Sunday, April 12, 2015

Cherry Blossom Festival

In the early part of the last century,  the Governor of Tokyo gave a gift to the people of Washington DC. It came in the form of cherry trees. We all know George Washington was a cherry tree lover, but these cherry trees produce no edible fruit. Instead, every Spring they produce copious amounts of flowers. The Japanese flowering cherries have become a huge part of DC. Every year there is a massive, two week long festival celebrating the blooming of the trees. We went down for the day to take it all in. You actually find the cherry trees all over the city now. In just about every single public space you will see them.

The cherries are very beautiful. The star magnolias happen to be blooming too. I find these trees a lot more spectacular. You can smell their subtle fragrance from blocks away. In DC you also smell a lot of weed from blocks away. I will tell you, the people of DC voted for legalization and they are really exercising their new found freedom. We walked a great deal and we witnessed many people sitting on their front porches, and in their yards smoking weed. It just seems normal already there.

Lincoln is a very popular guy in DC. He is all over the city. In this park the sculpture is supposed to show him freeing a slave. To me it looked more like he was laying hands. 

Most of the festival is down at the Tidal Basin. The Tidal Basin is right next to the newly restored Washington Monument. 

You know where I am talking about. Right next to the Bureau of Engraving.

As you can see, this is a very popular event. The sea of people walking the Tidal Basin Path was astounding. We didn't even try and walk over to the Jefferson Memorial. Too many people to get there in the same day. We instead headed over to the Mall. I wanted to see the newish WW2 Memorial.

My dad is a veteran. Perhaps it because of that, that I enter places like this with great respect.

Solemn obligation. It is our solemn obligation to show just a little respect. Unfortunately, at this memorial very few were solemn. In all honesty I was surprised some of the fraternity types were not playing beer pong there. It was like being at a big party. Parents were allowing their kids to climb on the monument. Kids were wading in the fountain as if it was a kiddie pool. A foot ball was being tossed back and forth. I was appalled at the way people were acting here. A caravan of 3 motor coaches pulled up and from the busses came a very large group of WW2 veterans. From the belly of the busses came dozens of wheel chairs. Out the bus came old men, who when they were young, fought for the entire World. I bet they were more than saddened by the spectacle going on. Sometimes people really suck.

The bronze work at the WW2 Memorial is impressive.

Next we walked over to the Lincoln Memorial. I bet this is destination number one on every visit to DC. You might recognize these columns from House of Cards. This is where Francis Underwood and Zoe Barns often met to exchange secrets. That was before she decided to jump in front of a train...

Like I said, this is tourist destination #1. Please don't look too closely at the Monument itself. the joint is falling apart. I think the Lincoln Memorial needs a renovation in a major way.

Next we headed over to the Vietnam War(Police action, never an actual war) Memorial. The mood here was completely different. No one spoke. You could hear a pin drop. I don't know why, but I found myself crying. Perhaps it was how solemn the place is. Perhaps it is because my father lost friends there. Maybe it was because very few cried for the men and women who died over there. This is a very moving place. I challenge you to read just a few of the 58,272 names carved into the stone panels. I am glad my sunglasses are very dark.

Every time we go to DC we stumble on something unexpected. While walking near the Department of Energy we found this statue of Albert Einstein. Everyone wants to rub his nose. I wonder if it is good luck. Maybe it is to gain genius mathematical skills. Halle and Autie Jenny just wanted to sit in his lap.

I was captivated by the stone work under the statue.

There you are. You are the first to make it the center of the Universe.

I think the stuff you just saw is what most think of DC. Walking around you see some very interesting stuff. DC is a seriously happening place. There is great deal going on there. If you are a 20/30 something and single, I think there is not place more happening than DC. Every restaurant, cafe, and bar is bumping with activity. What do you think about this Escherish tile work?

At Eastern Market we spotted this Kia

I think the lady selling Tibetan jewelry drove this car. It is just a guess.

What a fun day we had. Thank you DC for being such a great place to visit...