New traditions!


Emily and the Texas Bluebonnets at 1 month old

In Texas, there’s a tradition of taking your child’s picture every spring nestled among the bluebonnets, a wildflower the pops up everywhere in feilds and beside highways.  I figure for the time we are in the Washington D.C. Metro area, we will take Emily’s picture with the Cherry Blossoms.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival begins this weekend in Washington D.C.  They have a ton of family friendly events, check ’em out! For my beloved Texans reading this, you can experience some of it by this Cherry Blossom webcam!

This weekend in D.C. we will be attending the Smithsonian Kite Festival on the National Mall!  We’ll be flying kites by the Washington Monument and Capital Building surrounded by blooming cherry blossoms. 

 As I’m embracing new traditions and enjoying this experience in our nation’s capital…I can’t help but get sentimental for that hot Texas spring.  If I were still in Houston, this weekend I would be at the Round Top Antique Festival next week, having pie from Royer’s Round Top Cafe, topped with the best ice cream ever… Blue BellThat is SO Texas.

In case you’re wondering, here’s a little blurb about the history of Cherry Blossoms in Washington D.C.:

The National Cherry Blossom Festival annually commemorates the 1912 gift to the city of Washington of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan and celebrate the continued close relationship between our two peoples.

In a simple ceremony on March 27, 1912, First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first two of these trees on the north bank of the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park. By 1915 the United States government had responded with a gift of flowering dogwood trees to the people of Japan. In 1927, a group of American school children reenacted the initial planting; the first festival was held in 1935, sponsored by civic groups in the nation’s capital.

Three thousand, eight hundred more trees were accepted in 1965 by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson. In 1981 the cycle of giving came full circle. Japanese horticulturalists came to take cuttings from our trees to replace Yoshino cherry trees in Japan which had been destroyed in a flood. With this return gift, the trees again fulfilled their roles as a symbol and agent of friendship. The most recent event in this cycle occurred in the fall of 1999. It involved the formal planting in the Tidal Basin of a new generation of cuttings from a famous Japanese cherry tree in Gifu province reputed to be over 1500 years old.

In 1994 the Festival was expanded to two weeks to accommodate the many activities that happen during the trees blooming. Today the National Cherry Blossom Festival is coordinated by the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc., an umbrella organization consisting of representatives of business, civic and governmental organizations. Over a million people visit Washington each year to admire the blossoming cherry trees and participate in the Festival that heralds the beginning of spring in the nation’s capital.