Putting my Traveling Shoes On | Washington, D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival | 14 April 2018

On 14 April 2018, I put on my travelling shoes and ventured down to Washington, D.C. Travelling tends to make me happy, seeing new sites, meeting some new people, and adventure puts pep into my step and a smile on my face. I had never seen Washington’s D.C.’s famous cherry blossom trees before and wanted to this year.

I took off from the library; I’m trying to take more “me” time this year. I left the house at 6 AM, took Lyft to the Amtrak station and boarded the train at 7:30 AM. This was my first time travelling on Amtrak to D.C., I usually go by bus, but found that the bus was unreliable. The train was much faster!

While I met friendly people on the Mega Bus, I met more hospitableĀ people on Amtrak. From Philadelphia to BWI Airport (Baltimore-Washington International; right between Baltimore and Washington, it’s about a 40-minute ride to D.C.), I had my iPod on and was enjoying the views. I love sitting by the window and watching the scenery go by; it felt odd not getting off at Baltimore (I usually take Amtrak to Baltimore), but loved seeing Baltimore by the train window. However, a family hopped on at BWI Airport, they were going to Charleston for a family reunion and for 40-minutes, we talked and laughed. They were sweet, and it felt great to share a moment with the family.

It only took two hours to get to D.C. from Philadelphia; when I arrived at Union Station, I couldn’t get over how beautiful the station was. I had to take photos, though, with the early morning sun, lighting was difficult. I ended up taking a few photos before I made way outside.

When I stepped outside and oriented myself with bustling D.C., I made my way to the National Mall and couldn’t get over the beauty of the cherry blossoms. My breath was taken away when I saw the Cherry Blossoms line the Capitol, the view was gorgeous! I had to walk over to the grove of trees and take photos. I laid down on the grass, looked up, and took photos as the cherry blossoms were swirling around me. Laying on the cool grass with the cherry blossom wind around me was true happiness.

 

As I made my way to other parts of the Capitol, I met a middle-aged woman, we walked and talked, she showed me around as where to get the best images of not only cherry blossoms, but tulips. I am grateful for her because she did lead me to perfect spots. Before she headed back home to Maryland, she dropped me off at the Tidal Basin.

 

The Tidal Basin was absolutely gorgeous! Words can’t describe the view, but photos can.

 

I ended my day at a halal, gluten-free pho shop in Georgetown. It took an hour and a half to get to by public transit, but it was worth the trip. I love pho and I was happy to see D.C. had a pho shop that matched my dietary needs. I would recommend Simply Banh Mi. The owners were also friendly and talkative. It wasn’t expensive either.

All in all, the day in D.C. was inexpensive – $50 between food, water, and postcards for friends. I’m on a tight budget, and the fact that there are a lot of free events in Washington, D.C. makes me happy. I had a wonderful day, met some new people, and chatted with a financier I was sitting next to on my way home. The photos and experiences made it into my Happiness Box.

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thehappinessboxproject

Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.

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