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  • Writer's pictureLaura Peters

Cherry Blossoms on the National Mall

Updated: Apr 23, 2022

Sometimes when you’re traveling with others via offspring tourism or with friends, you have to break with the program, or work around it, if there is something you alone want to do. This happens to me frequently. I’m always finding something of interest that I’m happy to do alone if need be.

In April 2019, my husband and I were in Washington, D.C., visiting friends and kids. Every day was fully planned and booked, but I was determined to see and photograph the cherry blossoms in full bloom on the National Mall that spring. What to do? Through the magic of technology, I quickly learned that a Metro ride starting at 5:30am from the Forest Hills neighborhood where I was staying to the National Mall would take about an hour. The bonus of visiting the cherry blossoms early would be fewer people in my photos - or so I imagined.

I got out the door at 5:45am and walked briskly to the Metro station in the cool morning air. I saw the first pink and white blossoms as the sun rose. The sight was spectacular. I quickly discovered that I was not the only photographer with early morning ideas. Lots of people were there enjoying the light through the trees, the brilliant blossoms, our nation’s great monuments and a sense of purpose and joy at just being there. I felt utterly alive and accomplished for doing what I set out to do.

Next time you’re traveling with a group and you have a vision of doing something you want to do without the group, figure out how to get it done. You’ll never regret doing it, but you will definitely regret not doing it.


Blossoms close up

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