Get-a-way Not Far Away!

Took a little weekend getaway to a Kimpton hotel so we could bring our four-legged child. What a great spot! The Hotel Monaco in Old Town Alexandria is the perfect place for an overnight – especially if you want to bring your pup. It’s not just “pet-friendly” in the sense that you can bring a little purse dog, you can actually bring the bigs – and they are happily welcome in both the common areas and the rooms alike (even welcomed with treats, bowls, and a bed!).

Hanging out in the lobby, since it was a million degrees outside, my pup just enjoyed being with us.

Old Town Alexandria is a great little walking town – lots of shops, plenty of dining choices, and a nice waterfront spot  to walk around or take in some culture with the Torpedo Factory. At the Torpedo Factory, you can watch the artists at work. It was also a great place to cool down from the 100 degree weather!!

We decided on dinner at the restaurant in the hotel, Jackson 20.  I had been there a long time ago and had fond memories.  The menu was creative and concise, but definitely enough to bring out my typical indecisive self. A drawback of loving everything, I’m often stumped on what to order when faced with a good lookin menu. I recently started asking waitstaff for recommendations when I can’t decide. I think it’s key to have servers in a good restaurant be comfortable enough with the menu to make confident recommendations, and while you’d think this is an unspoken trait, it’s not a given. But here at Jackson 20, our waitress helped me get out of “stuck mode” and pick a great paring of two small dishes. The endive salad (I love endives and I think they’re grossly underused in salad compilations) and the vanilla poached shrimp. These jumbo shrimp were so perfectly plump, and the smell of vanilla intoxicated my senses with each bite.  It wasn’t an overpowering sweet taste, and the smell alone was sufficient to confirm that vanilla was afoot!  The flavor paired perfectly with the succulent shrimp and the stone ground grits, which were also amazing!! Al dente, sweet and savory. A very sophisticated “shrimp and grits,” and absolutely delicious.  They also had a really nice breakfast – the bacon was heavenly!! Mmm bacon.

Pay no attention to those puppy eyes. If you look directly at them, you will melt and be uncontrollably forced to dole out small bits of bacon under the table. Not saying that happened or didn’t happen, just saying. And yes, that’s maple syrup on hand to dip the bacon in. I love it that way!!

I highly recommend a weekend getaway at this Kimpton hotel ( and definitely try out the on-site restaurant ( Both made for a deliciously relaxing weekend!! #kimpton #monaco-Alexandria #jackson20va

Stay tuned next month, as I’ll be staying at another Kimpton property on the left coast – the Sir Francis Drake in Union Square, San Francisco.

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