Travel

The District: Day Two

The main theme of the second day of the trip was Cherry Blossoms! They are so beautiful and this last month has been the National Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. Although it seems like we were out and about during the tail end of the season, we still saw some beautiful flowers!

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Obviously couldn’t officially start this post without mentioning the amazing breakfast I got at Sidamo Coffee and Tea. Can we just take a moment to appreciate this muffin creation?  Ok, thanks.

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Once we got our day started we headed to the Tidal Basin which is a big reservoir between the Potomac River and the Washington Channel. It’s the focal point of the Cherry Blossoms in the city, but as you can see from the picture we got there a little late. I’m assuming the cold weather leading up to the day I landed in D.C. probably didn’t do those trees any favors either. You can see the Thomas Jefferson Memorial through the trees. It was such a warm, sunny day and whenever we’d spot a lonely lingering blossom on the mostly bare branches, it felt like a big win!

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Then we found a patch of pink Cherry Blossom trees on an island in between lanes of traffic near the Tidal Basin that were still going strong. The odd location of the trees weren’t stopping people (including us) from snapping carefully framed pictures of the blossoming trees. I prefer the pink blooms over the white ones in general so this was perfect!

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Fortunately these Polaroids turned out MUCH better than the ones I took on the first day. We had so much fun looking at the blooms and people watching all the other folks (and the puppies they brought with them) appreciating the flowers.

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We eventually made our way inside the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Jefferson has got to be one of my favorite presidents. For starters, I went to a high school named after him. But also since I’ve learned more about him, he seems like a pretty admirable guy (more on that later). One of his quotes etched inside the memorial reads in part: “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered …. institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.”

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This next part was my favorite stop of the day. Keeping with the cherry blossom theme, we decided to check out the pop-up bar called the Cherry Blossom PUB. It was constructed inside two older venues (‘Southern Efficiency’ being one) and it was completely decked out inside to celebrate the Cherry Blossom season. It’s only open for one month, then closes for good. Public opinion and Instagram had us believing we would be in the line for hours, but we got very lucky and maybe stood in line for 45 minutes as it wrapped around the block behind us. As you can see in the picture, most of the windows were covered so you couldn’t see what all of it looked like until you got inside…

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WOW it was so cute! This was the first of three different themed rooms. Cherry Blossoms EVERYWHERE! This picture was taken from the back of the room. You can see towards the front there’s a curtain of paper cranes as well as some hanging from the ceiling towards the upper right. It was so dreamy! They served sake and Japanese whiskey in addition to specialty cocktails with names like ‘1,000 Paper Cranes’ and ‘Eat Drink and be Cherry’. Some of the other drink names matched the themes of the other rooms.

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The Cherry Blossom room shared a wall with all this wonderfulness! It’s a Mario themed room complete with clouds, mushrooms, and piranha plants hanging from the ceiling! The facade above the back of the bar was made completely out of Legos. The entire space was pretty impressive. Every few minutes you’d hear Mario’s voice shout, “It’sa me Mario!” over the speakers. That’d be followed by everyone pulling out their cell phones to try to catch a gold spray painted Mario, pop out of a green tube that was suspended above the middle of the bar before sneaking back inside it.

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Finally, the Bowser’s Castle themed room was in the very back. Although I’ve never actually played a Mario video game (maybe once…twice?) I have played hours, or perhaps days, worth of Yoshi’s Island. Same thing right? Anyways, the villains in Bowser’s Castle were always my favorite. Boo of course was a treat to see, but I also appreciated the detail put into including the Chain Chomps over the bar. Everything in the entire building was so perfect!

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A candid shot of me reacting to yet another not-so-great indoor Polaroid. I got a love/hate relationship with that camera.

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After getting a drink at the Cherry Blossom PUB (which I just found out, stands for Pop-Up Bar. Clever.) we grabbed dinner. On the way home I spotted this restaurant/beer garden that had a super cute patio and this awesome mural of Elizabeth Taylor painted on it. It was too cute not to take a picture.

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