Living near Washington DC has it’s perks. When the cherry blossoms and other blooming plant life comes around after a long cold winter, I can easily drive down there for a walk through the Moongate Garden. Unlike some who have to plan their vacation to see the cherry blossoms and hope they bloom on time, it’s only an hour and ten minute drive for me.
Of all the amazing things to see in DC the Moongate Garden is my favorite place to go, especially when the liriodendron and weeping cherry trees are in bloom. Not many people know about this magical place that takes you for a trip to ancient China where the namesake, The Temple of Heaven, was built during the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644) in Bejing. Walking through the carved and polished rose quartz portal feels like walking through an ancient astronaut stargate. Instead of appearing somewhere else in space and time, visitors walking through this gate will end up in a water feature with a great view of the Smithsonian Castle.
Nearby are splendid gardens with spring flowers in abundance and not too many people around, except on weekends. While thousands of cherry blossom visitors walk in a cult-like precession by the Tidal Basin cherry trees, visitors to the Moongate Garden can have moments of peace and quiet in a place unlike any other in the U.S.
After my garden visit I walked back to my lucky- $4.00 parking spot, that was mine for two hours and continued on to Jaleo for a Spanish tapas lunch. If you like Spanish food and tapas in particular, this is a must for any foodie visiting DC. I decided on a vegetarian lunch and loved the warm brussel sprout salad, and also the cauliflower with dates and olives. Not bad for of a half day of working in the field!
Driving out of the 7th and Pennsylvania intersection where I had scored my parking spot I whipped a DC style u-turn and headed for the Tidal Basin to see if the cherry trees were in “peak bloom” yet. They looked a day or two short of peak so I’ll pack up the wife and I for a trip this weekend to mingle with all of humanity in-and-around the famous blossoms for a couple of hours on Saturday.
Stand by for photos of that excursion and the “blossom report as well. And for my friends in Denver that just got two feet of snow, I hope you all dig out soon.