Monday, March 31, 2008
I have always wanted to visit Washington, DC for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. I never thought it would happen while I was living overseas, but that seems to be the way life always works out.
My good friend got married on Saturday in DC, so my boyfriend and I jumped across the pond for the weekend to celebrate with her and her husband. We went to Heathrow on Friday morning thanking our lucky stars that we opted to fly on American instead of BA, as the new Terminal 5 is proving to be a disaster even beyond the usual British tendency to make a disaster of everything they put their hands to (this will be the subject of a future rant…I mean, post). Not only that, but we were also bumped up to business class since the economy section was oversold. All my crazy flying is finally starting to pay dividends.
We arrived in Washington, DC after a grueling seven hour layover in New York City (I think we could have walked faster than it took us to fly there). In the short day and a half we were in the capital we managed to see five of my boyfriend’s high school friends, one of my good friends from Paris, and of course, the happy bride and groom for whom we came to DC in the first place.
But first the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC. On Saturday morning we took advantage of our jet lag and went to see the famous trees. Having never seen pictures, I didn’t really know what to expect other than a lot of pink. When we arrived I discovered that the whole area from the Washington Monument to the Jefferson Memorial was bursting with life, the tiny pink flowers strewn from branch to branch and tree to tree like an endless string of cotton candy. Beautiful.
Speaking of beautiful, the wedding, while less pink and more white, was also lovely. My friend looked so elegant, and the ceremony was a wonderful event for her and her husband to take their vows. The reception was a grand affair. We had a great time meeting friends and family of the bride and groom, dancing, and enjoying the celebration. My friend’s family certainly knows how to party, not least of all her 88 year old grandfather, who led the group in a conga line even after the band was done for the night.
Sunday morning it was time to do our last minute “let’s take advantage of the weak dollar” shopping in Georgetown before saying good-bye to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC and heading to the airport for our trip home to London. It still feels weird saying “home” to London, particularly after all the traveling we’ve done this month. But when we got out of the tube in Hampstead this morning we ran into one of our neighbors and we felt a bit more like locals. London really is starting to feel like home.