Residence Inn, Newport News Airport, Newport News, VA

Cello and Hooch stayed at the Residence Inn, Newport News Airport location, in Newport News, VA for their Valentine’s Day weekend dock diving event.

This hotel is located close to Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, Ferguson, Patrick Henry Mall, Peninsula Town Center, Prime Outlets, Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, and Water Country USA.  They offer a free grocery shopping service so that you can cook in the full kitchen, which is stocked with cookware, dishes, and appliances. The hotel also has an outdoor BBQ and fire pit, fitness center, indoor pool, coin laundry facility, free Wi-Fi, and free breakfast buffet.  In addition, enjoy free Wi-Fi, and a convenience mini-mart inside the hotel.

Even better, this hotel is pet friendly, and has a pet “park” located behind the hotel.

Residence Inn Baltimore Hunt Valley, Maryland

Cello and Hooch stayed at the Residence Inn Baltimore Hunt Valley, Maryland for their first dock diving event of 2015.

This has been the third hotel we’ve stayed in since we’ve started practicing indoors for Hooch’s sake, and this is the third time we have gotten assigned to room 125 (which is also Brian’s extension at work – crazy, huh?!?!

It was such a great experience, as we had never stayed in a hotel that had a full kitchen, and provided kitchen necessities like plates, glasses, wine bottle opener, pots/pans, and had an eating area.  Since it was freezing, and were weren’t going to be doing any sight-seeing, we very much enjoyed having these “extras.”

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The hotel room was cleaner than clean!

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The hotel offered grocery shopping free of charge, had all local take out menus on hand, and offered an included breakfast that was just as good as home-cookin’!


The staff could not have been more helpful during our stay.

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We met several other people, all with four-legged children.

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The sink area was separate from the main bathroom area, which made it nice while trying to get ready.

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Cello and Hooch were very comfortable!

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Overall, this was one of the best hotel experiences we have had, and would highly recommend staying here!

La Quinta Inn and Suites, Sommerville, MA

After our awful few nights at the La Quinta Inn and Suites in Andover, MA (read about our experience HERE), we decided to check out of that hotel, and check in to the La Quinta Inn and Suites in Somerville, MA.  WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!!


This was more like it!  The hotel was new, clean, and the staff were SO nice!  We were so glad we switched hotels for our last night in MA!


We were on the 5th floor, and Cello loved being able to lay on the bed and look out at the street below:


We would definitely stay here again! 


LaQuinta Inn and Suites, Andover, MA

We stayed at the LaQuinta Inn and Suites in Andover, MA for Cello’s North Eastern Regionals Competition (Read more about this event HERE).

(This was Hooch’s first hotel stay!)

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We had stayed at a LaQuinta in Harrisburg, Pa for one of Cello’s dock diving events, and had a wonderful experience.  The hotel was clean, and the staff could not be more friendly.  Read more about it HERE.

This experience was QUITE different.  There were 2 Laquinta’s to choose from for Cello’s Regional Competition.  We chose the Andover location, even though it was 20 minutes away, because with the DockDogs discount, we saved $400 at this location.  The LaQuinta in Andover was a bit older than the one we stayed at in Harrisburg, PA, and had a very “dirty” feel to it.  When we went into our room, it smelled awful. When we told the hotel front desk staff, and instead of changing our room, they gave us the rug deodorizer they use to spray on the rug, and told us to spray the rug ourselves!  (SERIOUSLY!?!) We should have immediately checked out at that point!!  Our hotel keys did not work consistently, which made it difficult trying to get back into the room with two dogs, and I heard others complaining about this as well.  We decided to stick it out in this hotel – but were regretful that we didn’t change hotels after the sight of our room!

I was completely creeped-out in this smelly room!  To make matters worse, I had just recently received an email from a friend about a creepy hotel situation just minutes from our home (later found to be false news!)

The following story is from Empire News:


Body Found Under Motel Bed, Police Say It Has Been There At Least 5 Years

MOUNT LAUREL, New Jersey – empire-news-body found under motel bed police say its been there 5 years

Stunning news this morning out of New Jersey, as reports of police discovering the body of a young woman under a motel bed have been confirmed. The owners of the motel asked that their name and location be omitted from news reports to protect their business.

The body, which has yet to be identified, was found by a person staying in the room.

“I dropped the television remote, and when I went to check under the bed I found her. It was like something out of a scary movie,” said Aaron Silver, the man staying in the room.

According to initial reports by the medical examiner on-scene, it appears as though the body lay undisturbed in the room for about 5 years. There was a normal amount of rot and decay on the body to suggest that it had not been moved or touched over the course of that time.

The motel has not made a comment about the issue but have told police that they are constantly cleaning their rooms and have no idea how this could have slipped beneath the cracks.

“I clean that room every day. I noticed a smell several times, and told my manager,” said Anita Rodriguez, a housekeeper at the motel. “He told me to just use extra Febreeze in the room and it would go away eventually. I always hated cleaning that room.”

Motel representatives say that all their rooms are cleaned daily, but that it is not the policy of the company to make their housekeeper check under the beds.

“They do a heavy clean of the rooms to sanitize for guests, but when it comes to under the beds, they just run the vacuum around the edges. Who really looks under the bed, anyway? No reason to waste anyone’s time,” said Charles Dyson, a representative of the motel chain.

“It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen,” said police chief Joe Goldsmith. “I’ve seen a lot of strange things in my time on the force, but to think about all the people who’ve stayed in this room, with a dead body beneath them, and they didn’t know about it? It gives me the heebie-jeebies.”

Police have seized room and occupant records for the last several years, and are trying to trace the person or persons who may have stayed in the room around the time of death.

“Funny thing is, the records also show literally almost 1,000 complaints from people who stayed in the room over the years. Everything from a bad smell to an ‘eerie feeling.’ Several people even asked to switch rooms in the middle of the night,” said Goldsmith. “The motel really should have checked out that room a little more closely.”

(see the original link HERE)…again  – found to be false.


Even though the above story was false news, the bad smell we were experiencing creeped me out.

…So… I still insisted that Brian look under the bed! 🙂

(Cello “helped,” of course!) 😉

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PHEW! No dead body here!  In fact, the bottom of the bed was solid, so there was no “under-the-bed!” (I was still creeped-out by the way!)


After all of the above, to top it all off, we had REALLY noisy neighbors (not from DockDogs). SO…we finally had it with this hotel, and actually checked out of this La Quinta a day early.  We booked a room at the Somerville location for our last night in Massachusetts after other DockDogs members had given us great feedback on the hotel. (BEST move ever!!) We would NOT stay at the Andover La Quinta again!!

Hooch and Cello didn’t seem to mind too much:

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La Quinta Inn and Suites, Harrisburg/Hershey Location, Harrisburg, PA

Cello’s First Hotel Stay!


Cello participated in a dock-diving contest this past weekend.  What was planned as a camping trip in our travel trailer, wound up as a hotel stay due to yet another nasty snow storm that was predicted to hit both PA and NJ Sunday-into-Monday.  After a search of dog-friendly hotels in the area, we narrowed our choices down to three.  Two hotels were more “high-end”,  and the third, was more middle-of-the-road, but also recently built.  So, we went with the newest built hotel, and  “reluctantly” booked a room at La Quinta Inn and Suites Harrisburg/Hershey, in Harrisburg, PA.

I say “reluctantly” because Brian and I hadn’t stayed in a hotel since the weekend we got engaged in Boston, MA, in 2006!!  After our engagement, we began staying in bed and breakfasts for all our trips.  We continued choosing bed and breakfasts until 2009, when we bought our dream home (a log cabin on a lake) that wasn’t quite in dream-home condition.  So, we gave up traveling to begin renovating our cabin.   In 2011, we gave tent camping a shot…a last-minute decision trip that wound up being the start of a new love for us.  We tent camped with Cello until August of 2012, and then upgraded to “Glamping” and bought a Jayco travel trailer to continue our camping adventures. Since we bought our travel trailer in October of 2012, our thought has been “if we can’t camp there, we don’t go there.” …UNTIL it meant “scratching” a dock diving event that we had already signed Cello up for.

Leading up to this hotel stay, I was very, VERY nervous – about not sleeping in our own bed, about Cello and how she would react… about all aspects of our upcoming hotel stay!…and I have to say, I was quite pleased…with EVERYthing.  The hotel was just recently built, so it was very clean – still very new looking and smelling, and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful, pleasant, and dog-friendly.  Each time we entered the hotel, Cello was greeted by the front desk staff with hugs, kisses, and dog treats!


Cello took her first ride in an elevator and wasn’t scared at all!


When we got to our room, Cello made herself right at home, and was SO well-behaved during our entire stay!

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Cello was a diva and did not pack lightly…here are is Cello’s spot on the bathroom counter for all her toiletries 🙂

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And here are some pictures of the hotel and our room…

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Overall, it was a very pleasant experience – although we did all still miss camping in our travel trailer!