Friday, August 16, 2013

Girlfriends’ Get-together 4-- Cherry Blossoms

I was very fortunate in the timing of my trip.  The Weather-Guessers had predicted that Washington D.C.’s famous cherry blossoms would have come and gone by the time I arrived, but as Weather-Guessers are prone to be, they were wrong!  Due to unusually cool weather, the blossoms actually peaked just after Eugenia, Renee and I returned from North Carolina and right before I had to return home.

Eugenia, George and I left early and joined thousands of others to see the blossoms in their full glory as the sun rose over the Potomac.  There were monuments framed by cherry blossoms.

They overhung the river where racing skulls were practicing.  

And, they framed George and Eugenia and Eugenia and me for informal portraits.  (Here, I must explain.  I took at least four shots of Geo and Eugenia, and in each one her eyes were closed.  I'm now convinced that her eyelids are somehow connected to the corners of her mouth and whenever someone says "Smile, " she does and her eyes close!)

The cherry blossoms are fickle; they don’t always come on schedule and their peak lasts only a day or two.  I was so fortunate to be able to see such a spectacle.  The blossoms are both pink and white, very delicate and fragrant.  It’s no wonder they draw crowds of people to Washington every spring.  Of course, the forsythia and other spring flowers were in full bloom as well, making the landscape even more spectacular.

After watching sunrise over the Potomac, we drove to the cemetery at St. Paul’s Church.  There are more cherry blossoms and tulip trees there, but also an array of interesting gravestones and statuary.  

Since my flight back to Austin wasn't until late afternoon on Wednesday, Eugenia and I spent the morning visiting President Washington's plantation home, Mount Vernon.  

The mansion is lovely, and it was obviously springtime.  There were baby lambs in the sheepfold and spring plowing was in progress...the old-fashioned way.

After a scrumptious lunch served by a waiter in period costume, on our way home, we stopped to visit the restored mill that Washington built on Dogue Run Creek in 1771.  It produced flour and corn meal, and on the tour guides in period costume demonstrate the process with equipment like that in use during Washington's time.

Next door to the mill is the working replica of a distillery Washington built on the site in 1797. 

Eugenia and I had planned to buy George and John each a bottle of the whiskey that is produced and sold on site.  Unfortunately, however,  each year's production is sold out as soon as it is bottled (at $92 per bottle).  Sorry, Guys, but if they hadn't been sold out we would certainly have brought back a bottle for each of you!

It was a wonderful Girlfriends' Get-together; I think it should be an annual event!

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