Cherry Blossom Festival.

“Break open a cherry tree and there are no flowers, but the spring breeze brings forth myriad blossoms.”
~Ikkyu Sojun

My weekend in five words:

1. Exhilarating (Washington D.C. is such a playground of patriotism, a perfect juxtaposition of our country’s storied history versus its history-in-the-making.).

2. Frustrating (Thanks to the coldest March weather in years, the Peak Bloom Period was pushed back by over a week, meaning there were no actual blossoms on the thousands of trees surrounding the Tidal Basin.).

3. Exhausting (Walking for over ten miles + being on your feet for seven hours straight on Saturday and eight hours on Sunday = not wanting to do anything but sit on Monday.).

4. Inspiring (I have wanted to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival for years, but writing about it in MINE TO LOVE – and incorporating it into a very important, freeing, turning-point scene for Sofie, Brandon, and Ellie – magnified that tenfold. Lack of blossoms aside, it was so very awesome to see the place where my characters finally started to heal.).

5. Invigorating (What’s better than visiting a fabulous place with fabulous people to share in the experience? Not much.).

Over the course of twenty-eight hours, we visited the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, MLK Memorial, FDR Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Tidal Basin, Union Station, Capitol Building, Museum of Natural History, Museum of American History, and the White House (well, sort of for the last one – we got as close as possible and snapped a couple photos). It was a whirlwind weekend, a lovely one. There may not have been many umbrellas of velvety pink petals, but we still soaked up the springtime spirit and the sense of hope that’s almost palpable in our nation’s capital.

signwmonument1tiny blossoms

cherry treewashington monumentlincoln memorial

reflecting pool 2mlk memorialjefferson memorial

tidal basinno blossoms

fdr memorialpink buds

tidal basinjefferson memorial 2

paddleboatsMTL scene

gift of treesmoon






orchidscoral reef

hope diamondhillary's dresseisenhower's speech

clintons' disheswhite house

Believe it or not, this is only a fraction of the pictures I took. Can’t wait to see how many memory cards I fill next year, because we are now determined to go back when the thousands of trees are actually in bloom. Looking forward to it already!

13 thoughts on “Cherry Blossom Festival.

    • I was SO glad the snow held off! The forecast originally had it starting in DC on Sunday afternoon, but thankfully it waited until we’d already left. Whew!

  1. So does writing about the cherry blossoms in MINE TO LOVE, then traveling to see them, make your trip tax deductible? ;-)

    Love the photos, by the way! The full blooms are nice, but the good thing about what you had is that you could see stuff peeking through. I kind of like that better, actually. Makes for more of a contrast. Glad you had a good time, but no wonder you’re exhausted!

    • Have I mentioned that I love the way you think? ;-)

      Thank you! I definitely went a little snap happy, but better to have too many pictures than not enough, right? I can’t imagine how many I’d have ended up with had the blossoms actually been in full bloom!

    • Thank you! It was kind of ridiculous how excited we were when we FINALLY found a few trees that were blooming. It was so funny, though, because you could hear everyone saying the same thing when they stumbled upon them: “Look! Blossoms! Finally!” :)

  2. Beautiful pictures! I love your scarves. And I’m so, so glad you got to visit the place that was such a crucial turning point in Sofie’s grief. It must have felt so inspiring (and maybe surreal?) to be there.

    • Thank you on both counts! I am such a scarf person — forget shoes or purses, they’re my favorite.

      Oh my gosh, and yes, it really did feel surreal. I’ve been to DC a few times before and to that particular area of the Tidal Basin once, but it seemed completely different this time, having written about it during such an important scene in MTL. I couldn’t stop picturing Sofie, Brandon, and Ellie standing there and tossing the petals into the water. Made me smile! :)

  3. Oh I would LOVE to go to a Cherry Blossom festival like that! It SOUNDS amazing, not to mention how it must look when they’re actually in bloom. Sorry to hear they weren’t when you were there, but if it makes you feel any better, it’s supposed to be a month into autumn in Australia but summer doesn’t seem to be letting us go just yet.
    Looks like you’ve got some brilliant photos from your trip! I hope to go to places that I want in my stories before I write them, so that I can write about the experience more accurately. But that must have been really great for you to be there knowing that you put your characters there in MINE TO LOVE.
    Get some rest! Sounds like you’ve had a full-on weekend. :)

    • Hey, wanna switch? I’ll take your autumn that’s like summer and you can have our spring that’s like winter! ;-)

      Thank you! I totally agree: if possible, it’s definitely great to visit the places before writing about them. It adds such an air of relatability to the scenes, you know? And then, on the flip side, visiting them afterward makes you see them in an entirely new light!

      Oh, and here’s some pictures of what it looks like when the trees are actually in bloom!

  4. Pingback: A Confessionary Tale. | Shari Speaks

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