Maybe it was the gloomy weather, or the hordes of tourists that get thicker every season — exacerbated this year by unsightly barriers around the construction projects blocking the normal walking routes around the Jefferson Memorial — but cherry blossoms just seemed a bit lackluster this April. The sight was still lovely, but the experience this year was less than perfect.
The stress of traversing the Tidal Basin melted away, however, when we left the area and instead sat down on the grass under the cherry grove by the Washington Monument. There were blooming trees, but no teeming masses of tourists, and children frolicked about a gathering of pinwheels. The space was brighter and more open and generally more enjoyable than the Tidal Basin generally gets at that time of year, and we were both glad for the respite: