I doubt that anyone has been hopping from foot to foot, impatient to see my pictures from my two recent trips to Washington, D.C. and London, but I've been wanting to post for over a week and haven't been able to find the time until now.
So, I'm still unemployed, and decided to take advantage of that fact by going to DC to visit my dad just when the cherry blossoms were supposed to be at their best. I'd heard mostly about the Tidal Basin, but he'd asked around and found a place called Kenwood that was supposed to be exquisite. I took the Monday morning bus and got to DC (delayed) in the early evening. Tuesday was miserable - pouring rain and wind - until about two o'clock, at which point it was just grey and damp. We drove out to Kenwood, which was just amazing:
The trees formed an arcade, which was lovely. Most were white blossoms, with the occasional pink:
And there was one huge, glorious weeping cherry:
It's a tiny development, but well worth visiting if you're in the area.
The next day dawned fair and clear, so we headed into DC proper. First up, the Tidal Basin, where the cherry trees were already losing their blooms, and the Jefferson Monument:
Then we met a family friend (ish) for lunch at the National Gallery, passing some amazing flowers on the way:
And then the last tour of the day at the Library of Congress (so gorgeous! highly recommended!):
And a quick stop at the Folger Shakespeare Library, including the gardens (that's A Midsummer Night's Dream, obviously):
I left DC Thursday morning and on Friday afternoon was on my way to the airport to catch a flight to London (!!!), which I hadn't seen since the summer of 2003. kate_lear very generously offered up her place, so I didn't have to budget for lodgings, which meant I could stay a little longer.
I landed bright and early Saturday morning, realizing belatedly that I had no idea what Kate looked like (for the record, Drew Barrymore face and Elizabeth Siddal hair) and was totally not reassured by the fact that a girl dressed in tan trousers and a black jacket just like Kate said she'd be looked at me and then kept walking. (To be fair, I looked distinctly unappealing and was hauling around an enormous suitcase.) But Kate came through and took me back to the flat she shares with a lovely girl we'll call J, and the London adventure was underway.
We wandered a bit that evening before going to see Eight Women, which was a lot of fun. And Sunday we went back into the city and stopped at a book fair just outside the National Theatre (I picked up a well-bound edition of Swinburne for 3.50).
Sherlock watchers - does this look familiar to you?
We went inside the NT so I could figure out where to go if I decided to queue for day tickets (spoiler alert - I totally did) and got to chatting with two girls at the information desk, who turned out (surprise, surprise!) to be big fans of Benedict Cumberbatch's. Apparently he's a big hit with all the staff, mingling with them at various events, and though I cannot verify this for myself, very focused on whoever he's talking to at the moment, not letting his very direct gaze shift elsewhere to look for someone more "important" to talk to.
Monday morning, Kate went off to work and I took myself out for a whirlwind day in the city. The National Gallery first, then a lunchtime concert at St. Martin in the Fields:
Then a very yummy sandwich from the cafe in the basement of the church (Café in the Crypt) and I waited outside the National Portrait Gallery for mariemjs, who I got to meet later in the week, and snapped a picture of the flowers outside:
They were almost as exuberant as I was.