Friday, April 2, 2010

Cheery Cherry Blossoms

Like I mentioned yesterday, Caroline and I spent a very long day in Washington, DC enjoying the yearly Cherry Blossom Festival. We went last year, as well, bringing along Craig and our dear friend, Flat Stanley.

This year, Flat Stanley is probably off visiting with more interesting people somewhere else in the world, and we all know that Craig isn't exactly nearby. Do I smell a girls only outing? Well, that was the plan. And as you well know, plans are hardly ever iron clad. The "plan" we concocted weeks ago included a trip to see the the White House, followed by the blooming cherry blossom trees, culminating with lunch at the Air and Space Museum (because there's a McDonald's there!). Unbeknownst to us, Caroline's friends, Sarah and Rachel, and their mom had also made cherry blossom plans with another friend of theirs. Since Caroline would MUCH prefer spending time with friends rather than spend the whole day with me, we smooshed our plans together to try and create a happy experience for all involved. The new plan for Caroline and me went like this: go on the Metro with our other travel companions (two other moms, two other girls and one very brave 6th grade young man) and see the cherry blossoms. After oohing and ahhing, Caroline and I would then break from the group, eat lunch, hop back on the Metro and go see the White House. And then go home and enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

What really happened went a little more like this: we waited at the Metro station for our travel companions, for many, many minutes, then took a long, crowded trip to the Capitol Mall. We walked and walked and walked, all the while trying to ignore the complaints of three cranky girls. It was too hot, the walk was too long, their feet were KILLING THEM and they just might perish if they didn't get sustenance SOON. We walked around the tidal basin area, whose perimeter is covered with blooming cherry blossom trees. We visited the Jefferson Memorial, walked some more, ate lunch and then visited the American History Museum to see Michelle Obama's inaugural ball gown (and the gowns of many other First Ladies). After that, we took a sleepy Metro ride to Old Town, Alexandria, went on a trolley ride, saw the Potomac River water front and got a ride back to our car, which was parked at the Metro station by our house. Tired. Hungry. At nearly 7pm.

No White House. Not home to enjoy the rest of our afternoon.

Oh well.

Now, I'll let the pictures (and there are a LOT of them) tell the story.

But first, let me share with you a tip. If you're absent-minded like me, and have trouble locating your car in parking garage, take a picture of your parking lane. Trust me. It works! You're on your own trying to get OUT of the parking garage. Is it just me, or do others tend to drive in circles following the exit arrows. It's probably just me. That's okay, I'm used to being hapless.

As soon as we entered the parking garage, at our designated meeting time of 9:30, we got a call from our travel companions, telling us that they were running late. Honestly, I wasn't surprised. That's not exactly out of character for them. They said they'd be there in 20 minutes. It ended up being more like 35 minutes, but that's okay. Caroline and I are flexible and good at waiting.

We bought our tickets.

And waited.

And took pictures of stuff.
Train tracks

Nasty creek

Shoes (we were getting desperate!)


Then we, well Caroline, did some running

And more waiting

Our friends FINALLY arrived and we hopped on the Metro. No pictures; I was too busy holding onto the pole and wishing I had eaten more for breakfast. I felt a wee bit queasy with all that motion.

It was a gorgeous day in Washington, DC. I'm happy that we had blue skies as our backdrop.

The Smiths always travel with snacks!

Stealing my sunglasses.

The Sculpture Garden

We saw the First Lady's dresses. No pictures, though. It was too dark inside the exhibit.

This was the highlight for me:

Spark Lab for the kids

She wasn't really sleeping, just fakin' for the camera.

Old Town, Alexandria

Potomac River water front.

I ran out of room on my picture card by this time. The rest of the outing entailed a drive with all of us stuffed into our traveling companion's car, back to the Metro station so I could retrieve my car.
By the time we arrived home, Caroline and I were both famished and TIRED.

We surely slept well last night.


nancy said...

You're getting--you ARE--quite good at your photo documentary blog posting stuff. Dad especially loves seeing your pix.
Now, on to Trus Confessions: I am a Bad Grandma.
With all my Goin' to Mexico prep....I forgot about Easter in a "get my only grandchild (that I know of. har har)a little something."
I know it's OK with you, but not me. If she grows up to be a Neurotic Housewife II, I want it to be your fault, not mine.
So.....a card shall be in the mail today.

nancy said...

That should be TRUE's early and I'm old.

Alison said...

I thought you were trying to be French or something....since you're so cultured and all. ;) You are a very good grandma, anyway.
Noe, whether or not I'm a good mom is debatable. Caroline found my jelly bean stash yesterday. And she was all "how long have you had these?" and "why didn't you tell me?" Um. I don't know.
We're going to an easter egg hunt this morning and then we have to buy more eggs because I only have 6 to boil and that's not enough when you've got egg coloring to do.
I'm glad dad likes the pix, because, as you know, I never send you real pictures, even when you ask routinely! I figure blogging about it makes up for my negligence.

Have fun in Me-he-co. Bon Voyage! Or whatever the Spanish equivilent is!

Sissy said...

If you created a joint Snapfish account, then you could upload pics and your mom could order them as she wished.

I, too, loved the pictures. Why did I think cherry blossoms were pink? Who knows? Looks like you had a great day, but I would have wanted to see the White House, too.

We colored Easter Eggs today, and made some really strange decorated cupcakes. Mom and I tried these cupcakes but using a piping bag is just really hard. I'll get better at it, I suppose.

Alison said...

*some* of them are pink, but most are white. I thought they were pink, too.
There is some legend about a princess falling in love with the wrong boy and feared that they would kill him so she dressed up like him (or something like that) and she ended up dying. According to the legend, her blood made some of the trees pink. That is a very loose interpretation of the story I was told on Thursday. We actually have cherry blossom trees in our neighborhood, I just didn't know what they were. Last year we went way late into the season so the leaves were already starting to show on the branches. This year we went on "peak" bloom day.

We colored eggs, too.
No cupcakes, though. I haven't used a pastry bag before. I think it does take practice to make it look pretty.
Ugh, I ate way too many jelly beans today.

Happy Easter.