Let me start this post by saying I have NEVER tracked something like this in my entire life!! Seriously, as odd as this is to admit (yes I’m fine if you call me crazy), I have been slightly addicted to tracking the Cherry Blossom bloom date for over 6 months now. I have been dying to see these trees in bloom for over two years…stalking was totally warranted! Unfortunately, tracking the date in which a tree will bloom in Washington DC is almost impossible for someone who is 860 miles away and not in control of the weather patterns!!
Needless to say I gave it my best effort and was pleasantly surprised when the National Park Service issued their first (FIRST is the crucial word here) forecast indicating the exact dates I was hoping to be in DC….BAM! I scheduled the trip and got really excited.
Long story short, everything was moving along smoothly until March 18th. That’s when the “experts” chimed in and decided to revise their original forecast…..to 4 days after I would be leaving – stupid cold weather! Anyone who knows anything about these trees is aware of the fact that they only bloom (on average) for about 7-10 days(start to finish). At that point, I was bummed because I felt like I might miss the blooms all together and I’d without a doubt miss the puffy blooms!
Unfortunately with my trip being planned for the following week, I felt like it was too short of notice to reschedule and push to the anticipated “peak bloom” date. So I hunkered down and began to accept the possibility that I was going to miss seeing these blooms at peak bloom and possibly the blooming all together. That is where everything started to get fun.
I was fully accepting the fact that I wasn’t going to see peak bloom when I received a text from my “traveling buddy.” As a side note: oh how I ADORE my “traveling buddy!” She is one of my closest friends and luckily for her she has lived in Japan and experienced the beauty of these trees in their original environment (not fair!!).
Anyhow, she texted me 3 days prior to our anticipated departure and surprised me with, “Do you want to push our road trip to the following week so you can see the blooms?” I didn’t originally consider this an option because my traveling buddy doesn’t have as flexible of a schedule as I do (or at least I thought she didn’t). BUT just like that, I slept on the idea and went into full “let’s see if this is even an option” mode the following morning.
The main concern for me was two client sessions I had already scheduled.
Client No. 1 – AMAZING! She basically said, Jen we are flexible…if this is something you really want to do, we’d be okay with swapping dates. SCORE! AND thank you to those awesome clients – more to come on them next week!
Client No. 2 – I consider her slightly like family…I mean her sister in law has been my best friend since 6th grade and I had my fingers and toes crossed that she would be okay and forgive me on this one. SCORE again! Forgiven, with me owing her my first born child (ha-ha just kiddin’). You’ll see their family session pop up sometime in the next few days.
We hit the road and boy oh boy was it 100% worth the fun that ensued the moment we pulled out of the drive way. 12 hours later we arrived in DC and who’d like to guess what happened at that point?? Any takers??
We were officially greeted with the “experts” (I do NOT like these “experts”) revising their bloom date AGAIN…seriously?!?! Of course it was too late to do anything about it and I must say I’m glad I was lucky enough to catch a few of the trees around the City and Basin in full bloom. When I say that these pictures do not do the trees’ justice, I’m not kidding! It was absolutely stunning and I can only imagine what it looks like around the Basin at full bloom. I will return at some point in my life to catch the spectacle but it might be a while. I am so happy with what I did see and am so excited to display some of these images around my house.
I don’t think I could ever thank my “traveling buddy” enough but I plan to keep trying because this was one vacay I’ll never forget! I look forward to our next trip…of course we already picked the location. More on the road trip and our shenanigans around DC later!
For now enjoy the amazing Cherry Blossoms (Anyone notice the new header?? Copyright: yours truly).
XO – J
There are several types of Cherry Blossoms – these are Magnolia Cherry Blossoms, which were already in full bloom when we arrived.
I think this was one of the Weeping Japanese Cherry’s – I have really fallen in LOVE with this image!
A Little History: Around the Tidal Basin are about 3-4,000 Yoshino Cherry Trees (now you might understand why I wanted to see peak bloom). In 1912, the people of Japan sent 3,020 cherry trees to the United States as a gift of friendship. The majority of those trees were planted around the Basin. These images will show you the progression of blooming that took place over the few days I was there. It was amazing to see how much they changed from day to day.
Each tree gave me a peak at different stages, the next two images show one sole bloom on an entire tree.
The tempatures started to warm up during the day and almost overnight things began to change: