For the past few years, I've suggested we go downtown to see the Cherry Blossoms, and Bill will say, "Go on a day that I can go, too." And I say, "Ok." That day arrives and he comes up with an excuse as to why we can't. It usually involves the weather...it will be too hot, too cold, too windy; you name it. And we end up not going and I pout for a few days.
This year he finally agreed to go.
It rained here and there on our way to the Metro, but the skies were pretty clear when we got to the station. We arrived at our stop in DC, made our way through the bowels of the city to street level.
It was raining
Bill laughed at me
Mercifully, it stopped hailing (they were little ice balls so we weren't in danger) and then the rain tapered off to nothing. Yea! We swung by the new National Christmas Tree that was recently planted to replace the old one that snapped off at the base in a wind storm. The new tree is about 10 feet tall and slightly resembles a Charlie Brown tree. It was still misting then so I didn't take a picture.
Then we wandered by the Washington Monument and saw this cool sign. Bill thought I was a dork for taking a picture of it. Poor guy is stuck with a dork for the rest of his life. haha!
We walked past a rugby game just in time to see a player break his ankle and roll on the ground in pain while his team carried him off the field. Shane wanted to join the game but we had places to go so we told him he'd have to wait until next time.
We weeded our way through the crowd, risked our lives crossing the street and arrived at the Tidal Basin.
The Cherry Blossom Mecca.
It was at this point Bill and Shane left us... one of his coworkers needed help with a project so he and Shane walked to his office to work for a couple of hours.
Ella was in heaven. Pink and white flowers everywhere. I think she could have sat down and died right there.
We didn't let her sit down though lest she be trampled by the 1,000's of other people who braved the weather to sight see with us.
We made our way across the bridge to the Jefferson Memorial parking lot where the Park Service had a tent set up with activities for kids. If they completed 4 activities they earned a special Junior Ranger badge... looks like the others but has a cherry blossom on it. Of course we had to do it.
With Mr Jefferson in the background
Once the rain and hail stopped, it turned out to be a pretty nice day. Chilly and breezy (windy at times) but nice and clear.
At the base of the Jefferson Memorial with the Washington Monument in the background
I realize DC is for the young, hip, urbane and fashion forward crowd, but please tell me that panty hose with shorts and sweater dresses (far right) are NOT coming back. They didn't look good in the 80's and they don't now!
We still had some time to kill so we headed to the WWII Memorial. I love this memorial. It's very pretty and usually quiet and reflective.
The guy Bill was supposed to help got caught in traffic so they got a much later start than planned. This meant we had even more time to kill. By this point we had walked about 5 miles and were feeling fine. Ella had her wallet with her and wanted *very much* to visit a gift shop so she could buy something.
I figured we could go to one of the Smithsonian museums and visit their gift shop because they'll all have cherry blossom stuff. There were MOBS of people outside each museum waiting to get in - except for the Native American museum and the NGA.
You can't take backpacks into the NGS so that one was out. And the kids don't like the NA museum because it's "boring" (it's a nice museum for grown ups but they don't have anything for kids) so we decided to press on and go to Union Station- the opposite end of the mall from where we were.
I called Bill to let him know and he declared us 'crazy' for walking so far. But it's not like sprinted down there. We moseyed. And no one dropped over dead. Success.
We got to the Capitol and sat for a bit to watch the ducks and seagulls
We made it to Union Station and walked from one shop to another until we had visited almost all of them. Then we saw a Claire's Boutique and Ella's face lit up. Cherry Blossom stuff was no longer the agenda. Purse shopping was.
And she found a cute little number with a cupcake on the front
Daddy and Shane wandered down to meet us and we sat down to enjoy a snack
In the end we walked just over 7.5 miles. Other than Ella trying to score a piggy back ride by telling us her leg was broken, there was little whining.
And I considered all that walking as part of their track workout (and mine). Ever since Beth shared that long walks can be considered cross training, I look for opportunities for me to walk.
It was a fun day, and I'm glad we braved the weather to go. Now Bill is off the hook...until the azaelas bloom at the National Arboretum. heh heh heh