Cherry Blossoms

by Grant, a Patriot Blogger

Welcome to spring! Bring out the florescent button downs, khakis and boat shoes.  Spring is my favorite season and this year was the first year where I made it a priority to go out to the Cherry Blossoms.  This was extra special because it was the 100th year of the cherry blossom trees.  So to give you a little history lesson, the Cherry Blossom trees, no they don’t produce cherries, were given to the city of Washington by the Mayor of Tokyo in 1912.  3,000 trees were in the original bunch and now only 30 of the original group remain but they try to keep it around 3,000 trees total.  Another interesting point about this year is the fact that they bloomed a week earlier than usual and this is chalked up to our mild winter.  So first thing I did was get out of my room and go to the bus stop.

So as you can see there is construction going on right outside my room.  This has its positives and negatives.  Some negatives include, difficulty getting to class and jackhammering at 9 am.  There are some positives though.  Mason is all about construction, at one point Mason had the most money from the state to expand as a university.  One of my friends said the day Mason stops construction is the day that he stops believing in Mason.  As a university we are constantly striving to develop and grow, and that means construction, and lots of it.  Alumni sometimes don’t even recognize what the campus looks like.  To me, this is super positive.  I don’t want a stagnant place where things stay the same because that is how they have always been.  Construction is just the symbol in my mind of the advancement of the university as a whole.  But yes, it does get annoying sometimes.  So a took a shuttle FOR FREE to the metro.  It takes around 30 minutes to get there.

So I go to the stop and rub my wallet against the scanner.  Now to the untrained eye this seems really ridiculous but to me it means I have my smart trip metro card.  Of course you could buy a ticket or a day pass but I have found it easier to buy this card and reload it with cash whenever I need it.  Also, it makes me feel super cool and less like a tourist.  So I went down the escalator and people started running at the bottom and you come to realize that running means that they heard the little ding dong of the metro doors are about to close.  So, I booked it and got on the train.  During my ride, I talked to some other Mason students that I had met over the summer.  It was cool to see them heading into the city.  The cherry blossom festival brings in more people then almost any other event in DC and the metro was packed.  Although last year when I went to the rally to restore sanity it was much worse, so I counted my blessings.  I got off of the metro and headed up to the mall.

I sat under a tree and read my Time magazine and marveled at the fact that I can come to one of the best cities in the world whenever I want.  Later, I got a text to meet my girlfriend where she parked and I noticed two things as I was walking up the mall:

1. Ultimate players on the mall.  How I wish I could be playing sports on the mall.  I just think it is neat because they call the mall our national back yard and I wish I could treat it as such sometimes.

2. That there is still a tourist in me that wants to take pictures of the capitol just because it is so cool.  Also, something this picture doesn’t show, is that there is construction on the mall.  They are trying to renovate and do some upkeep.  So Mason isn’t alone.

After grabbing her and beginning to walk around I took a ton of pictures of cherry blossoms.

Ok sorry those last ones are the first pictures from earlier but just move past that because I can’t figure out how to make them go away so just look at the pretty ones.  There were a ton of people there so it was hard to get pictures without others in it.  However, some of them turned out pretty ok.

Later that day, my girlfriend left and my coworkers came.  We had a scavenger hunt in DC so here are a few pictures from that.

So one of our tasks was to find Mason students, and luckily enough we ran into a few at the Blossoms.

Another thing we had to do was take pictures with people in Washington area team shirts.  This dude agreed to do the picture even when on his phone.

We had to join in with a street performer and so we found a violinist just chilling and played with him.  Some of us are playing full violins and others are playing the world’s smallest.

So this one has a funny story.  We thought that we were supposed to take a picture with people enjoying their refreshments, but actually we didn’t have to do that.  However, we made these ladies very happy and now they are famous.

So if you don’t know, there are two Mason statues in the world, well at least two that I know of.  One is in the center of campus beside the JC.  The other is just chilling by the Jefferson Memorial.  So we took a picture trying to imitate his swag style.

After all this was said and done, I had a major sunburn and my feet felt like they were about to fall off but it was a ton of fun.  We went out to eat and had a really good burger in the middle of the city and then we headed home.  So DC trip was a major success and it was easy to do.

Some other notes: I might be able to get two bachelors degrees at Mason by the time I graduate, I am super excited.  Unfortunately I can’t go to national convention this summer for Phi Mu Alpha because of work but that’s ok.  I love my job and Fraternity events will happen again in the future.  Also, life is going by fast and I can’t believe Easter is coming up in two weeks.  Hopefully I can make it down to my grandparents like I do every year for that.  Although the semester is not even close to done, I feel like I am losing steam, so hopefully I can keep it up down the stretch until summer.  I have heard a lot about people getting into college and I hope that yall have gotten in where you wanted and that I will have the pleasure of seeing you this Summer at Orientation.

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