Sunday, April 1, 2012

100th Anniversary: National Cherry Blossom Festival

Lately my weekend's been limited to just Sundays but no amount of work is going to stop me from greeting spring with open arms--especially when every Washingtonian has raved about how gorgeous spring in D.C would be.

Sneaking out of work on a Saturday to go down the block to snap some photos.
(It's been a blessing getting to work near the white house--lunch breaks are a special treat.  But..random bomb threats--are not so fun!)

Tourist season has started with this gorgeous weather and Cherry Blossom Festival!  Segway tour group mania in front of the White House.

This makes it incredibly hard to stay indoors!!

National Cherry Blossom Festival's 100th Anniversary

In 1912, Tokyo, Japan gifted DC with 3,000 cherry blossom trees to be planted around the Tidal Basin in East and West Potomac Park and on the grounds of the Washington Monument.  This year's National Cherry Blossom Festival marks the centennial celebration and is expected to bring in...a butt load of tourists.  The festival was scheduled to begin on April 27 for a five-week celebration.  But thanks to March's extra weird warm weather, flowers and cherry blossoms bloomed, peaked and have since fallen since March 22nd.  Once bloom, they last for only 7 days so we made it our top priority to make time to go watch these beauties before they all disappear.   
 Last Sunday, we walked from VA to D.C across the Memorial Bridge to the Tidal Basin.  We were greeted by my all time favorite flowers--tulips!!!  They were blooming everywhere!!!

 Once we reached the north side of D.C's Tidal Basin, there are over 100 varieties of tulips that bloom every year.  A total of about 10,000 Holland bulbs in a dazzling array of colors and varieties are planted and cared for by the National Park Service. And best of all, it's FREE to stroll amongst these beautiful babies!  Great exercise and low budget activity!
Did you know that tulips are first known to have graced the palaces of Turkish royalty and were brought to the U.S. via Europe by the early European settlers?

We were laughing b/c it seemed someone got lazy and accidentally threw some red ones in with the yellow tulip patch
We made it to the basin!!  The cherry blossoms peaked Wednesday March 22nd because it was so warm but we couldn't make it out! 
The extra warm weather caused a huge frenzy amongst the trees' caretaker since they were going to bloom too early which meant no cherry blossoms for the latter majority of the festival. 
We had good timing and came on the open ceremony Sunday of the festival and caught a great firework show!
 The area and grounds are covered in pink petals--absolutely gorgeous

So glad we caught sight of them before they all fell off...

 Renting a peddle boat to awe in the surrounding sights!  Naturally George steered and peddled while I ooed - aahed--and snapped a bagillion pics!

From the water--in front of Thomas Jefferson's memorial

 Trying to jam our giant faces into the picture--fail

A view of Martin Luther King's memorial 

Along the banks of the basin

Weeee! I feel so freee!

Nak Won Korean Restaurant, Annandale VA
 Walking and doing touristy stuff makes you mighty hungry so we metroed back to VA, hopped in the Corolla (aka named Mo'nique) and drove to Koreatown in Annandale, VA to eat linner at 4 p.m

We were told to try this place because they have fresh pork belly!  mmm...I love bbq fat!
My hands are shaking--hence the blurry shot--from strong sensations of hungriness and salivations.

This dish hit the spot--fried octopus..spicy, tender, a bit sweet, amazing with rice!

and since we were in the Korean area, I had to get bingsoo!

...I get really excited when I eat good!

For more information on The National Cherry Blossom festivities: visit,

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