Friday, July 8, 2011

• BlogPaws 2011: Shopping

If you love to shop and have free time at BlogPaws 2011—the Pet Media Blogging Conference in Tysons Corner, Virginia—welcome to Mecca.

I’ve lived in Northern Virginia since 1963, when the Tysons meat-packing plant stood at the corner of two-lane roads. No stoplights. Drawings of three huge animals decorated the plant: a pink pig, a cow, and a lamb. Now Tysons Corner is, among other things, a major shopping destination.

Fun Shopping
Tysons Corner Center (old-timers call it Tysons I) is a behemoth. You may want to look at the mall map before you go. You’ll find name-brand stores, boutique shops, and countless places to snack, eat, and dine.
*** NEW INFO Dogs under 10 pounds are welcome, but their feet can't touch the ground (doggy stroller or carried). Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's don't have formal policies, but people have seen dogs there. If you get hungry, Chipotle has a patio that accepts dogs. Usual “traffic” is one or two small dogs. They do not take reservations.

Tysons Galleria (Tysons II) is upscale. I love to walk through Neiman Marcus and pretend I could spend $1,000 on a purse—if I wanted to. A centrally-located Starbucks offers comfy chairs where you can chill. If you want a quick bite, try the Corner Bakery Café.
*** NEW INFO Service dogs are allowed to walk in the Galleria, but other dogs must be in a doggy stroller or carried. (The Security Office didn’t specify a weight limit.) Although Neiman Marcus doesn’t have a formal policy, evidently they allow well-behaved dogs, as does Anthropologie.

*** NEW INFO Originally I said the two malls are close enough to walk between, which is true. But don't. Drivers don't expect to see pedestrians in the area and they're frustrated by being stuck in traffic.

The Shops at Fairfax Square. I’ve never had the nerve to go to this smaller mall. I’m afraid no matter how nicely I’m dressed, everyone will know I can’t afford Hermés and Tiffany’s. If you go I want to hear about it!

The Sheraton offers a free shuttle to the malls. Make a note of where the driver will pick you up.

Practical Shopping
Between the Sheraton and the Beltway on the “Sheraton side” of Leesburg Pike/ Route 7, a sidewalk makes walking possible—although between the dust and exhaust fumes, I wouldn’t call it pedestrian-friendly.
*** NEW INFO If you choose to walk here, look both ways at intersections. Drivers in the D.C. area routinely speed, "drift through" stop signs, and don't yield to pedestrians. Be careful!

Forget something for your booth or presentation? Staples, at 8387C Leesburg Pike, (703) 883-0011, is a little more than a mile from the Sheraton. At the same strip mall (Pike 7 Plaza) is a FedEx. *** NEW INFO Also at the Pike 7, dogs can sit outside at Panera. Orvis, next to Panera, is dog-friendly.

A little more than two miles from the Sheraton is a PETCO at 1929 Old Gallows Road.

The closest grocery store is Harris Teeter, 8200 Crestwood Heights Drive, in McLean, (703) 448-0132. If you don’t have a car you can order from Giant using PeaPod. The closest Giant (store #0758) is at 1454 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, (703) 893-0377. Order 24 hours in advance.

Check with your hotel concierge for any needs; he or she can give you the best advice.

Don't miss All My Posts About Northern Virginia for BlogPaws-ers, including Dog-Friendly Shopping.

What else do you want to know? Give me a shout.
@EmmySits (Twitter)

>> Go to Emmy the Pet Sitter Web site >>


  1. Wish I was going to Blog Paws - it looks like terrific fun. I'm going to BarkWorld in Atlanta in Sept. I hope I'll connect with lots of doggy bloggers when I'm there.

    Stopping by on the blog hop. You'll have to see my video I posted today about the cat band and the cat lady. Hysterical.

    Happy Caterday from Chairman Meow and his minions (the pups).

  2. this was FANTASTIC and beyond helpful! Thank you!! I can't afford the upscale stores either but for those who can, ENJOY!!!! I love that the hotel offers a shuttle to the malls! I found out they also offer a shuttle from the airport to the hotel and back! It is only $25 each way but you have to call first!
    Thanks so much for writing this, can't wait for more of your useful info!