It doesn't help that our schedules don't line up perfectly. He works Mon-Fri (or is supposed to, he's been working many Saturdays and "holidays" as well) for 10-11 hours a day, so he is beat when he gets home. I work more heavily later in the week and one weekend day is mandatory at my job, so Saturdays are completely spent there. That leaves Sunday, and church is a non-negotiable for us, which makes going out and having a good time together pretty difficult.
I have no excuse for this as I have lived in the vicinity of DC my entire life, but I have NEVER been downtown to see the cherry blossoms (come to find out, neither has Sean). For the last 4 years or so, I have been saying I want to go, but have never made it. So, when a LivingSocial deal for a cheap one hour cherry blossom cruise came out (oh yeah..guys, I HATE crowds), I jumped on it. I bought it and re•solved that we WOULD, in fact go this year.
I need to stop and smile at the thought of how good God is. The cruise dates based on the cherry blossom festival were mid-March through next Sunday. Sean and I picked this past Sunday based on our schedules. I was excited to go but worried that the blossoms would already have rained away this late in the season. Well, all you locals already know that we got SNOW on March 25...so the blossoms didn't even have a chance to start. So, we had a GORGEOUS day to be outside AND the trees were just beginning to bloom!
We hopped on the metro and upon getting off at our station, followed some not-so-helpful directions to the cruise area. Thank God that smartphones have navigation that includes walking directions. I was pretty bummed again when I realized we were not going to make it to the boat in time. We picked a 3:15 cruise to allow us time to get home from church, eat lunch, and then go. We arrived at the dock at 3:18. Yep, we missed the boat. But the people were friendly and didn't hesitate to offer us another cruise time. One in half an hour on a larger (but not full) boat with a Chinese tour group, or one in an hour on the smaller boat we'd originally picked.
We opted for the sooner cruise. On a side note, it is funny how segregation still exists. Especially in places as diverse as DC. We really don't care who is on our boat as long as they don't plan to kill us. We went to board and all was well until we turned in our tickets:
Them: "You guys missed your boat!"
Us: [quizzical faces]
Them: "this boat has a Chinese tour aboard, it is in Mandarin, You guys can catch the next one instead."
Me: "Is it ONLY in Mandarin?"
Them: "no, it's half and half. Is that OK with you?"
(honestly, it seemed MORE fun...I love to people watch and situations like these are always a fun reminder of how similar people are - sisters still nag each other and run to the bow of the boat making Titanic references...)
We got on the boat which seemed crowded, but quickly found an empty outdoor section where we stayed the duration of the cruise. The weather was perfect, and I'm pretty sure the river air helped clear my miserable sinuses. Not many trees where we were had bloomed, but we still saw some cool things and heard some fun trivia.
|Sadly, this hideous black line popped up and marred all our pics. The issue is now solved, thankfully!|
We continued our day with a leisurely (longer than anticipated) walk to our chosen dinner spot (thanks to Groupon!) I can't stress how gorgeous it was outside for walking. We took our time and stopped to enjoy some trees with more blooms, the floral library, and the WWII Memorial along the way. We ended with a fun kabab dinner (and my first EVER "hot now" Krispy Creme donut!) before headed home to crash for the night.
Lesson learned: we clearly need to re•solve to get out with each other more often! :)