We went to Alexandria, VA this weekend and celebrated another birthday – this time for Rosalita, our shar pei! Since we adopted Rosie, we don’t know her exact birthdate, but she was a puppy when we brought her home so we are reasonably sure she was born sometime in mid-August. Since Finnegan’s birthday is June 18th and Declan is July 18th, we’re going with August 18th for Rosie.
The genesis for our trip was a great deal on Jetsetter for Hotel Monaco, a pet-friendly hotel in Old Town, Alexandria. If you haven’t signed up for Jetsetter’s daily email deals, you really should because they offer incredible deals on really nice hotels (sign up here). Hotel Monaco is one of the Kimpton hotels, which are known for being both pet friendly and kid friendly, and this one definitely didn’t disappoint on either front.
Our room wasn’t ready when we tried to check-in early on Saturday, but the staff happily held our bags and agreed to call us when our room was ready. The hotel has a fabulous location on King Street in Old Town, Alexandria so we decided to walk around. We didn’t get very far because Finnegan and Declan thought it was great fun to play in the plants outside the hotel.
Once we lured them away from the bushes with promises of searching for a candy store, we only made it one block before they spied the fountain outside of City Hall. Since there were other kids in the fountain getting their feet wet, we agreed to let them go in as well. While all of the other kids were careful to only get their feet wet, ours ran like wild men straight for the fountain and it didn’t take long before Declan did a face plant and was soaked from head to toe.
Declan had to be forcibly removed from the fountain shortly after the face plant incident because he refused to keep his clothes on. He kept screaming NAKED at the top of his lungs, which we probably let him get away with far too often at home.
But Finnegan had a great time.
While we were trying to form a game plan about what to do with two kids that were dripping wet, the hotel called to tell us that our room was ready. Problem solved! When we checked in, we requested a pet bed and two bowls for Rosie, which were promptly delivered to our stylish room.
We decided to let Rosie eat and rest while the rest of the family checked out the hotel pool, which claimed to be heated. It was mildly warm, but I like my heated pools VERY warm. After swimming, Russ and Declan napped while Finnegan and I hit the Kid’s Hour in the lobby. The kid’s hour included lemonade and animal crackers, as well as a Wii and other games like tic-tac-toe and a giant version of Connect 4. Finnegan drank his weight in lemonade – I think because he liked helping himself – and ate copious amounts of animal crackers before we roused Russ and Declan for dinner.
We tried to attend the wine hour before heading to dinner, but the boys only sat still long enough for me to drink half a glass. Since we skipped lunch we were getting very hungry and an early dinner sounding pretty appealing. We went to the Mai Thai restaurant based on a suggestion from the hotel and had a great meal. We are spoiled with a very good Thai restaurant near our house, but the one thing it’s lacking is good noodle dishes, which Mai Thai had in abundance.
After dinner, we walked around town and hung out by the water while the kids ran off their excess energy.
We made one final stop for ice cream before calling it a night.
Alexandria is an extremely dog friendly destination. There are many restaurants with outdoor seating where dogs are welcome and there are no shortages of water dishes down King Street so you don’t have to worry about carrying water for your pup. While we were in town, we also had lunch at Bittersweet Café with Rosie, which we highly recommend. They have an interesting menu of breakfast options with a southwestern twist, as well as sandwiches and baked goods. They even had pupcakes (mini doggie cupcakes) with a milk bone biscuit that we bought for Rosie to celebrate her birthday.
Next Up: Mount Vernon and the Air & Space Museum
Have you been to any really pet-friendly destinations or hotels?