49th Annual Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival
I was to meet up with the Meetup.com World Culture group in front of the Natural History museum before 10am, and having had a long week, Jeff would join us at noon. I set my alarm for 7.15am, but didn't notice it was my Monday-Friday alarm, so woke up sometime after 8 and wasn't downtown until at least 10.30. I caught most of the parade, but I didn't have a great vantage point, most of them already being taken. I really don't need to go to another for a very long time, but I enjoyed the marching bands.
J arrived at noon and we tried to fight the crowds at the food stalls, but there were too many people and in my opinion not enough food stalls, so we ditched the festival and took the metro down to the Daily Grill where we ate in civilized fashion. So - no martial arts shows, no taiko drums, no dancing geisha. Sorry!
We cabbed it back to the Tidal Basin area and spent the next few hours wandering through cherry blossoms and dodging pointed cameras.
It was an extremely windy day and everyone had wild hair. The wind was chilly but in the pauses the sun was hot. We were disappointed that the wind prevented the paddle boats from going on the water, but another time perhaps...
When we got to the Jefferson Memorial we sat on the steps and watched Indian dancers on the stage opposite. When they were done, a band from Gibraltar spent about a half hour setting up while Led Zeppelin played over the speakers to keep us distracted. The Gibraltans played very foot-tapping Spanish-style numbers but we couldn't stay much longer as the sun was getting low and it was time to keep moving.
On the way out of the area, we walked through the endless FDR memorial, which is made of granite and is full of waterfalls, fountains, engraved bronze surfaces, and rough-hewn blocks of juxtaposed pink granite. We also discovered across a random lawn a small memorial to those District of Columbians who gave their lives in the Great War.
And then on the way to the metro we took a small detour so I could see the more famous side of the White House (since in January I only got the back, and lots of ice) with the bonus addition of cherry blossoms.
Nearby is the Department of the Treasury, with a statue of Alexander Hamilton:
We went up to Bethesda for some good sushi, sake, gyoza, and green tea. Halfway through dinner, I got a text from Diva saying they were nearly ready for our webcam session, so J stepped up the pace saying, "We have to go, because you have a show". It had been Nags' surprise 40th birthday party, so Amy and Pandy were there too. The connection was worse than last time, so we gave up after a valiant effort, but it was lovely to see everyone and say hi and have them "meet" Jeff.