Tag Archives: trees

The National Arboretum

So… I’m finally getting around to writing about our picnic in the Arboretum!

It was basically an amazing trip. Neither of us had been there before, nor did we have any idea what to expect. The first thing to strike us was the sheer size of it. It is an enormous place, especially when you go there directly from within the city-est part of the District. I honestly felt like I was entering Jurassic Park or one of the filming locations from Lord of the Rings. The first thing you can see when you get past the welcome part with the maps and information and stuff are the columns from the Capitol Building (pre-(I think)1957), before it was expanded.

We walked toward those, and I knew I was interested in the flowering trees, just based on the time of year, so we meandered in that general direction and quickly ran into a woman walking her dog, who advised us that she had been there recently. She said she expected that the pink magnolias were in full bloom and that that would be a lovely place to picnic. (She must have noticed the baguette conspicuously hanging out of our bag.) She told us how to get there, and we took a short cut/scenic route through “Fern Valley.”

So we walked around to find the very best spot to sprawl, and then we did just that. We stretched out, read a little, ate a little, and it was completely perfect. I was totally awestruck the entire time, that we had found exactly the right thing to do on exactly the right day – and I was equally amazed that we had never done it before!

After lunch and and being lazy in the sun, we decided to explore a bit more. We went to the bonsai museum on the Arboretum grounds where they had incredibly, unbelievably old bonsais. There was one from the 1700s!

I definitely want to go back and find the actual very specific space that was once occupied by my grandmother’s home and my great-grandfather’s business.

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