Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cherry Blossom Festival 2012

Due to weather being, well, unpredictable, the cherry trees bloomed a few weeks in advance of the festival in DC.  I know this because we have two cherry trees in our front yard, and let's just say our driveway has returned to being black.

Coming from a sarcastic suggestion from the King of Bad Ideas™, CAINE actually ended up joint-chartering a bus with Japan Club.  However, there was an extra cost to ride said bus (driver and company gotta get paid, you know...), and a select few of us said "fuck it" and drove.  Which ended up unwittingly being the better decision, as I'll delve into later.

So in the interests of saving gas and money, a friend and I carpooled up to the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro station.  The station wasn't very crowded, kind of like last year.  We got our day passes for the metro and hopped on.  Both of us noticed this extremely cute asian girl a few seats away from us.  I dunno about him, but I had a hard time not staring.

Anyway, we got to the festival and never saw her again, so I guess it doesn't matter.

First order of business, as always, was food.  We did a quick flyby of all the food places to see what was available and went to the place with takoyaki and okonomiyaki, which ended up having one of the slowest lines of any of the food places.  Then when we got to the head of the line we were told we'd have to wait 10 to 15 minutes to get takoyaki and okonomiyaki.  So we waited.  And then we ate.  Then we went a few tables over and got some taiyaki from a much faster place for dessert.

Food taken care of, up next was wandering the street to see what was available.  One of the vendors had the Perfect Grade model of Evangelion Unit 01.  We resigned to the fact that we didn't have enough money to get it, even without actually inquiring about the price since it wasn't listed, and walked around more.

Honestly, I think I just go to this thing for the food.  I don't think I've bought anything from any of the other vendors, ever.  We walked around for a few more hours, then decided to leave a bit early so we could beat the crowd on the metro.  It was about 4 PM once we were finally on the orange line headed back towards Vienna/Fairfax-GMU.

Meanwhile, the bus people had to meet up a bit before 4 PM to get on their bus to come back.

After being caught off-guard by there no longer being a Wendy's on 29 South near the I-66 interchange, we ended up going to a Burger King in Warrenton.  No big deal, it was a straight shot from 29 South, so it was easy to get back on track once we were done.

We rolled in close to 7:30 and went our separate ways.  Since my friend actually drives on a regular basis, he actually understands the concept of gas money, and I actually got some gas money.  Anyway, I went across town to my usual fill-up spot and actually got a full fill this time.  296.5 or so miles on my previous tank, which wasn't a full fill.  I love being able to drive to DC and back on one tank of gas.

Got home, took a look at TweetDeck, and discovered that the bus that the rest of the club was riding had broken down and they were trying to fix it.  Then, after a while of being stranded and apparently failing at fixing the bus, they called in a backup bus.  I still don't think they're back yet.  Hopefully, our on-scene Twitter correspondent, @rune_devros, will keep us informed of what's happening.  If I'd been in charge I would have called the backup bus in immediately, gotten people where they needed to go, and then worried about the broken bus...

So, yeah.  Glad I didn't take the bus.  I instead took a nice relaxing shower.

Edit (10:56 PM): As of 10:32 PM, they appear to have gotten to the outskirts of the city now.  Which probably means everyone's either home now or off drinking somewhere trying desperately to forget that experience.

Post-mortem edit: The whole bus thing was neat, but overall I think maybe CAINE should reconsider having to pay more per-individual to charter a bus than it would cost to pay those of us in the club who drive gas money.  Just sayin'.  I'm not trying to make a profit here, the money goes strictly to gas.  Which costs a lot.

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