On Friday, we headed up to D.C. for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Someone I know has been waiting all year to see these blossoms, as these are actually Japanese cherry trees. The sakura trees were a gift from Japan in 1912 to celebrate the two nations' then growing friendship, and the pink and white flowers now line the shore of the Tidal Basin surrounding Jefferson. They're absolutely beautiful, and Jess took lots (and lots) of pictures. I was amazed at how many people were crammed on to the mall, cameras pointed into the canopy of trees.
Our friends Justin and Lucy, with baby Miriam, drove up with us on Friday morning (and when I say morning, I mean a 5 a.m. departure time - crazy people!), and we spent the next two days wondering around the city I've learned to really love. The blossoms were absolutely amazing, and Jess was a little more than camera crazy. We visited Lincoln (always my favorite), Washington, Jefferson, and the Museum of Natural History on Friday.
However, on Saturday, we did a few new things. At the brilliant suggestion of Justin and Lucy, we visited the National Zoo as well as the National Cathedral, two sites we had never ventured out to previously as they aren't directly downtown. I haven't been to a zoo in ages, but this one is incredible. And let's be honest, Jess did some good work with his telephoto (that has no image stabilization in it). Our favorite friend was the panda. It was feeding time, and boy was he serious about bamboo. He was chomping down those stalks like he'd never seen food before. We watched him for quite a while, but also got to see some other critters.
All in all, it was a fast, furious, and fabulous trip. Special thanks to the Jesses, who were so patient with our wandering ways and picture snapping obsession.