South by Southeast late 2018 - early 2019 travel blog














It's difficult to predict when the cherry blossoms will be at their peak. We understand that we got here about a week late, and when we arrived cherry blossom celebratory activities were going great guns. The party lasts about three weeks; cherry blossoms are a great excuse to celebrate. The Cherry Blossom parade closed down Constitution Avenue from about 700 to 1600 and there were viewing stands at both ends. We could have found spots to sit on the curb along the parade route, but were glad we bought tickets for the stands, because these were the spots where the dancers danced and the singers sang. A local radio station narrated the event and when they announced the high school bands, proud parents sitting around us whopped and hollered. Some of the student bands were enormous. For my taste the participants were a bit heavy on the military and a bit light on the cherry blossoms, but that's just me. A number of the floats held class B celebrities who had made their mark on American Idol or The Voice. Because all this cherry business started as a gesture of friendship from the nation of Japan, tori gates and kimonos were in the mix as well.

We tried to go to the Japanese-Americian friendship street fair after the parade, but it was so well attended we could barely move. Around the perimeter of the closed-in area we could hear Japanese music and drumming, smell all manner of food, and see opportunities for mostly Japanese retail acquisition. If I could have gotten closer I might have bought a bonsai tree for the motor home. But when it felt like the crowd was carrying me rather than my feet, it was time to leave.

As we reflect on our stay here, we have to say that we have been very impressed by the people we have encountered, be they fellow tourists or locals in the tourism industry. Everyone we encountered tried to help us make the most of our time and when the traffic got thick or we bumped into one another, everyone apologized or said "excuse me." No road rage here. Perhaps this does not reflect the culture of Washington at the top end, but it certainly has us feeling glad that we returned to our capital city. We could easily stay longer; there still remains lots to see and do, but we'll save that for next time.

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