To The Spring Festival

Just when I thought it has been so long since Mr.Bee and I went to any place worth visiting, my pottery classes came to an end.

Spring Break, that is.

During the spring break, there is a student and studio artist exhibition which lets us students and artists put up their stuff for display.

I had been wanting to put one of my latest pieces in the exhibition, sadly, it couldn’t be completed by the due date.

🙁

Anyway…

With the spring break giving us time to schedule any visits to places,we decided a trip to Washington, during the Spring Festival would be a good idea.

During the early 1900s the Japanese government sent U.S, the Cherry Blossom plants as a symbol of friendship. Since then , the Cherry Blossoms which flower only during the spring, have been attracting people from all over the U.S.

Day 1:

It is a beautiful sight, looking at hundreds of cherry blossoms(also called as Sakura in Japanese)

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White Sakura trees near the Tidal Basin

More pics of the famous trees…

Sakura flowers

The Cherry Blossom trees attract lots of tourists.

Washington is a beautiful city, being the capital of U.S and having the most important Government buildings there, makes it highly populated area and especially during the Spring festival in first two weeks of spring. (generally in second week of April.)

With four of us going to Washington(Mr.Bee’s colleague and his wife), we had to wait 2 hours in the car, hoping and praying for the traffic to move. (Sadly, our companions were so calm during the journey, I felt depressed!).Never had a journey been so dull for Mr.Bee and me.

Washington Memorial

The Washington Memorial – with a Cherry Blossom tree in the side.

As soon as we entered Washington, we saw the Washington memorial, Pentagon building, Lincoln memorial on the way to the hotel.

Since our main aim was to enjoy the Spring Festival, we spent most of our time in the evening, wandering around the Cherry Blossom trees and sitting in their shade(and ya, taking some cool pics…)

Mr.Bee and Me under Sakura

Our pic under the trees…

After we spent enough time under the trees, we walked around the Washington Memorial and Lincoln Memorial. We were already very tired from the 6.5 hour drive from Charlotte to Washington and with the weather suddenly turning cold, we decided to call it a day and turn in.

We returned to the hotel,hoping to have an Indian dinner. Sadly, by the time we returned to our room it was already 8:00 and the Indian restaurant was closed because it was Easter. So we ended up having our dinner at the hotel itself. (As usual very little choice for vegetarians. I ate hummus and bread and a soup with pumpkin seeds which was yummmyyy!)

We slept like logs, what with all the travel and all the walking.

Day 2:

We woke at 7, the next morning, had a quick breakfast of toasted bagel. (I also had a green tea chai latte and Mr.Bee had his mocha. Let me add, if you are not an absolute fan of green tea, don’t try the green tea latte, because, I know it will be depressing!)

Not wanting to waste any time, all the four of us walked towards the Lincoln Memorial.

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Once we climb the steps leading to the memorial,we get to see the Lincoln statue which was brought to life in the popular movie of Ben stiller, The Night At the Museum, remember?

Lincoln - Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln – Lincoln Memorial

Standing in front of the Lincoln statue I felt really happy as if I was part of a movie!

😛

Sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, I took the pictures of the Washington memorial.

Washington Memorial from the Lincoln Memorial

Washington Memorial from the Lincoln Memorial

I found loads of ducks in the lake.

The Ducks in the lake

                                                         The Ducks in the lake

Later in the afternoon, we went to an Indian restaurant and we,I and Mr.Bee were not satisfied by the behaviour of the hostess at the restaurant. When we asked her to replenish the rice, she almost shouted on us and I was not least bit happy about it. (She may be having her issues, but being rude to a customer is bad)

After the lunch debacle , we then went to the Library of Congress. If you have watched the movie National Treasure starring Nicolas Cage, you may know what it looks like.

We also saw the White House building(since it was Easter, there was an Easter party going on in the White House), Capital Building,Court of Justice. Access to the said buildings is prohibited , so we took some pics, with them in the background and returned.

Library of Congress

Library of Congress – Picture taken to show the statues in the front

Library of Congress

Library of Congress – Full frontal image

We returned to our hotel rooms to take a breather and go out again for our dinner.( Again we couldn’t go to the Indian restaurant for dinner because we had to reserve a table for 4 which was unavailable.) Finally we had a Mexican dinner.(Phew… )

Day 3:

We started our next day rather late because Mr.Bee had to work even on our trip!

As soon as we were ready, all the four of us started out to Luray Caverns , on the suggestion of our travel mates.

We stopped at Dunkin Donuts to have our much deserved breakfast. As usual we had a toasted bagel and I ate hash browns(which were the size of half a lemon), while Mr.Bee also had a mocha, he was trying not to be too sleepy. We had to drive back home,didn’t we? (Mr.Bee’s colleague was a slow driver and wasn’t overtly enthusiastic about driving. So,Mr.Bee drove a lot, while his friend hardly drove for two hours.)

The drive to Luray Caverns was beautiful. Driving through a hill town in U.S. is my personal favourite travel option. (We also drove to Boone near Charlotte and that was the most beautiful scenic road I have ever seen.)

Road towards the Luray Caverns

Road towards the Luray Caverns

Doesn’t the pic look like it has been beautifully done by a painter?

Anyway, we reached the Luray Caverns on Sunday morning. (For more pics of Luray Caverns , click the link)

The rock formations of Stalactites(a pointy formation near the ceiling) and Stalagmites(a pointy formation on the floor) is the most prominent feature of these caves.(I , being a geology enthusiast found the caves most beautiful and interesting. But I let Mr.Bee take pics in the caves!)

😛

Stalactites

Stalactite formations on the ceiling – You can see water(with some minerals) had accumulated on the floor

In the above pic, the rock formations reflect in the water below and look very beautiful.

Draperies

Rock formations which look like Draperies (or curtains)

Each formation has been named depending on how it looks.

The most interesting of all was the ‘fried egg’ formation.

Fried egg rock formation

The Fried egg rock formation

Looking at the fried egg formation, Mr.Bee humoured a kid if he wanted to eat the fried egg! (The kid obviously rejected a fried egg, but demanded his father for some bacon! I hope the father doesn’t blame us for that!)

Like at every tourist spot in U.S, there was a gift shop at the Luray Caverns. I , for one was attracted to the gift shop like a piece of iron is, towards a magnet! 😉

We started towards Charlotte, right after coming out of the gift shop , stopping for some lunch at McDonalds and later for petrol.

A half and half tree at the Petrol Station

A half and half tree at the Petrol Station

I found this tree interesting near the petrol station and clicked away with the camera.

We then continued our journey towards Charlotte and once we were in the state of North Carolina, it had started to rain!

Finally, we reached Charlotte and ended our day with a bunch of Clementines and a snack of puffed rice as dinner!

P.S:

  1. I just gave a brief description to all the places I have been to, but if you have any questions, off you go.
  2. Since it was spring, I thought the climate would be as pleasant as it is in Charlotte. But each state is its own! The spring clothing was not enough to protect me from the cold breezes in Washington.
  3. Sometimes, having good travel partners is not enough. They should also have similar temperaments!
  4. All the pics other than those in the cave were taken by me. The rest are done by Mr.Bee.