Paddling Through the Heat Wave

Why should kids be the only ones who get to go on play dates? This afternoon, I went on a hot grown-up play date with my friend, fellow froggie and partial namesake Laure in Georgetown. And I mean hot in a very litteral sense… we’re in the middle of a record setting heat wave here, it went up to a sweltering 106 degrees (40.5 celsius) this afternoon! Which begs the question: are we crazy for picking today out of all days to go kayaking on the Potomac? Perhaps oui, we’re a little bit folles but we brought plenty of water and headed to the Boathouse at Fletcher’s Cove rather early (10AM.) Together, we paddled some 5 miles from the dock to the Key Bridge and back while enjoying the somewhat refreshing breeze coming from the water. Somewhat…

After two hours working on our muscles and our tans, we retreated into the nearby Palisades neighbourhood for a much needed air conditioned lunch at Et Voila! The Belgian* restaurant is the cutest little neighbourhood eatery. But sadly that neighbourhood is the most inconveniently located Palisades and not Chinatown so I never go and miss out on some of the best bistro fare in the area 😦 Today, we opted for a double dose of pastis: in my moules and in my glass. Pastis is one of the most popular alcoholic beverage in France, and it’s particularly popular during the warm months and in the South of France. For some reason (and by some reason I mean its anise-flavour) Americans do not like pastis nearly as much as the French do and it’s a pity because it’s the most refreshing drink *ever.* We also ordered one of thcrêpe au sarrasin, the one with salmon, topped with an egg. It was really good, though still no match for any of the galettes I could find near Montparnasse. 

We were refreshed but too full to order dessert which is probably a good thing since a flaming crêpe suzette didn’t seem quite apropriate in this weather… All in all, a great play date! Here some details if you want to replicate (though I’d recommend picking a cooler date!):

  • Boathouse at Fletcher’s Cove is located 2 miles North of Key Bridge and 1 mile South of Chain Bridge, at the intersection of Canal Road and Reservoir (ie. well passed the French Embassy and too far to walk to from Georgetown…) In addition to canoe ($12/hour single, $24/day), kayak ($10/hour single, $17 double) and rowboats ($12/hour, $22 a day) you can also rent bicycles to ride along the C&O canal ($7/hour, $28 a day), purchase tackle and get a fishing license… 
  • Et Voila! is located at 5120 MacArthur Boulevard in the not too public transportation friendly (the D6 bus drops you pretty close I guess) neighbourhood of the Palisades. There’s an $18 3-course lunch prix-fixe during the week and one of the dinner dessert includes speculoos ice cream on top of an apple crumble. Speculoos are of course my favourite “cookies” in the world so I highly recommend that one. They also call endives chicon which was always a contentious vocabulary word in my geographically divided house growing up (my mom is from Marseille where they call them endives and eat them raw in salads while my dad is from the North where they call them chicon and cook them with ham cheese and bechamel.)

* co-owner and pastry chef Mickael Cornu is French too though 😉

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