The Countertop Chronicles

"Run by a gun zealot who's too blinded by the NRA" - Sam Penney of

Monday, April 11, 2005

Spring Cherry Blossoms

Well, spring is here and with it comes not only gorgeous weather but here in D.C. it also means crowds and cherry blossoms and my son's birthday. I covered the Cherry Blossom's last spring here at the Countertop Chronicles, and this weekend, we celebrated both the blossoms as well as my son's 3rd birthday.


Most people associate D.C.'s cherry blossom's with the area around the Jefferson Memorial, Haines Point, and the Tidal Basin. While it is true that this is the place to catch the greatest numbers of trees . . . as you will see, it is also chock full of tourists and cars and congestion. If your going to visit D.C. in the future, remember that you can also see some wonderful sights downtown as well.

Earlier last week, the weather left a bit to be desired, but the blossoms at the White House had already peaked.

Within a few days though, following some horrid amounts of rain, things were going great. By Wedensday though, things were rocking and a rolling and lots of people were hanging out in Farragut Square.

On Friday, another tremendous day, I headed down to LaFayette Square - across from the White House to check out the tourists and the exploding Japanese Magnolias.

On nice days, LaFayette Square is one of the more popular locations in D.C. as a melting pot of white house staffers, tourists, lobbyists, lawyers, and even homeless guys all gather around the chess boards and play one another for money. If you intend to play, you better have cash and a good game cause the homeless guys in the square are pretty darn good.

Saturday turned out to be one of the best days of the year - it was about 70 degrees without a cloud in the sky. It was also my son's birthday. One of the more pleasant surprises we discovered in our McLean, VA neighborhood was that the streets exploded in color to rival that of the Tidal Pools famous cherries.

Of course, the kids at the birthday party didn't seem to notice all the colors just outside the window from them.

They tended to have other things on their mind.

Like Army Tanks.

My wife is afraid our son is going to take after her father and spend 30+ years in the military commanding tank divisions around the world. I say how exciting, and while this years birthday theme was Race Cars, I am already planning next years Army Party. Here's a picture of his cake, btw.

Pretty cool, huh?? You can thank his mom for that!

The Tidal Basin
After his party was over, we cleaned up and headed down to the Tidal Basin for the big show. . . . . the Cherry Blossom's at their peek. Needless to say, traffic was at a standstill.

These folks had the right idea though.

Its too bad not everyone knows how to ride a bike. Some folks can use the pedal time.
Still wonder why Washingtonians dislike tourists?

The blossoms themselves though, were well worth it, with both the pinks and whites in fine form.

The Cherry Blossom Festival always begins and ends at the pagoda. It was surrounded with people today.

Just beyond it though, was a wonder land with a white canopy.

And beyond that was the view of the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson Memorial.

Across the street from it, of course, is the Washington Monument.

Amidst all this bustle, it was nice to see that at least some people found tranquility.

I think this might be my favorite picture of this years crop - if for no other reason than it really showcases the ability of my Kodak Easyshare CX7430.

I can't say enough good things about this camera, and Kodak's digital lineup in general. The ability to handle complex colors and take a picture nice enough to blow up as large as 8x10 with minimal loss of clarity is incredible. It can even do closeups.

Well, thats about it for this years Cherry Blossoms. Nice while they last, they only have a couple of more days left and if you haven't made it to DC yet this year, I fear your just too late. Its tough to know when, exactly, to come in the spring, but the Washington Post's and Park Service's resident expert picked it perfectly this year, claiming over a month ago that peek would land on April 9th. He got it right.


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