Monday, April 14, 2014

Tidal Basin blossoms and the mysterious Wharf

I probably post the same pictures every year, but I can't help taking more each time I visit the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin.  I went twice this year: one by myself on a morning jog, and once with Blake, Bear, Brady (Blake's brother's dog) and some of Blake's friends from work.  Both days had fantastic weather and a manageable amount of tourists, so it was enjoyable on all levels.

I made the mistake of wearing white pants when we went with the dogs. By the end of the morning they were looking not-so white.  Having dogs jump all over you and then eating lunch on a derelict cement retaining wall at The Wharf will do that to you.  Go figure.

Bear loved the people and wanted to watch the paddle boats go by.  We got stopped every few feet (per usual) by people asking what type of dog he was, if they could pet him, and (my favorite) if they could take pictures with him.  Yep. He was a hit with the young Japanese tourist crowd.  I wonder how many instagram accounts he's showing up on because of it.

We had a terrible, snowy winter this year, so I was worried that the blossoms might not come in force. But, luckily, I was wrong.  We hit it at the exact right time - the trees were practically weighted down under all the fluffy pink blooms.  It smelled like heaven...and gave me allergies enough to last through the weekend.

Because the Cherry Blossom Festival was going on, a lot of the cross-streets were closed and it was nearly impossible to drive across the Mall to the basin.  We had to get creative with our navigation and ended up parking along the SW waterfront on a street we'd never been down before.  As we were walking along, I recognized the wharf from several DC-based movies I've seen.  I'd never known where that location was until now.  I would compare it to a miniature version of Pike Place Market in Seattle.  Minus the trinket sellers and beautiful flower stalls.  But that stink of fresh seafood and open-air shrimp slinging?  Yep, that's reminiscent for sure.

For $15.95 we got two crab cake sandwiches, fries, hush puppies and a drink.  Not bad, right?  I can't believe we'd never heard of The Wharf before (maybe we're just that out of it...or not hip enough).  It'd be a great place to take out-of-towners who want an authentic eastern seafood meal.  We'll be back again for sure.

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