Sunday, November 3, 2013

PawsGo logs 10,000 steps in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

A beautiful and crisp fall day -- Boomer and I headed to Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.  I had a few goals in mind -- 1)  run a couple pre- Thanksgiving errands; 2) make sure Boomer got some exercise; and 3) get in my 10,000 steps for the day.

10,000 steps is roughly 5 miles, and it's noted by many healthcare professionals as an optimum number of daily steps for good health. (   Outfitted with my pedometer, credit cards and blackberry (for photos and email), Boomer and I set out on our urban adventure.
Old Town Alexandria, Virginia is known for its history, smart shops, and delicious restaurants.  Founded in 1749, the bustling Port City, was home to George Washington and Robert E Lee.   The town's cobblestone streets aren't just steeped in history, they are lined with water bowls and dog treats!                      Old Town is extremely dog friendly.
We began our trek at the top of King Street (one of the area's main thoroughfares) near the King Street metro.  Our first stop?  The very canine (and budget) friendly Crate and Barrel Outlet at 1700 Prince Street.  Here we wandered the aisles looking for bargains -- found several and racked up 400 steps!

As we headed toward the Potomac River, we passed numerous dog friendly outposts, one that caught Boomer's eye (and nose) was Lotus Blooms located at 1017 King Street.  Their welcoming bin of biscuits was met with gratitude -- after all, we had walked 2,000 steps!
Literally steps away, Current Boutique (1009 King Street) welcomed us with a big DOG FRIENDLY poster on the door.  Inside, not only did Boomer get a treat, I checked out their new and gently worn fashions with labels ranging from Tory Burch and Trina Turk (two favs) to BCBG and Coach (also favs). 
Too bad we had already eaten, because just across from us at 1106 King Street is one of the most lovely restaurant patios in Old Town at Nottinghill ( and a sign beckoning pet owners, looking for brunch!  According to one of the waiters, dogs are allowed on the patio, a rarity in Alexandria.
 Dogs and owners pass us as we continue down King Street.  Our leisurely pace has us around 3,000 steps.  Time for another stop.  This time at The Dog Park, located at 705 King Street, it's a small shop packed full of cool dog toys, accessories, healthy food and creative treats (  Heaps of praise, a belly rub, a couple treats and Christmas present for my sister's dog, and we're on our way.  We cross Washington Street and pop into Banana Republic.  A quick look at their new shipment and more praise for Boomer and head to the recently opened H & M -- where we were TURNED AWAY!  Truthfully, I think Boomer was relieved -- the music was too loud and the layout too tight for a dog.  Luckily, the VERY DOG FRIENDLY Anthropologie  at 610 King Street is practically next door.  Boomer heads to the register where he is immediately given a treat.  We wander the store, rack up lots of steps, look at everything -- LOVE the new fall jackets.  Some times Anthropolgie can look a little like Stevie Nick's closet, but this season looks very promising!   We meet several dogs and their owners.  Chief's owner suggests we go to the Paper Source, for more dog-friendly service.
Boomer met Chief at the Anthropologie in Old Town 
Known for its Doggie Happy Hours, like all Kimpton Hotels, the Hotel Monaco is pet-friendly

Across from the Hotel Monaco, we wandered through Old Town's Market Square, where farmers and vendors have been selling their wares since 1753.  George Washington had produce from Mount Vernon sold here.  Market Square is also said to be haunted, because in addition to selling fruits and veggies -- people were sent to the gallows and hanged there.  Alexandria has long been a fan of mixed use projects!
As we head closer to the Potomac, we're practically at 5,000 steps -- halfway to the goal!  Along the way we meet Sam, relaxing with his owner, outside of Restaurant 219 ( A big fan of walking, Sam's owner told me she lost 10 pounds when she first started taking walks with him!
 Thanks to a tip from Chief's owner, Boomer and I make several purchases at the Paper Source (118 King Street).  Chief's owner was right.  The employees at the Paper Source were the FRIENDLIEST people in a very dog-loving town.  As I got in my extra steps, bought numerous cards and mentally planned for Christmas, Boomer virtually ignored me due to the line of employees and customers eager to pet him!  Thanks Paper Source for making us feel so welcome! 
We walk along the water front behind the Torpedo Factory and head to Founder's Park.  It's dog friendly, kid friendly, just plain friendly!  We wander around the park and surpass 5,000 steps more than half way, easy peasy, 10,000 steps is within reach!  We walk up Cameron Street and pass the Carlyle House, home to one of the town's founders.  Further up Cameron is Gadsby's Tavern (haunted) and George and Martha Washington's city home.  The current home is a painstaking replica of the Washington's original house.  You can identify it by the bust of George in the front window. He wears a seasonal outfit. Today George was a pirate for Halloween -- on previous trips I've seen him in his Washington Nationals hat and shirt.  We cross Washington Street and walk through the Christ Church graveyard (on the walk way and NO STOPS by Boomer)  Christ Church was built in the 1760s and was the home church to both George Washington and Robert E Lee (are you picking up on a pattern? it's also haunted)
With 10,000 steps firmly in sight, Boomer and I snake our way back to the Crate and Barrel Outlet ending our adventure with a very respectable 9865 steps.  I am not sure what that is in dog steps, but we both had an enjoyable walk.  I felt like I got some exercise, we met some wonderful people, did a bit of shopping and enjoyed a beautiful day -- all in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia!
Old Town Alexandria is VERY dog friendly!