As many of you who follow my blog know, I set some goals for myself this spring. Two of those goals were to walk around the Tidal Basin and to attend the Cherry Blossom Parade.
I walked around the Tidal Basin last weekend. Since then, I have walked around the Tidal Basin two more times!
Last weekend when I did my TB walk the blossoms were not quite out yet. They came out in full bloom during the week while I was working. The “peak” day was Thursday. Friday night, it was supposed to rain here and they were predicting thunderstorms. I had planned on going to the parade on Saturday, so I would see the cherry blossoms then, but a funny thing happens to the blossoms when it rains. They all get blown away. I was a little bit worried that if I did not see the blossoms before the rain storm, I would miss my chance.
Friday after work, I got the wild notion that I had to run down to the TB right away to see the blossoms before it rained. So, I walked from my office to the TB, walked around the basin and walked back up to my office. Here’s the approximate map of my walk:
The walk was about 5-6 miles. Since I had not planned on doing this before I left my house Friday am, I had worn sandals to work. I did that huge walk in sandals and my feet were killing me. I had plans to go to the parade on Saturday and walk the basin again, so I made a mental note to definitely wear sneakers on Saturday.
I did get up early to go to the parade. Nonetheless, I was almost late. I received a last-minute phone call from the emergency service at work and had to log onto my work computer for a few minutes. I was happy to do it and it really didn’t take that long, but it was not planned for and it made me late. The only problem with being late when going into DC for a major celebration of this kind is dealing with the crowds on public transportation.
Seriously, tourists do not really know how to navigate the DC metro and follow the rules. I cannot really blame them much. They are not professional commuter commandos like yours truly, but it is irritating and causes the DC denizens no end of consternation.
Those of us who ride the trains daily, know what to do. We get on. We get off. Move to the middle of the train, although admittedly, some of us are better at that than others. Stand right. Walk left. We instinctively know where we are going. We don’t make eye contact. We don’t talk.
Tourist crowd the doors. Don’t get out of the way. Don’t move to the middle of the train. Don’t follow the escalator rules. Countdown how many more stops they have to go. They have strollers and children and bikes. And they talk. Nonstop.
A blogger I used to follow a number of years ago had a great post with some rules for the metro that I think everyone needs to learn to follow. I encourage everyone to read the before visiting.
That said, if you’re going to attend a major event in DC, and run late, you just simply have to give in and resign yourself to the crowds and chaos. You’ll give yourself a heart attack if you think you can do anything else. There’s no way you can control the crowds or the stupid things that they do. In short, the metro was overly crowded and the tourists just had no idea how to properly do the whole metro thing.
I did make it into the city in time for the parade. I saw some of the parade and I walked the TB again. Here is everywhere I walked.
About ten minutes after the parade started, I started having the symptoms of dumping syndrome. I had a pretty good nourishing breakfast. I have not had anything overly rich over the past few days, so I’m not sure what caused this. I blame the stress of dealing with tourists. I held out as long as I could, but I knew I would have to find a ladies room pronto if I did not want to have a repeat of what happened to me in the Metro on January 2.
Fortunately, I was standing in front of the American History Museum. I know where the bathrooms are in there. I ran in, after going through security, and found the lady’s room. Took care of things, and ran back out to catch some more of the parade. Disaster averted.
The parade was fun, but I had a pretty full day scheduled, so I did not want to hang around there long. I wanted to walk around the TB again, (talk about dealing with tourists!), and then I had plans to visit my sister.
I walked to the TB again and walked all the way around to the MLK memorial. Around then, I really just wanted to get home. I was probably about 2 miles from any metro station. I had three choices as I could see them. I could walk back to the Smithsonian station, Walk over to 23rd and up to the Foggy Bottom Metro station. Or I could walk across the Memorial Bridge to the Arlington Cemetary station and only be one stop from home. I chose to walk to Virginia and be one stop from home. That was a lot of walking, but I did it.
I took a bunch of pictures, which I am including here. Everyone thinks that they are photographic geniuses when the most photogenic event to hit this area in the past six months occurs. I am no different. I must have taken 100 pictures. I’ll spare you all of those and only post the best of the best.
I have one spring goal left. I need to walk to Roosevelt Island. I have plans to do that with my friend Sush. Not sure when, but soon! Enjoy the photos!