A few weeks ago my friend Allison mentioned she was going to DC in May with some family and it put the idea in my head to take a trip up there this year to see the cherry blossoms. I love cherry blossoms and I have always wanted to go to Japan to see them, but I guess this will have to do for now. My neighbor across the street had a beautiful cherry tree in her front yard and it was my favorite tree in the spring. This winter she cut it down!! I really wanted to put one in our yard this past fall, but we went with the magnolia instead. The cherry trees grown out and we needed something that would grow up more and not invade our whole yard. So no cherry trees for me yet…. one day. Anyway, Casey didn’t really care about going so Melanie and I went up for the weekend. We both really needed a little vacation. We left Friday morning and came back today (Sunday). It only takes a little over 4 hours from here (assuming no traffic, which is rare). We knew Friday was going to be busy no matter what time we got there plus the cherry blossom activities going on this weekend.
The first 3 hours of the trip weren’t bad at all, but about 30 miles outside of DC the traffic slowed to about 30mph. Thankfully never stopped completely. I was really nervous about driving in downtown DC. The highway doesn’t really bother me, but I don’t even like driving in downtown Raleigh and this was like driving in NYC!! We managed to get off at the right exit and started into the city. For those of you that have never been to DC the traffic lights are on the SIDE of the road, not in front of you so you really have to be paying attention. It is a bit dangerous if you ask me! I am pretty sure looking ahead is a bit safer than looking off to the side all the time. Plus they apparently don’t believe in the left turn arrow which was frustrating. Somehow we ended up on the wrong street… we turned onto Massachusetts, but then it was K. At that point it wasn’t looking good, but after another turn we found Massachusetts again. We turned on 10th because the hotel was on the corner of the intersections, but we quickly discovered the entrance was on Massachusetts so around the block we went. I only got one honk which wasn’t deserved! I was turning right (with my signal on), but the traffic was backed up so I couldn’t turn. DC drivers love their horns and honk that at every little thing. Lighten up people! Anyway, I eagerly gave my keys to the valet and said good bye to my car for a few days. The hotel was really nice and we took about an hour to decompress after the stress of finding the hotel.
We decided to get out and see some of the cherry blossoms. It was pretty cloudy, but luckily it had stopped raining. We went to the Washington Monument, the White House, WWII Memorial and then decided to go to Hard Rock for dinner. I needed to get a shot glass for my brother so we decided to just eat there since we weren’t really planning on fancy dinners. We decided on nachos and dessert. It’s vacation! I also had a couple drinks that were very yummy. If we would have had any idea how many people would be out on Saturday we would have walked around a bit more Friday night. After dinner we went back to the room and were in bed by 10…. hey, we may be on vacation, but we are still old. Neither of us got much sleep thanks to the almost constant sirens and horns we heard all night.
Saturday we were up by 7 and were on our way to the Holocaust Museum by 8:30. We were there by 9 and sat in line to get tickets to the permanent exhibit. It was so cold! It would have been nice, but the wind was terrible. It took us several hours to warm up after sitting out there for an hour. The museum was really nice, depressing, but nice. I won’t even get into my rants about people right now and how anything like that could ever happen or how it continues to happen today. I am sure you don’t want to hear it. When we left the museum and walked outside we walked into about a zillion people (my estimate). I honestly haven’t been in crowds that size since I was in London years ago. It was nothing compared to NYC. I could not believe how many people were out compared to the day before! You couldn’t get anywhere and forget taking pictures because you couldn’t find an inch of DC that wasn’t covered in people. You couldn’t cross the street! Plus there were idiots trying to drive. What a complete mess. We eventually made our way to the Jefferson Monument and we took a break to eat some snacks. It was really nice to just sit and enjoy the view. After our snack we decided to go back to the hotel to get our coats. Of course this is when we got slightly lost…. We saw some nice gardens while we were lost, but after all the walking we weren’t cold anymore so we stopped at the Japanese Street Festival. I was really looking forward to the festival because I love Japanese culture. There were so many people there and all you could see was white tents. We had no idea what was at each tent or what kind of food they were serving so we gave up. It was disappointing, I was expecting more, but it was just too crowded for my taste. When we got back to the room we took about a hour to rest our tired legs/feet.
After our rest we ventured back out to see the other memorials. It was a lot of walking and at this point we were both getting a bit sore so we just took our time. The Lincoln Monument was packed and we didn’t have to energy to climb the steps! We took a few more pictures and decided to call it a day. We tried to find a nice, cheap place to eat dinner, but everything closed at 6! Finally we settled on Qudoba because it was the only thing open. There was no where to sit inside so we just got it to go and went back to the room. Once again we were in bed by 9:30…..
This morning we left around 8. After seeing the traffic yesterday we decided to get out early. In order to get out of town you have to drive throug the festival areas and it would have taken hours if we would have waited. We had seen all we wanted to see for this trip and we were sore so we left. We didn’t have any trouble getting out of the city since there was very little traffic.
I think on my next trip I will see the monuments at night. I have seen them all during the day a few times so I think it would be cool to see them under lights. If I ever go back for the cherry blossoms I will go during the week! It was crazy how different Friday was compared to Saturday!
Make sure to check out all my pictures HERE!! I edited them on our LCD tv, but about half way through them I decided the TV was too bright. The beauty of digital. It looks different on every monitor! So if some are took dark sorry. I was adjusting them based on the TV.
For those of you still reading we had to move the bird feeder. The squirrels were out of control so we put in in the middle of the yard. I didn’t really want a bird feeder in the middle of my yard, but it isn’t so bad and now the birds can actually eat the food! I just wish it didn’t lean so much.