Sunday, April 13, 2014

finally time to smell the roses (aka cherry blossoms)

After being cooped up for months, we’re unsurprisingly anxious to get outdoors at the first sign of warm, welcoming weather. Calder is pretty much off oxygen when he is awake and we are trialing him off it when he naps and sleeps the night. The process has been gradual so I could not even put my finger anymore on the real tipping point. But having him off it so much makes it so much easier to explore the great outdoors. We are getting out pretty frequently for walks around our neighborhood. I could take a walk every day here and ogle the architecture of the row houses, discover another park, peak into a new restaurant.

Anyone who has been to see the cherry blossoms in DC knows that during the small window in which they bloom, the whole city comes out to the see them. You have to be savvy if you want to avoid the crowds and even then, good luck!  Because the blooms are only so predictable, and can disappear with the first good rain, the smart sightseer makes time the day or day after they hit peak (and maybe even right before!) Most years, we head straight to the Jefferson Memorial to see the tree-lined Tidal Basin. Last year we woke up at sunrise, picked up some breakfast from our neighborhood bakery and hopped in the car – still, we had to wait for a parking spot (an improvement over not finding one at all) and even ran into someone we knew at that early hour.

We opted to go this past Friday this year, right as the blossoms were peaking, which fortunately coincided with me still on maternity leave and Kraemer on one of his days off. But instead of starting with the Tidal Basin, we opted to stray a little off the beaten bath southeast of the memorial. Mid-day, and we practically had the space to ourselves. It was a perfect afternoon. Cornflower blue skies, wispy clouds, a gentle wind, people I love and fluffy white cherry blossoms raining down from the boughs of the trees as we lay in the grass. One of those days you want to freeze time.

We had SO much fun being out and about that we tried again today. We waited until early evening, before the sunset but hopefully after the crowds, this time back to the popular spot between the Tidal Basin and the Washington Monument. We were kidding ourselves if we thought we’d miss the masses – throngs of people still streamed alongside the water. Still in isolation, we opted to admire the lake from afar. While the blossoms weren’t as captivating as they’d been on Friday, I took my pleasure today in overhearing the giggling and seeing the smiles people wore in reaction to Calder’s antics. We've always said he’s a funny guy!

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