It’s that time of year folks. Winter is (technically) over, the air isn’t quite as frosty, and the sun stays in the sky just long enough that you can enjoy it setting directly in front of your face for the long drive home. And Cherry Blossoms. Yes. You read that right. Cherry Blossoms. FLOWERS!!! Alive things! Things that are blooming outside, as if life has started to return to the nation's capital!
Yes, as of March 20, the Cherry Blossom season is underway. Until approximately April 12, it’s a great opportunity to get down to the Tidal Basin in Washington DC and check out a beautiful, yet significant piece of DC history. Selfie cameras on your smartphones are better than ever, so you have no legitimate excuse this year to miss these things!
Having said that, I want all of you to bear in mind a few things that are important to remember while you stumble your way around DC. The following are just things that I notice fighting my way in and out of DC every day, and I hope I’m able to spread my experience to you, you sexy tourists. And trust me, some of y’all look great.
If you plan to train in:
Understand that if you are coming from Maryland or Virginia, AMTRAK is by no means your only rail option. There are commuter rails that are FAR less expensive, and will get you to the same destination. They’re just slower and stop a lot more. But otherwise, it’s an identical level of shear discomfort.
If you plan to drive in:
What is actually wrong with you?! I’m just kidding. For some folks, it’s probably the only option. But if you’ve never driven in DC before, I can’t stress how important it is that you don’t, well, stress. The layout of the roads are a complete disaster. Pierre L’Enfant, the man who basically created the streets of DC, should have had his head checked before being dared to plan a damn city. Most certainly, have a GPS and a printed backup map, or you can literally drive around in circles. Also, prepare to pay on average around $20 to park your car. Not quite New York prices, but it certainly adds up. Oh, and if you decide to drive in or drive home during rush hour, may God have mercy on your soul.
If you plan to walk in:
DC is a great walking city, and I encourage all to do so. But please do not be that asshole who crosses the street on a don’t walk sign while texting or tweeting or whatever the hell it is you’re doing on that smartphone of yours. You seriously can wait until you get to the other side of the street instead of causing your fellow drivers to have severe road rage. Plus, we drivers don’t want to kill you accidentally. Don’t be a fool.
If you plan to Metro in:
Realize that even though you are on vacation, your fellow humans may not be. Know that there are unwritten laws of navigating the DC Metro. For example, it’s just silly to block fare gates while you try to figure out how to place the “smartrip” card over the sensor that reads “smartrip.” Take a step back and let the experienced riders go by while you figure that much out. Same goes for escalators. If you stop at the top or the base of the escalator to look around, you are a terrible, horrible, evil person. And for the love of God, do not let your kids play near the edge of the subway platform. They can fall. That almost makes you as evil as that guy who is blocking the damn escalator.
And last but not least, if you plan to cab in:
Cool. Have fun. Hope you get the Cash Cab.