Pet Friendly Travel - Washington D.C.
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  • Well, we are finally home from our first dog-gone road trip and it went barkingly well (except that the furdad is still deployed and couldn't join us)! The only trips that the furkids have made before have been staying at my sister’s in Delaware but that is like a second home so it doesn’t quite count in my book.

    Friday afternoon we began our 200 mile journey to Reston, VA so that we could attend the Pet Fiesta on Saturday; we learned about the Pet Fiesta from BDawg and decided that it would be a fun weekend getaway. Chase and Zahra’s friend Gretzky drove down from Philadelphia, PA and joined our weekend fun with his furmom.

    We stayed at the Sheraton Reston (which was about 2 miles from the Pet Fiesta) and we give it 4 paws up! The service was incredible, they were very nice, the rooms were clean and since they put us into the wrong room when we checked in (a king instead of two doubles) they gave us complimentary breakfast at the hotel restaurant and changed our room to the two doubles.

    The rules for bringing your dog to the hotel with you were pretty laid back, you could have a dog up to 70 Lbs (there wasn’t a scale in the lobby so I think you are on the honor system there) and they only ask that you not leave your dog alone in the room. Okay, we sinned and left all three furkids in the room alone while we went to eat our free breakfast, shhhh… don’t tell! http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=655&PS=GWS_aa_YahooSSP_51506

    The Sheraton Reston has a nice grassy area behind it where we were able to take the dogs to potty. The only downside was that it must have been loaded with ticks because I had to remove a tick from Chase and Zahra.

    The beds were extremely comfy and I felt like I was sleeping on a cloud, even more the next day after the Pet Fiesta and touring Washington D.C. all day.

    Saturday morning we headed to the Pet Fiesta, the weather was not as nice as the Weather channel had predicted but we had rain jackets and umbrella’s just in case.

    Upon our arrival at the Pet Fiesta we had the pleasure of meeting BDawg, BDawg’s husband, Miles and Lexi right before they were leaving for their dog walk in which they helped raise money. It was so cool to meet them and we did get to meet up with them later after the walk. I have a few pictures that I will post, Zahra was not cooperating with taking pictures but we still were able to get some.

    The Pet Fiesta was awesome! I got a wonderful new collar and leash set for Zahra from Woofies for $20! It was so tempting to buy a ton of new collars for the furkids but I had to hold myself back. There were many vendors there, quite a few treats for sale and lots of happy tails!

    We stood in line for about 45 minutes to have our dogs caricature drawings done; Chase and Zahra’s was so adorable I can not wait to frame it and hang it up!

    When I bought stuff at Woofie’s they had a book for sale called “The Dog Lover’s Companion to Washington D.C. & Baltimore”; I had planned on running to Barnes and Noble and picking a similar type book up but since I found it at the Pet Fiesta we didn’t need to make the trip. This book is very informative for those traveling in the area with their dogs, it lists not only pet friendly hotels but parks (leashed and unleashed), outdoor restaurants, restaurants to get take out from (so your pup is not alone), and it lists local yearly events and tourist attractions. Armed with our new tour guide off we went. www.dogloverscompanion.com

    Our first stop was Arlington Cemetery; we walked to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and watched the guard silently marching. We had just missed the changing of the guard. The dogs were very quiet and respectful while we were there except for the one time at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider when I stepped on Zahra’s foot and she shrieked (can’t blame her but I wanted to shrivel up from the embarrassment).

    From Arlington Cemetery we parked and walked past the National Monument, the dogs were not allowed up close to that but it was very picturesque and a great photo op from far away. Further onward we went up a few blocks to one of the most famous addresses in the United States, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House. I had been to visit Washington D.C. in high school and didn’t remember the White House looking so small then and I can not get over how close it seems that you are although I am sure that the Secret Service would have caught Chase and Zahra if they had tried to run up to the front door to say hello!

    After the White House we walked back down to the National Mall and headed towards the Lincoln Memorial. It is a very beautiful area with lush green grass and the reflecting pool had ducks with ducklings in tow swimming in it.

    The Lincoln Memorial was breathtaking with all of the marble stairs and the sculpture of Abraham Lincoln. The dogs were not allowed in the monument or on the marble stairs so my friend and I took turns holding the dogs while we enjoyed the view of Honest Abe from his feet.

    Once we left the Lincoln Memorial we walked past the Korean War Memorial, I didn’t see anything in the book that talked about that area being dog friendly so we just viewed it from afar.

    All of that walking around the first day wore the furkids out so we again left them alone in the room (Chase and Zahra passed out in the crate, Gretzky on his furmom’s bed) and ate dinner at the hotel restaurant. It was great meal that I only could eat half of.

    Today we took in Old Town Alexandria; I am in love with this very dog friendly town! Our first stop was a late breakfast at Pat Troy’s Restaurant and Pub. There is a patio area in the back of the restaurant that is for dogs and their owners as if this is not cool enough they bring out a “doggie menu” with several choices on it for your four legged friend. Chase and Zahra enjoyed the chicken with Milk bones. The human fare was delicious too; I opted for pancakes and bacon which came with fruit. Very yummy! http://www.pattroysirishpub.com/

    From the restaurant we went to Barkley Square Gourmet Dog Bakery and Boutique which was mentioned in an article on Old Town Alexandria in Fido Friendly magazine. Barkley Square was very cool, scrumptious looking treats lined a case and looked so inviting I considered trying a few myself! www.barkleysquarebakery.com

    While in Barkley’s I bought a leash (like I don’t have 500 of those already) that is suppose to help with dogs that pull; after this weekend I will try anything that claims it will work because I feel like I weight lifted all weekend. This leash is called “The perfect leash” and kind of reminds me of a rubber bungee cord, I used on Chase my major puller and by the end of the day I swear by this leash so much that the first thing I did when I got home was to go online and buy another one for Zahra. www.theperfectleash.com

    Fetch was another dog and cat bakery that we made it to, they have these cute crab shaped dog cookies that say Alexandria on them. I am such a tourist, I probably would have bought a dozen of these and brought them back for our dog friends but I had to stop myself! www.fetch-bakery.com

    While we were in Fetch the guy who worked there referred another couple to another pet store down the road called the Olde Towne School for Dogs to search for a leash for multiple dogs. Apparently they use to carry them and no longer do; I thought that was very cool that he referred them to another store and didn’t just try to talk them into some other type of leash. www.otsfd.com

    We also headed to this other pet store after that and I must say I really enjoyed it I picked up these tag holders for the dogs tags so that I could change their leashes whenever I want to and not break my nails taking their tags off from one collar and putting their tags on another. http://www.cetaceacorp.com/index.php?target=products&product_id=734

    After this last store we decided to make our way back to the parking garage so we could head home. I needed one last stop at this French Bakery because all of these fancy dog treats made me hungry for some human pastry! La Madeline Bakery had an outside area that we could sit with the dogs and enjoy our mouth-watering desserts. It was only right now that I was looking for the website to share that I realized it was a chain. http://lamadeleine.com/

    We had a wonderful weekend and I can’t wait to do it again when the furdad is home enjoy this stuff too! Our next big outing will be to West Jefferson, NC to the Dog House Resort Bed and Breakfast; we will tell everyone about our trip after that because it looks like it is going to be a lot of fun with a canoe trip (a Basenji in a canoe this will be interesting) hiking, and the Bed and Breakfast offers a dog park and doggie day care.

    Thanks so much to BDawg for telling us about the Pet Fiesta and it was so nice to meet Lexi and Miles. Miles is a handsome guy and Lexi was beautiful!

    That’s all for now,
    Jenn
    Chase and Zahra

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  • Zahra with Miles

    Zahra, Miles and Lexi

    Enjoying the rain!

    Me, Chase and Zahra in front of the National Monument

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  • Wow, what a write up!! Glad you guys had so much fun!! We wished it had been a little warmer too, but overall it was a great event! Sounds like you guys really made it out to the "real" DC too! Very cool!! Thanks for meeting up!! :) Chase & Zahara were too cute!!

    PS- Did you get the link I posted with all our pics?

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  • Thanks for posting your experience!! We're always looking for places to go with our doggies & this sounds like a great trip :D :D

    Great info!

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  • Basenji Mix

    WOW Jenn, Looks like you all had so much fun!! How nice for you to meet up with BDawg too. I'm impressed with your diary writing. It's nice to read about the possibilities in your travels with Chase and Zahra. All we've done is gone camping. Next time we go, I should include my furkids in some sightseeing so I don't miss out just staying in the campground. Though I know good solid training before hand is a must for all.

    When is your DH coming back home? You must miss each other so much. It will be nice for him knowing that Chase and Zahra are getting in good traveling practice for your trips together.

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  • I had a blast and was so happy that the furkids proved to be awesome travelers too. Honestly I think they were more well behaved then my friend's chocolate lab mix. Zahra was loving on everyone who would look at her and a lot of people were taken with Chase because he is a Puggle and also very friendly.

    BDawg, the pictures were awesome! It was so cool to meet you guys and I hope to be able to come up again next year with hubby.

    Jill, not much longer to do until homecoming for us a few weeks hopefully. Zahra really hasn't spent much time with my husband so I am curious how that will go. I am sure it will go well because she loves attention and new people and he will be like a new person to her.

    Stay tuned for June when we travel again, I will post more adventures of Chase and Zahra. We will see how much Zahra likes riding in a canoe!

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  • What a GREAT trip…love the pix...beautiful fur babies...

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