Cherry blossom festival

Kelly and I decided to brave the cool (but clear) weather and the potential crowds downtown today to check out the annual blooming of the cherry blossoms in D.C. As it turned out, more than the cherry blossom festival was going on. The National Marathon took place today. There was a kite festival on the Mall. And indeed, the Orange line train heading into downtown was pretty crowded. In fact, the whole mall area seemed jam packed with people and cars and buses. It was a good thing we took the train in and decided to walk. The roads were a mess.

We got off the train one stop before Smithsonian to avoid the major crowds. We then took a leisurely walk down to the Mall, past the Washington Monument where the kite festival was taking place. Kites of all kinds filled the skies there. We continued on past the first few cherry blossoms, and then made our way down toward the basin, which was surrounded by blooming trees. (And crowded with people.) We walked passed the Jefferson Memorial and then over to the other side of the basin, following the path around to the FDR memorial. Kelly had never been to the FDR memorial, so we wandered through that. I’d been there before, but this was the first time I’d learned that the memorial was divided into 4 sections, each one representing a term of FDR’s presidency.


Kite festival on the National Mall.


Cherry blossoms around the Basin (Jefferson Memorial in the background)


More cherry blossoms around the basin


Looking north toward the Washington monument


Still more cherry blossoms


A closeup of the blooms near the Jefferson memorial


Kelly thought this was a pretty picture

After stopping briefly in the gift shop, we walked toward the reflecting pool, and past rows and rows of soccer games. We passed the Lincoln memorial and then made our way up 21st street to H street, and finally to the Foggy Bottom metro station, where we caught a much less crowded train back to Kelly’s. We stopped in at Hard Times Cafe for chili, which really hit the spot after our long, walk.

Later in the afternoon, we headed over to Kelly’s friend Sarah’s in order to take her dog, Oliver, our for a walk. We drove him over to the Congressional Cemetery and walked him there. Apparently, for an annual fee, people can take their dogs into the this old cemetery and allow them to roam, leash free, among the ancient gravestones. We probably spent about an hour there, and Oliver seemed to have a lot of fun. There were quite a few people out with their dogs. The temperature was cool but the sky was bright and clear.

Finally, after returning Oliver home, we headed up to my place. Later in the evening, I made us dinner: ravioli and spaghetti sauce, and before going to bed, we watched a portion of the movie, Enchanted, which Kelly had rented through Blockbuster.