Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend: Half-Smokes, Hikes and Cake

We had a wonderfully busy Memorial Day weekend, full of things I shouldn't have eaten and don't regret at all! We spent the long weekend in the DC area visiting family and revisiting landmarks of Sean's youth, starting with B&J Carry-Out, a classic Accokeek, Md. greasy spoon. After much debate (the BBQ sandwiches come highly recommended), I was intrigued by the "half-smoke," which the Internet tells me is a D.C.-area delicacy.

A half-smoke is, according to the all-knowing Wikipedia, "Similar to a hot dog, but usually larger, spicier, and with more coarsely-ground meat, the sausage is often half-pork and half-beef, smoked, and served with herbs, onion, and chili sauce." It was a somewhat spicier hot dog, split down the middle, served with mustard on the most perfectly grilled bun and it was DELICIOUS. Next time, I'll go all-in and get chili.

From there, we went to Piscataway Park, a national park situated directly across the Potomac River from Mt. Vernon. My sweet husband spent his childhood in the woodsy neighborhood right there and it was fun to hike around and explore.

After our mini hike, we met up with Katie for a visit to the grounds of their childhood home...I had driven by in the past, but had never gotten an up close look. It's cool to be able to picture everything when they tell their stories now.

On our way home, Sean and I decided to do a quick visit to check out the National Harbor, a kind of grown-up Disneyland resort area. It's sort of disconcerting because it's so well-planned it doesn't seem real, but we definitely would love to go back for a day of paddleboating, dinner and maybe a ride on the Ferris Wheel.

I could you not want to paddleboat a giant swan? You can even get there by taking a water taxi from the Alexandria waterfront. Let's do it!

My sister-in-law is moving soon and my mother-in-law just celebrated a birthday, so I called ahead and ordered two cakes from Alexandria Pastry: a black-and-white mousse cake and a lemon mousse with raspberry filling cake.

They were scrumptious and incredibly moist. The folks at Alexandria Pastry were also incredibly easy to work with and now I'm hoping to go back for breakfast or lunch. They've got a customer for life!

On Sunday, we headed out to have brunch and to test-drive some Warby Parker sunglasses for Sean. I think the Thatcher style is a winner!

Our brunchmates were Katie, our friend Lindsey and her cuties!

Who isn't mesmerized by Sean's beard? I mean really.

Funny story: a few months ago, I dreamed we were in Paris and I bought waffleburgers from a street vendor. When I woke up and remembered the dream, I thought I might be on to something. So imagine my delight to see they serve waffleburgers at FireFlies in Del Ray! Sean ordered it and let me have a bite and let's just say, it's worth dreaming about.

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