my journey to the dc cherry blossoms
if you’ve been following me from the very beginning, you may know i went to school at the george washington university in washington, dc and every year the unofficial start to the spring season was without a doubt the annual cherry blossom festival. all over dc cherry blossoms would bloom at the end of march-early april but there was no sight like seeing all of them bloom around the tidal basin - it is truly something out of a painting! since i started my blog back in 2015, i had been able to photograph once at the blossoms but then, of course, had to move to nyc after graduation. i no longer had the easy accessibility to my favorite (and very time-sensitive) trees that i once had but i still figured that i would hop on down whenever they were to peak.
in 2016, i wasn’t able to make the trek due to work conflicts and i was definitely bitter about that. but come 2017 i was determined to make it work with my schedule. there are a couple sources that i continuously check in regards to the status and estimate of the bloom. i check this website and this instagram for updates…yes there is actually someone who goes down to the tidal basin every morning to photograph the progress haha! the prediction for the blossoms in 2017 was fairly early compared to the average but with nothing stopping me, i bought my cherry blossom dress, booked my train ticket, and headed south. unfortunately, mother nature had a different plan in mind and surprised everyone with a freak snow storm right as the buds were about to bloom. i was devastated!! i can also hear dana right now in the back of my head saying, “oh my god allie, don’t be so dramatic.” because i had already booked everything and scheduled the shoot with my photographer, i was in too deep to turn back. we did end up going down and shooting around the tidal basin just with a little more snow and a little less flowers.
once 2018 rolled around, i knew better than to book anything before i got a better reading of the predicted peak days. i was in nashville with ashley when the dates of the peak were starting to solidify and i knew i had to act fast. my plan was to immediately drop my bags off upon returning to nyc and then driving down to dc to make it just in time. but again, mother nature clearly wanted to infuriate me this time by also partnering with delta to lobby against me haha. although the weather forecast was not snow, it was heavy rains right as the peak day hit. while this wouldn’t have been as bad as the snow freezing over the little buds, the rain causes the pedals to fall very quickly…did i mention these trees were v sensitive? i was already feeling a little hesitant to make the five hour drive once i got home and when delta was offering $900 for anyone willing to give up their seat on the oversold flight, i knew it was for the best to literally take the money and run. (sidebar, i ended up making $1200 because the flight they put me on the next day also needed volunteers!)
flash forward to this year. no snow or rainstorms in sight. a solid prediction by the national park service. it was going to be a great year for the blossoms! the only problem? i had no photographer! laura was unavailable as well as (seemingly) every other photographer in dc, lydia and carter here in nyc weren’t available to come down because they just so happened to conveniently be moving the same week…thanks guys. so needless to say i began to panic. by some miracle i was able to persuade lydia to go down with me but only if we were to go late monday night to shoot the blossoms tuesday morning so she could be back to move on wednesday. #blessed. but as you may have read here, lydia missed the train and i thought all hope was lost for the fourth year in a row. lydia being the incredible trooper that she is, opted to take the 11pm bus that wouldn’t arrive until 3am. i was beyond grateful and literally could not have been more appreciative that she did that!
that next morning was painful to wake up but we did it! i finally got to actually shoot at the blossoms after four painfully long years haha!
photos by lydia hudgens