Cherry Blossoms 2010 and Washington Meetup

Washington Travel Blog

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Cherry Blossom Festival 2010

I had met one TravBuddy previously, but never had been to a meetup. So, I was looking forward to the Washington, DC, Meetup planned by Ian (Aussieusa82). It was coinciding with the peak of this year's Cherry Blossom season. The beautiful blossoms and sunny spring weather would show off Washington at its best.

Saturday's activities were to begin with a late breakfast at Harriet's Restaurant downtown. The Saturday morning local news warned of crowds and traffic heading to see the cherry blossoms. Accordingly, I allowed ample time to drive into Washington. I parked at a parking garage at 13th and E Streets ($13.00 for all day Saturday) not far from Harriet's at the Hotel Harrington.

Downtown in The District--corner 11th and F Streets, NW
 At 10:30 a.m. I was in front of the restaurant. Was anyone already there? Shortly, I spotted Ian coming down the sidewalk. I recognized him from his TravBuddy photo and introduced myself. Soon, Chris (hotrodwv) arrived and then Bill (the_bill) and Shannon (Shannon_atl). We all went in to set tables aside and make introductions. Presently, Jennifer (jenn79) and Carole (keeweeset) also joined us. Jethanand (Jethanad) soon joined as well, making the breakfast group complete.  I had corresponded on TravBuddy with some before, but others not at all.  But it was a group in which one felt quickly at ease and we were soon getting to know one another. I learned about some of the pre-meetup events the evening before. (Many had met for dinner at Capital City Brewing Company.
TravBuddies enjoying a late breakfast
)

After breakfast, the plan was to meet other TravBuddies attending at the Smithsonian Metro station at Noon. The group made its way over to the National Mall to wait near the station. By this time, the sun had burned through the morning overcast and shone brightly on the National Mall. Another beautiful day! As we passed between the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and National Museum of Natural History (celebrating its centennial with new exhibits), the topic of conversation turned to museums. Carole had been to the Hirshhorn Museum (modern art) the day before. Jethanand and I advised her not to miss the National Gallery's East Wing. Jennifer wanted to see the Natural History museum the following day as well as the National Zoo.  In the event, we soon met Mark (marksreynolds), Lena (bwitch16), and Lola (itslola) who had come in from Annapolis.

Benjamin Franklin Statue at the Old Post Office
In all, we had five from the greater Washington region and six from out of town. A nice mix

Now it was time for blossom viewing. The group walked in the direction of the Washington Monument and then over to the Tidal Basin by way of Independence Avenue. Hordes of people were out to see the blossoms! We decided to walk around the Tidal Basin counter-clockwise and eventually all meet at the Jefferson Memorial. The group pretty much stayed together, admiring the blossoms and vistas and stopping for many photos along the way. Some parts of the Tidal Basin path were under water, attesting to the heavy snows and rains during winter. The Jefferson Memorial was reached around 2:15 p.m., almost a full circuit. Time for a break while some rested on the steps and others took in the Thomas Jefferson statue.

Old Post Office pavilion
A bride and groom received cheers from the crowd they posed for photos on the memorial's steps. 

Leaving the Tidal Basin via Ohio Drive, the group's objective was Gordon Biersch back in the downtown area for a late lunch. I showed Jennifer and Carole a shortcut over to Independence Avenue and the Smithsonian Metro station. (I think the others continued across the Mall on foot.) Smithsonian Metro was a mob scene and packed! The Independence Avenue side was enter-only and the Mall side exit-only. But, we eventually got on a train and took it to Metro Center. We met up with everyone at Gordon Biersch. It was now 4:00 p.m. and I needed to return home. I had a great time meeting everyone and it was a pleasure to "travel" around Washington with such a convivial group. I hope the evening's meetup activities were a success! Thanks again to Ian for organizing the Washington meetup!

gejah says:
this is very nice!!!
Posted on: Apr 29, 2010
missandrea81 says:
I read Mark's blog first and spotted you in one of the pictures. Too bad we never got together when I lived in the area. Glad you had a good first meet-up :)
Posted on: Apr 14, 2010
ahtibat17 says:
Too much fun! I'm sorry I missed out!
Posted on: Apr 08, 2010
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Cherry Blossom Festival 2010
Cherry Blossom Festival 2010
Downtown in The District--corner 1…
Downtown in The District--corner …
TravBuddies enjoying a late breakf…
TravBuddies enjoying a late break…
Benjamin Franklin Statue at the Ol…
Benjamin Franklin Statue at the O…
Old Post Office pavilion
Old Post Office pavilion
The National Mall on a beautiful S…
The National Mall on a beautiful …
TravBuddies on the National Mall
TravBuddies on the National Mall
National Museum of Natural History
National Museum of Natural History
Banner for new Hall of Human Origi…
Banner for new Hall of Human Orig…
Washington Monument and Cherry Blo…
Washington Monument and Cherry Bl…
West Potomac Park
West Potomac Park
TravBuddies at West Potomac Park
TravBuddies at West Potomac Park
Me at the Cherry Blossoms
Me at the Cherry Blossoms
Jefferson Memorial and the Tidal B…
Jefferson Memorial and the Tidal …
Washington Monument
Washington Monument
Flooding at the Tidal Basin
Flooding at the Tidal Basin
TravBuddies at the Franklin D. Roo…
TravBuddies at the Franklin D. Ro…
The Four Freedoms at the FDR Memor…
The Four Freedoms at the FDR Memo…
In kimono
In kimono
Cherry blossoms
Cherry blossoms
Jefferson Memorial
Jefferson Memorial
Viewing the cherry blossoms via pa…
Viewing the cherry blossoms via p…
Viewing the cherry blossoms via pe…
Viewing the cherry blossoms via p…
Picnicking
Picnicking
Admiring the cherry blossoms
Admiring the cherry blossoms
Along the cherry blossom path
Along the cherry blossom path
Jennifer and Carole at the Jeffers…
Jennifer and Carole at the Jeffer…
Tidal Basin from the Jefferson Mem…
Tidal Basin from the Jefferson Me…
In the pink
In the pink
Pink Cherry Blossoms
Pink Cherry Blossoms
Blossom bride and groom
Blossom bride and groom
Tidal Basin path
Tidal Basin path
Japanese Magnolia in bloom
Japanese Magnolia in bloom
Japanese Magnolia blossoms
Japanese Magnolia blossoms
Japanese Magnolia blossoms
Japanese Magnolia blossoms
East Potomac Park
East Potomac Park
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photo by: b93sp