Weekend Wrap-Up: Cherry Blossoms Edition

Happy Tuesday, friends!

So, I know the weekend is two days behind us, but I wanted to give a little recap of last Saturday, when I enjoyed my favorite rite of spring in D.C.: the National Cherry Blossom Festival!

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a 3-week celebration that takes place in D.C. in late March and early April, officially commemorating Japan’s gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the city in 1912 as a token of friendship, and unofficially kicking off spring.

The cherry trees reach “peak bloom” — when 70 percent of the blossoms on the trees around the Tidal Basin are open — during the Festival, and tourists and residents alike flock to take photos and celebrate the new season. Because of the crazy winter that we had, the trees reached peak bloom on April 10 — the latest date in over a decade. (They barely arrived before the official end of the Festival!)

My parents came into town last weekend to enjoy the blossoms, and I went with them to the Tidal Basin on Saturday morning. I knew that it was going to be crowded, but always amazes me how many people actually show up! Despite the crowds, I had a wonderful time on an incredibly gorgeous day.

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The beauty brought to mind some verses from the Gospel of Luke: “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you — you of little faith!” (Luke 12:27-28)

We even got to see FDR on our walk around the Tidal Basin:

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His memorial is sprawling and beautiful, with a number of statues and waterfalls.

After walking around the circumference of the Tidal Basin, a journey that took about 2 hours, my parents and I ventured further into the city for lunch at Taylor Gourmet. My dad is completely obsessed with hoagies — also known as subs to those outside of the Philadelphia area, where I’m originally from — and I knew that he would love Taylor, a local sandwich chain that specializes in Philly-style sandwiches. (They were recently named best sandwich place in all of D.C. by Washingtonian magazine’s Great Sandwich Smackdown.) I’m not sure if they still do, but at one point Taylor was trucking in their thick, chewy rolls daily from Philadelphia.

I had enjoyed two cold Taylor sandwiches when my office had it catered several months ago, but I had never actually been to the storefront for a hot sandwich. It was worth the wait! I splurged and enjoyed the Benjamin Franklin Parkway — basically a chicken parm sub made with an Italian-breaded chicken cutlet and amazing sharp provolone cheese. (Every sandwich is named after a different street in Philadelphia!)

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Even though the restaurant didn’t have outside seating, we cheated a bit and ate our lunch at a table outside of the Starbucks next door. It was an incredibly enjoyable meal in the gorgeous weather! I love eating outside when I can, and it was great to spend such quality time with my parents.

Following lunch, my parents went on their way to do some more sightseeing, and I headed back to my car (but not before stopping to do some browsing at the mall where I parked.)

When I got home, I went grocery shopping, completed one of my C25k workouts, and helped my husband prepare dinner. The rest of the evening was super low-key, since I had done so much during the day! I even reached a personal record on my FitBit — 25,060 steps travelled, equivalent to 10.32 miles!

It was a truly fantastic Saturday!

Does your city have some type of spring festival?

Do you have a favorite sandwich place? I definitely prefer hot sandwiches to cold! Meatball sandwiches are a particular favorite.

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