Before Pearl Harbor, Japan was pretty nice to us!

Last Friday, my friend Amanda and I headed down to the Tidal Basin to catch a glimpse of the cherry blossoms. The National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place every March or April to coincide with the annual blooming of these white and pink blossoms. This "rite of spring" in our nation's capital attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Indeed, the walking paths along the Tidal Basin were crammed with strollers and digital cameras on Friday.

Back in 1912, the country of Japan presented over three-thousand cherry trees to the United States as a token of friendship. A few of the original trees were planted together by First Lady Mrs. William Howard Taft and Viscountess Chinda of Japan. Thousands of trees were planted along the Tidal Basin, which is a body of water that flows by the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. Since their christening in 1912, millions of visitors have flocked to DC every spring to see the billions of blossoms.

As a native of the DC area, my family would often head to the Tidal Basin to walk around the cherry trees when they were in full bloom; but since I've been in Utah for the past five springs, I have missed the festival for far too long. (They're so pretty, eh?)

Sadly, a thunderstorm last night knocked a lot of petals to the ground. I talked to a guy who was down by the cherry trees during the storm and he said it looked like it snowing because they were so many little white petals fluttering about. Oh well. At least I got to see them before they were prematurely destroyed!