Cherry Blossom Meetup - massive beauty, crowds and confusion!

Washington Travel Blog

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breakfast group at Harriets =)
We started today's meetup at Harriet's, also within walking distance from the hotel. Carole and I arrived to see Ian, Bill, Shannon, Chris and Andy already seated. YAY I finally get to meet Ian and Andy!! I've been looking forward to meeting them in person for some time. Andy's always been such a wonderful source of accurate historical information and supportive Travbuddy since the way back years =) Carole and I sat down and I was delighted when Jethanand showed up!! Along with Andy, he was immediately one of my favorite people - such spunk, energy and all smiles for a 64 year old! =) I can't wait to see both Andy and Jethanand, along with their better halves ;) , very soon one of these days!

Jethanand and Andy shared incredible history and trivia with us about DC. For example, you're able to have your wedding at any of the DC monuments FOR FREE! Also, most the museums in DC are free of charge! What a great place.
Ian looking cool and leading the group


We left soon to meet whoever else might show up to the meet at the Smithsonian metro station. The place was absolutely PACKED with people, most of them making their way to the tidal basin to walk around and see the cherry blossoms of course. Mark, Lola and Lena were at the information booth waiting for us, LJ and his friend showed up soon after, and we hung out until about 12:30pm to see if anyone else would arrive but sadly no one else did =(

We walked to the tidal basins as one group but very quickly got separated, lost each other stopping to take pictures in the huge throng of people wrapped around the tidal basin. Mark and Lena led the way, and were kind enough to stop and wait for stragglers. But within the first 10 minutes we lost LJ, his friend, Jethanand, and Andy 3 times! Eventually the group that was left stayed together though, and had many photo opportunities climbing trees, inordinately large blocks, and waterfalls - basically anywhere you could fit a group of 10 or so people!

We met at the Jefferson Memorial, having splintered apart again.
Best photo op ever!
Here, we saw a bride and groom doing a quick photo shoot, and the crowd started cheering for them! Wow, if I had some sort of deep connection with DC, I think I'd get married here in a heartbeat. There's something particularly touching about a crowd of strangers cheering for your success in marriage.

So because there are SO MANY monuments, and I kept getting them mixed up, I've decided to create a cheat-sheet for all you Travbuddies so that you can identify them a little better!

The Washington Monument looks like the Egyptian Obelisk and is the closest point you'll get to from a Metro Station. Everything else is miles and miles away on foot.

The Washington Memorial stands at one end of the Reflecting Pool, which stretches out to the Lincoln Memorial.
Beautiful scenery EVERYWHERE
The Lincoln Memorial is a rectangular Roman structure with Lincoln sitting inside and is lined up with the Washington Monument via the Reflecting Pool. So obviously when you are at the Lincoln Memorial, you can see the Washington Monument, and on the other side of the Washington Memorial you can see the Capitol Building as they are all on a line.

The Jefferson Memorial is a round, dome-shaped structure across the Tidal Basin from the Washington Monument. It is also a beautiful photo op appearing on the water amidst all the cherry blossoms. Inside, there is a statue of Jefferson standing.

Along the Reflecting Pool, on either side, are war memorials, the most impressive of which I think is the WWII Memorial with their fountains and beautiful statues.
Almost to the Jefferson Memorial, goodbye Washington Memorial!
This is found a little bit past the Washington Memorial.

After the Cherry Blossom Festival, we were all parched and hungry, so we made a quick decision to go to Gordon Biersch, near where we started. Lena and I were dying for some of their awesome garlic fries, and the food is quite yummy there! I was glad that we found LJ and his friend at the Jefferson Memorial so we were all back together again! =)

Afterwards, we went to freshen up and rest a little before heading over to Lucky Strike for bowling. Lucky Strike turned out to be fun, with Bill, Lola, Mark and Chris killing the pins with mostly strikes and spares, and the rest of us hoping for non-gutter balls. =) I was a little sad finding out from our kind doorman that they were having FIREWORKS tonight at 8:30 at the Cherry Blossoms!! How beautiful would that have been?! Next year, without a doubt you will find me here again, at Lincoln's side, watching fireworks, and eating a chili half-smoked.
View from the Lincoln Memorial at night. Hello Washington Memorial again!
WHAT A LIFE!! =)

We left shortly after midnight and some of us decided to go off and see the Lincoln Memorial and reflecting pool at night. WOW, DC kills me, nighttime at the lit monuments if OFF THE CHAIN! It's amazing how this busy tourist area transforms into a regal, awe-inspiring place of tranquility at night, worthy of absolute reverence. So romantic and cool and peaceful. I highly recommend a midnight stroll here to anyone!


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breakfast group at Harriets =)
breakfast group at Harriets =)
Ian looking cool and leading the g…
Ian looking cool and leading the …
Best photo op ever!
Best photo op ever!
Beautiful scenery EVERYWHERE
Beautiful scenery EVERYWHERE
Almost to the Jefferson Memorial, …
Almost to the Jefferson Memorial,…
View from the Lincoln Memorial at …
View from the Lincoln Memorial at…
Tons of tulips!
Tons of tulips!
I think she wanted to take one hom…
I think she wanted to take one ho…
first sight of the crowds
first sight of the crowds
Cherry Blossoms!
Cherry Blossoms!
Twisted trees
Twisted trees
crowds
crowds
and more crowds!
and more crowds!
where our money is printed!
where our money is printed!
Andy and Jethanand!! =D
Andy and Jethanand!! =D
Boo!! =(
Boo!! =(
Hi Carole!
Hi Carole!
You look lovely amidst the cherry …
You look lovely amidst the cherry…
chinese girl pretending =P
chinese girl pretending =P
group shot at FDR memorial!
group shot at FDR memorial!
we pushed a bunch of kids away to …
we pushed a bunch of kids away to…
such grandeur!
such grandeur!
Hi Mr. Jefferson! =)
Hi Mr. Jefferson! =)
Theres LJ and his friend waiting …
There's LJ and his friend waiting…
Hi President Lincoln, its nice to…
Hi President Lincoln, it's nice t…
Washington
photo by: b93sp