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Washington DC's cherry trees to blossom early

CherryI’m starting to think that my plans to see Washington D.C. wreathed in cherry blossoms are jinxed. For the umpteenth year, I won’t be there.

My latest scheme, with my friend Trish, is to catch an early-morning flight to Reagan National Airport. From there, it’s a quick taxi ride to the Tidal Basin, where most of the cherry trees are located, framing the city’s monuments in pink and white. We shoot dozens — maybe hundreds — of photos, have a fancy lunch, maybe take a quick stroll through the National Gallery of Art or a wing of the Smithsonian (admission is free, offsetting the cost of that lunch), then catch an early evening flight back to Miami.

But on Thursday, when the National Park Service predicted that the peak bloom date will be between March 24 and March 31 — about a week earlier than usual, give or take a few days — I realized that once again, I’d miss the cherry blossoms. Trish and I talk big, but we didn’t save a date. Spring crept up too quickly. Now, there are too many conflicts on the calendar, regardless of whether 3,000 trees flower early or late.

The blooming of the trees draws about a million tourists to Washington. This year, they’ll be treated to a five-week run of the National Cherry Blossom Festival with art exhibits, restaurant specials, a parade and many other activities — not to mention the sight of all those blossoms. If you’re one of them, snap a photo for me. Next year, I’ll be there. 

Photo: Associated Press