Stella, May I know where you saw the cherry blossoms this year?

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Well I can't say that I have been to all the places cherry blossoms exist, but I can say the cherry blossoms at Washington, D.C's Tidal Basin were spectacular. Me and Mister drove the nearly 10 hour journey to see them and they did not disappoint! Cherry blossoms don't stay in bloom for very long and it's all kind of a mystery of when they will actually bloom. This year I was staying on top of tracking the forecasts and making sure we weren't going to miss it. Even though they came early this year (over two weeks earlier than last year), our schedules were clear and we got to see them.
Cherry blossoms are fickle. They reach peak bloom (which means that over 70 percent of the flowers are fully bloomed) and then they quickly turn from white to pink and start sprouting green leaves. Peak bloom happened on Friday, March 25. The two days before and after are also pretty good days to see the blooms, but depending on weather who knows if all the petals will be all on the ground. So if this peak bloom had happened on say a Monday, Me and Mister would have missed it this season.
And since this year happened the weekend of Easter it was packed. Well I hear it is packed every year, but look at the massive amounts of people on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial! This month has been all about the presidents: first Jackson's Hermitage in Nashville and this week the National Mall will all these memorials and monuments! This picture was taken right after they opened the paddle boats, so you only see one. But imagine the rest of the basin to be filled with paddle boats. They even had swan paddle boats! It really reminds me of the swan pool floats that became so popular last year.
 Inside the Jefferson Memorial.
The cherry blossom trees are planted all along the entire Tidal Basin. There's the Washington Monument behind me. You will have to excuse my outfit, it was in the 60s and I had just come down with a cold. But look at the clear skies and the sun! By the time we left Washington, which was just 12 hours later (yes, it was an incredibly short trip), it was pouring rain and made the drive back slow.
 This isn't a cherry blossom, but I wanted to show you that there are other blooms in the area! This is also not a tulip, but there are tulips blooming at the Floral Library. Which reminds me the National Park Service rangers were everywhere and they are so helpful! They were giving out maps and answering any questions I had. If you see them, I would thank them for their services and ask them questions!
If you missed the cherry blossoms this year, I have some tips to help you catch them next year. First, be prepared for the crowds. That means driving there and parking will be a nightmare and your best bet is to take the Metro to the station (Smithsonian stop). If you do get there early, there is free parking on Ohio Street. Second, take lots of pictures! There were no bad angles and at every moment people were taking pictures. That would probably add to the slow moving people there, but I say enjoy it. It's only once a year! Third, if the crowds at the National Mall are not your cup of tea, then see the cherry blossoms at Kenwood in nearby Bethesda, Maryland. But I would say you need to experience this at least once in your life!
This experience has made me look into other cherry blossoms and boy are there a lot! I mean obviously Japan would be filled with them and they are a very big deal there. Cherry blossoms symbolizes the ephemeral nature of life. It makes me think we have to cherish life to the fullest! Besides Japan, cherry blossoms are also planted in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, South Korea, and Turkey. But here in the United States, you can also find them everywhere. It took me until this year to realize the beautiful tree on my neighbor's lawn was a cherry blossom tree! But what surprised me the most was that the largest group of cherry blossoms are actually in Macon! Macon has over 300,000 trees planted (for reference DC has about 3,000.) and is home to the International Cherry Blossom Festival. I think we may have missed the peak bloom for that festival this year, but it will certainly be in the books for next year! It would certainly be a much shorter drive.
Come back next week for what else we did on our short day trip to DC!
links: National Mall Floral Library Kenwood International Cherry Blossom Festival

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