|Jefferson Memorial and the pedal boat docks|
It was a beautiful weekend to be in Washington DC if you enjoy pretty flowers...and hordes of people. Still, if you're an aficionado of cherry blossoms, you have to put up with crowds. The Cherry Blossom Festival goes on for 3 weeks, but the peak of the bloom is just a couple of days. The national park service will normally post well in advance when they believe it will peak.
|The tidal basin in full bloom|
As I mentioned, there were hordes of people and we have a son who tends to get lost, so we opted for one of the hop-on hop-off buses. Traffic was at a standstill through the monuments area, but it was a nice day and we were on the top of a double decker. It allowed for lots of picture taking, and there was sightseeing narration and music on headphones. At least we didn't have to worry about losing Omar. The route usually takes just over an hour and it took us three. There are a number of sightseeing buses and they all go to this area, so I'd say choose whatever is convenient. I don't think there's too much difference between them. We got the 48 hour pass which also included a night bus tour and some additional museum discounts.
|This photo taken from the bus shows people picnicking under the blossoms and taking photos|
|Many of the girls had cute dresses with cherry blossom fabric|
The next day, I got up before sunrise and met the Washington DC Photo Safari for a walk around the tidal basin. It was really the only way to ensure I'd get good photos. There was a marathon the same morning so the entire area was closed to vehicles. The metro station at Smithsonian is closest to the meeting point for the tour of the tidal basin. It meant a good bit of walking. I use a pedometer and noticed I'd done 12,000 steps before breakfast! We got lots of instruction, tips on where and how to get the best shots, and a handout to take with us. People with a variety of cameras joined the tour. Some had tripods and huge DSLRs. Others were just using their iPhone. There were only serious photographers out at 6:30 am, but by 8:00, the sidewalk was jammed with people. I ended up losing my photographer leader near the end of the tour due to crowds, but felt it was still worth the $79.
|On the way to the tidal basin before sunrise, I saw this view|
|View from the Potomac River|
|Magnolia and forsythia|
|You will meet people from all over the world. This lady was from China.|