Washington DC. I’ve lived there for a summer as a young intern, visited as a tourist multiple times, and traveled there on business trips. It’s a place that never ceases to be fun and interesting. This visit orchestrated by my son, Carl, who now lives and works there, was no exception.
The calendar said it was springtime, the brilliant sunshine was very convincing and became increasingly warm over the weekend. It just wasn’t quite enough to entice the cherry blossoms into full bloom. But we still circled the Tidal Basin with the other blossom seekers, enjoying the spectacle and snapping photos of the same few trees with the most blooms. Since we hadn’t counted on catching them at their peak, seeing any at all was gravy. And there were plenty of other flowering trees and flowers around town to feed our yearning for spring color.
I love how DC is so walkable. On our circuit around the Tidal Basin we took in the surrounding memorials, including the new Martin Luther King Memorial. From there it was a natural to continue on to the reflecting pool and the sights that surround it. It was a day on which it was easy to linger and savor the flavor of the monuments.
It was inevitable that we would eventually end up on the Mall. Who can resist visiting a few of the Smithsonian Museums, wandering through the sculpture gardens, and just taking in all the activity? And I’ll even admit to lying on the grass in the warm afternoon sun, resting after a long day of walking. It felt sooo good.
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Carl’s personal piece of DC. Visiting his workplace, walking his daily commute together, eating at a few of his regular spots, staying at his apartment and getting to know the eclectic neighborhood where he lives was a treat for this Mom. I even began to recognize the telltale colorful buildings when we approached his street.
From there it was only a short distance to the National Zoological Park, which we easily covered on bicycle and spent a relaxed afternoon meandering outside among the zoo’s exhibits, enjoying the animals and laughing at their antics.
Our final day was actually an escape from DC. We drove up to Shenandoah National Park and followed Skyline Drive. By nature, it is a leisurely drive on the twisty, winding road with abundant overlooks. We stopped frequently to admire the view, and went on two hikes. The best part was reaching the rocky outcroppings that afforded sweeping views of the valleys below and distant ridgelines. Despite the fact that spring was far behind and we crossed patches of snow on the trail, we relished being outdoors and active. Oh yes, and the sunshine. It was the perfect finale to our weekend together.
I can’t imagine a more delightful way to do DC. Thank you, Carl!