Sightseers tour DC’s Tidal Basin as cherry blossoms reach stage 5

WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Christine Senter of Virginia said she gets excited about the cherry blossoms when they bloom in the nation’s capital each year.

This year, Senter came down to the Tidal Basin area to walk the trees with puffy white blossoms just days before they hit full bloom.

“It just makes me happy,” Senter said. “I love it. They’re so beautiful. And we’ve walked the entire Tidal Basin.”

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Scores of people crowded the Tidal Basin Friday, taking pictures with cell phones and high-powered cameras and strolling through the trees to enjoy the moment.

Senter said she’s seen the cherry blossoms in Japan — where they bloom in January — and while she loves them, D.C.’s make her smile even more.

“I’m so excited that we came today because the weather’s perfect. There’s not a lot of crowds. There are some that are blooming. They haven’t all bloomed. So there’s still that potential,” she said.

Cherry blossom lovers had to get some glimpse of the quiet before the storm with larger crowds expected in the coming days when the trees reach peak bloom.

Raven Joyner of D.C. planted herself below the trees on a blanket with her beloved dog to relax and enjoy the day.

“I didn’t think I was going to be able to see anything at first because I knew it was in the early stages,” she said. “We got just enough of the cherry blossoms and if you can get under the right tree where they’re a little more blossomed, you can get a nice picture.”

And that’s what so many did, using their cameras at many angles to get the best shot.

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Peter Makokha said he wanted to get a sneak peak at the blossoms before full bloom.

“We usually come during the peak,” he said. “This time we come a little early. It’s actually nice to see weather change so soon.”

Senter, who once lived in Japan, said there’s nothing like the blossoms in the District.

“It’s just lovely to have these cherry blossoms here. I mean, this is the reason I came to D.C.,” she said.

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