Bluebell Festival

Apparently Virginia is famous for its bluebells, a wildflower that blooms in the middle of Spring, especially near the Potomac. A former coworker of Matt’s indicated her interest in the Bluebells at the Bend Festival and we decided to see what it was all about when my parents were in town the weekend before last.


The festival is put on by the Fairfax County Parks AssociationĀ and held at Riverbend Park just down the street from Great Falls. The cost was only $5 for each person, with some small feeĀ for older kids. There were lots of activities for little kids – magnet fishing, face painting, and nature walks, to name a few. A couple vendors sold food, drinks, crafts, and advertised for themselves.

We all enjoyed walking around the vendors and enjoying the activities, but Lizzie really enjoyed the walk along the path

…and picking up sticks

…and throwing dirt into the river.

The bluebells were everywhere but we also saw some other types of wildflowers and trees and plants, even a few birds.

Cherry Blossoms

The first influx of tourists each year in the DC area is for the cherry blossoms, sometime in March or April. The first trees were given to the US as a gift by the Japanese government but many others have been placed to join them; there’s now close to 3,000 along the tidal basin.

We’ve learned to avoid the festival itself – it’s a total zoo – but always try to get by to see the blossoms on a weekday near the peak time period. This year, we made it there on a random Wednesday night, one which was a bit too cool and rather breezy but was still breathtakingly beautiful. We got off the Metro at Smithsonian and walked to the Washington Monument then along the water towards the Jefferson and Lincoln.

The trees were every so slightly past their peak, but still beautiful.

Lizzie enjoyed it, even though it was quite late by the time we finally left DC to get dinner. Then, you know, her dad kept doing this to her.

I made Matt take a selfie, he even managed not to look totally annoyed.

I’m so happy we live close enough that this sort of thing is no big deal, even on a weeknight.