Blossom festival.  Turns out it's not only the Cherry Blossom Festival BUT it is the 100 Year Anniversary of Japan's Cherry Blossom gifts to the U.S. So, Hubby and I spent our first day in DC at the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms in bloom.
It was a perfect Spring day with temperatures in the high 70's / low 80's and a nice soft breeze. We arrived at the Basin around 3:00 in the afternoon and stayed until well after the sun went down.

The Tidal Basin was a flurry of people, both tourists, and locals. In fact, many of the people carrying cameras were in fact, locals. It was a Friday afternoon and people were spending their afternoon and early evening at the Tidal Basin.  There were several couples with picnics as well as several young families.

Of course, there were plenty of photo opportunities. I couldn't resist photographing some photographers.

I couldn't resist taking pictures of the people that call this place home. That's the best part of being a tourist...getting to see how the locals really experience life.

I also managed to get a few pictures of the pets that were brought to enjoy the sunshine. Most of the pets (and their people) were moving pretty quickly. The few pics I have is not representative of the number of sweet dogs I saw.

Being in the Tidal Basin park reminded me of afternoons on a college campus. Friends (and sometimes pets) sitting together with bare feet on the grass taking in all of the activity. I believe everyone there was in a good mood. It would be hard not to be given the warmth, breeze and the beautiful showers of cherry blossom petals.

There is nothing like the promise of a Friday afternoon.  The weekend is just beginning and the slow afternoon allows for a welcome languid start.

As the afternoon turned to dusk a threesome walked by on their way to somewhere. I'm not sure "where" but they were clearly moving towards a destination with determination.  The threesome were gentlemen each with a pet on a leash. One with a golden retriever, another with a small dog (perhaps a papillon) and the third with a Hyacinth Macaw.  It was not the first time I'd ever seen a Hyacinth, but it was certainly the first time I saw one in such a public place.

I couldn't resist chasing him down catching up with the gentleman to ask if I could take his photo. He was gracious and said yes, but that he was in a hurry.  Thank goodness for iPhones (right?). I was able to get one snap.  Hubby was behind me and he got a snap from a different view.

You may notice the bandage the gentleman has on the hand holding the bird. The gentleman explained that he has just returned from traveling and the Macaw (whose name I didn't catch) was unhappy with him. When he was inspecting the Hyacinth's wings, the bird used the opportunity to nail him.  Nail him as in bite his finger.  From what I know about macaws, this bite was clearly an "I'm ticked off at you" bite. If the bird had wanted to, he could have taken the finger completely off.

I also enjoyed watching these beautiful ladies in traditional headscarves. The younger one is the mother of the young boy and the older woman is his grandmother. {I wasn't able to over-hear figure out if the women are mother and daughter or daughter and mother in law.}
It was so lovely to witness their conversation and see their smiles and laughter. I do not know the story being told but can tell that the women love each other.

The park was filled with couples and single people alike as well as families and extended families.   Many of the Tidal Basin visitors were smiling or between smiles. It was that kind of day.
I hope your weekend got off to a good start as well.



  1. How awesome! I've always wanted to go see the cherry blossoms in bloom. Lots of my old college roommates live in DC now. I'm definitely going to have to take a trip up there soon.

    1. This was my first time being there when the blossoms were still on the trees (& in bloom). On Saturday it rained and on Sunday all of the blossoms were gone. Our timing was really lucky.

  2. Havent read the whole post yet but I have to say.... I AM SO JELOUS OF YOUR HYACINTH MACOW SIGHTING!!! Totally want one of my own!!!

  3. I love the diversity you captured of all the people and their pets. A sunny spring day is such a universal source of pleasure and beauty-- who can resist?

    1. Hi Ariana,
      I'm so glad you stopped by. I've been enjoying your blog. :) This was cool because I was a tourist in my own country. And I so enjoyed the diversity there. --We lived in Seattle for 7 years and it is also very diverse there. I love a urban (ish) city where people get out and walk or ride bikes and actually experience the "place".

  4. I went to D.C. a couple of Springs ago for the cherry blossoms and loved it, it was so beautiful. Even though the park is crowded it is a beautiful part of the city.

    1. It was fun being in the park.I think it wasn't as crowded as it would have been on a Saturday or Sunday. Being there was so cool. I just loved that no matter where I looked there was a beautiful tree or lake or monument. It was a good day. :)


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