Last weekend we were at Washington DC and thoroughly enjoyed the Cherry Blossom Festival on Sunday. We parked at the Haines Point Parking place and I was pleasantly surprised at the free shuttle which took us along the Potomac river to Jefferson Memorial offering a great view of the cherry blossom trees along the way. The drivers , both ways, were courteous and polite with that "public servant" imposing sort of presence just in case the huge numbers of tourists got out of control!
There were thousands of visitors and kids were having a great time running around. A Japanese couple asked us to help with pictures and I was reminded of the Cherry Blossoms which came in as a gift from the Japanese in 1912 as 3000 trees and have now multiplied all around.
Little did I realize last Sunday that the Cherry Blossom Festival might be shut down this weekend over the Government Shutdown. There is an announcement to this effect on the Cherry Blossom Festival Website.
It turns out that the free shuttle is operated by a contractor Tourmobile Sightseeing and it seems if there are no shuttles to run the contractor will lose revenue and the good drivers, their income. The Government Shutdown effects suddenly feel real.
Update Saturday, April 9,2011: Thankfully the Government Shutdowm is averted !