This weather is so crazy, I don’t know what month it is. It is definitely going to be an early year for the Cherry Blossoms to bloom. Among the nearly 4,000 Yoshino cherry trees near the Tidal Basin, there is one that consistently flowers a week to ten days before the others. It is so reliable, National Park Service officials call it the “indicator tree,” and use it to predict when the rest of the trees will bloom. The 200 Okame cherry trees lining the shoreline of National Harbor are already in bloom. Read about the in the National Harbor column. Spring is on the way folks.
Lots of good stuff in this first edition of spring. If you are looking for an excuse to head to the islands this June, check out Rum Week in the Caribbean Connection. If Rum isn’t your thing, Matt Fitzsimmons went exploring the wineries of the Northern Neck in Virginia in his Grapevine column. Ingleside Vineyards is one of the wineries visited and the first winery we wrote about 36 years ago. Owner Doug Flemer has been a good friend for many years. In Exploring VA Wines, Doug Fabbioli laments on the challenges of warm weather for the farmer while winter weather might not be all gone. In Let’s Get Crafty, Tim Long asks if you are Irish – I think we all have a bit of Irish in our souls.
In From the Bay, Molly Winans explains her reluctance to burn her socks at the Annual Eastport Sock Burning – a ritual celebrating the vernal equinox. In To the Blue Ridge, Julie Reardon brings us the spring guide to hunt country steeplechase racing.
Gallery Beat author Lenny Campello explains the true value of the Trawick Prize. Lori Welch Brown coaches us on how to make it through these waning days of winter in Open Space. Take Photographs and Leave Footprints finds Scott Dicken on the road to Kathmandu with a little camping in the Himalayas. Our Road Trip took us the most southern tip of the Commonwealth as we headed to Virginia’s Northern Neck and the Inn at Tabbs Creek in Mathews County.
We found ourselves back at an old favorite in Dining Out this month …the Fish Market Restaurant in Old Town. The gentleman in the photo with me is Chris Loschack, who was our server that evening. Chris was a waiter here when I tended bar at the former Sunquest Bar when I was a mere 32 years old – that’s been a while ago. He is a great guy, good golfer and a very good waiter. Ask for Chris the next time you dine at the Fish Market – Eat Fish. Drink Beer. Live Longer.
Let’s do some celebrating spring with giving ourselves another hour of daylight on the 12th – see our feature on Daylight Savings Time in this issue – and warm up to the 17th and do some “Wearin’ O’ the Green” on the 4th and attending the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Old Town. As they say in the auld country…Erin Go Bragh!