Adventure U.S. Washington DC

Peak Azalea Season: National Arboretum

Revel in the peak azalea season in April at the 446-acre U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. Nature paints its woodland canvas with bright and bold swipes of red, orange, purple, pink, and speckled white blooms.  I always catch my breath when I see the azaleas bloom in mass at the Arboretum. A riot of color, azaleas burst like fireworks during spring in Washington, DC. Dog Friendly Dog owners can rejoice as leashed dogs are permitted at the U.S. National…

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Adventure U.S.

Amish Quilt Exhibition: Smithsonian American Art Museum

Pattern & Paradox: The Quilts of Amish Women exhibition at the Smithsonian will wrap you in wonder like a homespun coverlet to see how Amish women created quilts over a century ago. This extraordinary exhibition of 50 historic Amish quilts is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) in Washington, D.C., until August 26. The museum said, “It reveals historical quilting among the Amish as an aesthetic endeavor that walked a line between cultural and individual expression.” Admission is free. (Check…

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Adventure U.S.

Corolla Wild Horses: What to Expect on a Tour

If you want to see the wild horses of Corolla, North Carolina, you should book a tour with a local guide because the northernmost beaches are accessible only with a 4×4 off-road vehicle.  Corolla’s wild horses are majestic. They are believed to be descendants of Spanish Mustangs brought over by ship by the conquistadors in the 15th century. “For centuries, wild Banker horses outnumbered humans on the Outer Banks. The original stock was brought to the New World by the Spanish…

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Washington DC

RIP Stumpy: America’s Favorite Yoshino Cherry Tree

RIP Stumpy! How do you say goodbye to a friend that is always waiting for you to visit in any season at any time? In March 2024, Washingtonians learned that the National Park Service (NPS) would remove their beloved “Stumpy,” a frail Yoshino cherry tree with a hollowed-out trunk located on the Tidal Basin. Most of us even think of the tree as a “him.” To the world, Stumpy shows a stout stump but it is gutted. Its roots burrow…

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Washington DC

Pink Blooming Saucer Magnolia Trees in DC

Rooftop Garden to visit at Smithsonian

Each spring before the cherry blossoms peak, Washingtonians race to see the giant cup-shaped pink blooming saucer magnolia trees at the Smithsonian. There are two rows of pink blooming saucer magnolia trees (also known as tulip magnolia trees) that line the main brick walkway around the manicured gardens at the Paterre at the Enid A. Haupt (EP) Garden. When in full bloom, the saucer magnolia trees provide a pink canopy above your head. Dart down before you walk into a…

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Activities U.S. Walking Washington DC

DC Cherry Blossoms: “Spring It On!”

DC cherry blossoms fever hits me each year during the last cold weeks of March in Washington DC. Paint my city pink! Frail white Yoshino petals rain down in flower showers on the bumpy path along the Tidal Basin in Washington DC. Gnarled branches trap you in a tree’s embrace or trip you on the path. Dive into puffy floral clouds. “Spring it on!” The DC cherry blossoms are legendary. This year peak cherry blossoms are projected to occur in…

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Animals Reflections Washington DC

National Arboretum: Exploring Mount Hamilton in Winter

Sometimes I go into the woods at the U.S. National Arboretum just to breathe deeply. Feeling close to the mossy rocks, vine-draped trees, and skittering squirrels helps me to meditate as well as my Calm app. What is it that causes our mind and body to react so strongly as to look at a tree? Flower? Fallen leaf? “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” William Shakespeare National Arboretum Hiking I like to hike at the U.S. National…

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Washington DC

Visiting Frederick Douglass’ Cedar Hill Estate in Washington D.C.

When I visited Cedar Hill estate, the last home where Frederick Douglass lived for 17 years, I thought I saw his ghost. I had just finished the National Park Service’s docent tour of the home in Anacostia. My brain had a few cobwebs as my thoughts darted back to 1877 when Frederick and his wife Anna moved into their new home. Sitting on a hill at what is one of the highest points in Washington DC, this home overlooks the…

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