Must love dogs

love-opera-victoria-bakerSo, my best friend in the whole world just got a puppy. The tiniest Chihuahua- a black, long-haired pup so small she can fit into a ladies handbag.

I never grew up around dogs, so this was quite the revelation for me! After about five minutes of meeting this little puppy, I loved her and look forward to every opportunity to spend time with her. Her name is Beluga, yes, just like the caviar, because she’s the same color and just as priceless.

So, when my best friend suggested we go on a girl’s trip, I just couldn’t imagine going anywhere without my favorite Chihuahua. But I was amazed to learn just how many places are not dog-friendly. We thought about leaving Beluga behind but, for me, half the fun was in playing with her, so I searched around for the perfect place.

And then I remembered that Kimpton Hotels are notorious for being pet-friendly. I had stayed there last year, in Alexandria, Va. and loved it. I remember going on long bike rides on their adorable house bikes and I remember the place had just as many “furry” guests as human ones. What’s more, the pets get to stay for free.

So off we went to the Monaco Alexandria. It’s just a short drive from Washington. DC and it’s located in one of the most picturesque towns in the Northeast with cobblestone streets, colonial buildings dating back to the 1700’s and a vibrant food scene. It all makes Alexandria my favorite place for a quick getaway.

The Monaco Alexandria has an ultramodern, quirky décor which I really like. I don’t usually do “quirky” but this has a super young, cool and very accessible vibe. The hotel has something called “doggie happy hour” where pet owners get to meet and chat whilst their canine friends get served complimentary doggie treats and water. It was quite the experience, especially if, like me, you’ve never had pets before. It was a fascinating glimpse into a pet-lovers paradise.

Old Town Alexandria is so close to D.C. and yet so far off in spirit. The streets are alive with history. You half expect George Washington to pass you by but there’s also a young, trendy vibe which makes it all fun. We went bike riding all the way to Washington, D.C. We dined at Jackson 20, the hotel’s restaurant which is excellent as well as being affordable. But most of all I got to play with the dog, which brings out the kid in me.

And, after spending so much time with Beluga, I fell in love with her. I guess that’s the thing about dogs. They’re always happy to see you. They love you unconditionally and their feelings of love are unchanging. I suppose you can’t always say that about humans.

It’s almost like dogs come into this world trailing the breath of the angels, but unlike humans they don’t grow out of it. Maybe that’s what they are here to teach us: love in its purest form.



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