Chasing Cherry Blossoms

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My birthday is in spring. And for this year I wanted to celebrate it by seeing the cherry blossoms in Washington DC. So we booked a trip to the nation’s capital a couple of months ago, and pick the most likely date that the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom.

However, nobody can accurately predict the exact dates they will bloom. Only mother nature does. We can only hope that we picked a date of our trip that will be close enough to that peak blossom period (defined as 70% of the cherry blossoms are open) which lasts only for 5-10 days at the most. Due to the nature of my work, I can only plan my time off 2 months in advance, unless it is an emergency.

For the past month or so, I have been obsessed in checking the weather trends and the latest forecast of when the peak bloom would be. As our trip gets nearer and nearer, and as the prediction of the dates of the full bloom came out which was only a couple of weeks before they bloom, it became clearer and clearer that we will miss the peak bloom period. For this year, the cherry blossoms peaked 10 days early (March 21) than the average date in the past 30 years (March 31).

But we did not cancel our trip. We went anyway. Sure enough the cherry blossoms were way past their prime when we got there. Though I would say they were still beautiful.

Here are some photos from Washington DC.

In addition, it rained most of the time we were in Washington DC.

Good thing we also planned to visit New Jersey and New York City on that same trip to visit some friends (NYC to DC is less than 4 hours drive). Their cherry blossoms will be close to their full bloom at the time of our visit.

The problem was, it also rained during the time of our trip to New York and New Jersey. Yet we braved the rain and the cold. We just took shelter when the rain was really pouring, and continued our walk when it was just a drizzle.

Here are some photos from Branch Brook Park in New Jersey.

Photos below are from Central Park in New York City.

Overall, we did not see the cherry blossoms in their majestic prime. But we are happy. It also “rained on our parade” literally. But instead of chasing away the rain, we embraced it. For that is life. Even though how much preparation and planning we do, it may still not go our way, or can have “rain on our parade.” So might as well make the best of whatever circumstances you are in.

And that’s what we did. We even had fun while playing in the rain.

From chasing cherry blossoms,


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