Last week we tool a 2 night/3 day trip to Washington, D.C. I have been wanting to make this springtime pilgrimage to see the cherry blossom trees in bloom ever since I first heard of them. We decided to put it on the calendar for this spring as something to look forward to. As the dates approached, we decided that it wouldn’t work financially and made the decision not to go. Then Robert surprised me with an email that said “pack your bags!” He had found a promotional deal from a nearby hotel that would make it possible for us to go after all.
The Cherry Blossom Festival had been the weekend prior to our arrival, and we probably missed “peak season” by a couple of days, but the trees were still beautiful. (They were a gift from Japan, and have an interesting history.) Even the blossoms on the ground made things so pretty.
Most of the trees are planted around the Tidal Basin that sits in front of the Jefferson Memorial. We parked (for free) near the memorial and then biked around the basin and the whole “mall” area of downtown D.C.
It sort of turned in to a World War II history trip which was great since we’ve just been studying Europe in geography and some aspects of the war there. ( Last time we went to D.C. we focused on Civil War history….Lincoln Memorial, and Ford’s Theater.) The WWII Memorial is very beautiful and located right between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. It has a ring of fountains in the center. Kory is a quite a WWII buff, so he really enjoyed seeing this. And having 2 great-grandfathers who fought in the war, makes it even more interesting. (We also went to the Holocaust Museum, the Iwo Jima Memorial, and the “America at War” exhibit at the American History Museum.)
About a week before we left, I thought it might be a good idea to take our bikes – or take the ones we could fit and rent the rest. Well, somehow we were able to fit 2 bikes in the van and three on the rack on the back and not have to rent any! This is probably the thing that made the trip so enjoyable. We were able to see so much in a short amount of time, and there were no “my feet hurt” complaints! One day we biked from the Jefferson Memorial to the Washington Monument (where we met a former church member for lunch!) – to the American History Museum (2 hours in there!), to the Capitol and Union Station. After having s treat at Starbucks there, we biked behind the Capitol to see the Supreme Court Building, Library of Congress, and then returned on the opposite side of the mall back to the Jefferson Memorial where we parked.
Our hotel was brand new, had an indoor heated pool, nice work-out room, ultra contemporary furnishings, lighting, and colors, flat screen TV’s everywhere and was only $60 a night. I think I packed 7 meals so that we would only have to eat out twice…..sandwiches, cheese, crackers, pepperonis, hard-boiled eggs, rice cakes, peanut butter, hummus, black bean dip, salsa, tortilla chips, energy bars, apples, oranges, yogurt, cookies, and brownies! A bit of prep involved, but well worth it!
And when we finally did eat out…we went ALL out, but even this was in the budget since we happened to have saved a gift card to the Cheesecake Factory that my dad gave us at Christmastime. (The bill for this one meal exceeded the price of one night in our hotel by a substantial amount!) Their Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake , as God’s blessing would have it, is gluten free, and they are very helpful in accommodating your diet with their menu!
An all-around wonderful trip, for which we are very thankful! And the farther south we drove, the more spring-like the weather and scenery became….did the heart good! 🙂