Sunday, April 3, 2011

Rainy Cherry Blossom Festival in DC

I've been traveling 4 days a week to Washington DC for a client since the end of January. Since this project coincided with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in DC, I decided to stay one weekend and fly out Daniel from Chicago. Since it's been a couple of crazy workweeks for both of us, I didn't get to the usual researching and planning of tourist recommendations and food establishments.

Dan called on Wed to ask, "So...what are we doing in DC?" I had vague notions of us strolling around Tidal Basin oohing-aahing at cherry blossoms. And eating good food. And maybe visiting a national museum or two. And since we are a couple with priorities, the first thing we did on Sat AM was to visit Good Stuff Eatery, the very popular burger joint by Top Chef Spike. It was crowded, but indeed delicious. We got the burger with bacon and farm fried egg and rosemary fries. Can't tell if it was delish because we were starving or because it was legit. I'd definitely recommend it.

The weather on Saturday was alternately beautiful or downpouring rain/hail. We walked to the waterfront to take advantage of food trucks who were catering to all the cherry blossom festival visitors. Two notes. #1 Majority of the cherry blossoms are not pink. Those of you expecting a riot of pink-ish tones should look to other arboral species. They're white, but still beautiful. #2 It is very crowded. In fact, there were "traffic jams" along many of the walking paths where you had to be careful to avoid being runover by a stroller or over-enthusiastic photographer.

Here is Dan with the Red Hook Lobster Pound food truck. Decent lobster, but overpriced and tiny portions. We're also spoiled by fresh lobsters that we eat annually in Maine. The pink truck in the 2nd picture is a cupcake-mobile. I got an oatmeal raisin cupcake, tasty tasty.

Here is picture of aforementioned NOT PINK cherry blossom.

Here's Dan and me in front of the Washington Monument. See all those white trees? Those are the cherry blossoms.

Dan has this thing for riding bikes in strange cities. Wherever he goes, he'll look to rent a bike in the most cost-effective fashion. It usually takes me a little while to get onboard because it almost always involves sweating profusely. In a city like DC, it totally makes sense. It's very walkable, but pretty spread out. The first day we were there, we ended up walking almost 12 miles on foot. On Sunday, we decided to use the 2-wheel approach to avoid additional blisters. Our friends, Josie and Tim (from Arcadia) happened to fly in Sun AM and we joined up for a late lunch and bike ride to the Lincoln Memorial. Note that Josie and Tim had never urban biked, and probably now think that Dan is a psycho for making them bike through the most congested street traffic they'd ever seen. Since Dan and I are used to biking around Chicago which is full of street traffic and crazy drivers, we were used to squeezing in dubious spaces between cars. They were clearly not. Sorry!

Sadly, Dan had to leave me to go back to Chicago Sunday late afternoon. We did finally make it to the Lincoln Memorial. Other mentionables: Eastern Market, Cherry Blossom Festival fireworks, Maine Fish Market, Air & Space Museum, Santoki (ask Dan), and weird science jokes courtesy of NPR's Science Fridays.

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