Travel, USA
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Cherry Blossom Festival

Spring is for new beginnings. It has indeed been a rough couple of months, we said goodbye to winter as my family and I bid goodbye to a loved one. And yet, there is promise, that love endures, and there are great things to come in 2015.

As we start the year in travel, we look to one of the common places on my boyfriend and I’s V-Day top ten: The Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC.

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This year’s festival was scheduled from March 20th through April 12th, so we originally planned to go the first week. However, due to the severe weather we had this year, the peak bloom was forecasted to be later than expected. Make sure to keep checking the Bloom Watch page for this information. You would also find a live camera feed, where you’d be able to see the blossoms and judge for yourself.

We decided to go on April 11th, which was peak bloom, the most crowded time of year to go. We stayed in Fairfax to avoid fighting for parking and save money in hotel fees. When we got to the metro station, however, we knew right away from the number of people that even the trains would be packed. (Another tip if you are planning a trip to the Cherry Blossom Fest in the future, there aren’t a lot of public bathrooms, so you may want to make sure you go before you leave your hotel and if you choose to go out to eat in a restaurant.)

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Speaking of crowded, we had tickets to the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Festival. We walked to the festival venue, showed the two people at the entrance our tickets, and made our way through different booths. We played games in the first few sponsor booths and were enjoying ourselves, until we decided it was time for lunch. There were a lot of Japanese food available, but you can hardly move. So we decided we were going to get lunch somewhere else then go back. However, the guy at one of the exits did not allow us to leave. In addition, he said if we ever wanted to go back to the festival, we need to walk through the crowd to another entrance to get our hands stamped. We did so just in case, then left to get lunch from a food truck. Eventually we decided not to go back to the chaos.

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Weekends (and everyday) should be made of these: laughter, beauty and love.

The rest of the day went by without a hitch. One of the highlights was witnessing the navy’s and air force’s silent drill teams. Everyone watching was amazed with their precision and concentration. We also walked around the Tidal Basin, West Potomac Park and other sites to see the beautiful cherry blossoms and monuments. We walked, according to my iPhone, more than 22,ooo steps or 8.6 miles.

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It was a great weekend, with the perfect weather, beautiful cherry blossoms and equally wonderful memories.

Where to eat for a nice dinner: Sea Pearl Restaurant. I highly recommend their corn and crab chowder for appetizer, and sea bass for entree. Restaurant rating: 7.5 out of 10. Corn and crab chowder rating: 8.5 out of 10, Sea bass rating: 8 out of 10.

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