I fell in love with an Iron Horse.

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Aug 11th, 2012
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If you missed part one of the World Vacation Tour Extravaganza 2012, click here:http://hushwoman.com/2012/08/10/vacation-interruptus/

(go ahead, I’ll wait right over here. Done? Ok, good.)

A week or so before we left on vacation, I googled “What the hell is there to do in Milwaukee that doesn’t involve Pabst Blue Ribbon or Cheese?” Because honestly, those are the only two things I know about Milwaukee. Well, those and Laverne and Shirley. Google produced results containing things like boat museums and poetry house readings. (Google apparently thinks I’m all classy and shit. Hmph.)

 

More searching revealed a hotel that catered to bikers and other such riffraff. From the website it looked a hell of a lot less scary than the famed “Motel 3” in Pennsylvania where I spent one dark and creepy night, so I tucked that little bit of information into my phone for future reference.

 

We rolled into Milwaukee about dusk. Fate had once again brought us into a strange city via the roughest neighborhoods. I mean seriously, just once I would like to enter into a new place along an elm tree lined boulevard with gardens and children playing in yards. Instead I get this. Every damned time.

Still better than Motel 3

 

After a few missed turns and a map check or two, we finally pulled in to The Iron Horse Hotel.  And I promptly fell in love.  Past vacations have yielded room accommodations that have varied from ironic newlywed suites with heart shaped tubs to corporate business rooms to that one scary night we were asked if we wanted the room for the whole night, or by the hour.  This wide range is usually due to availability (if you don’t know where you’re headed, it’s hard to book in advance), proximity to delectable foods, the current condition of my hindquarters and more importantly, the weather.  Many times a rainstorm has driven us into the nearest empty motel room.  Such is the life of the spontaneous vacation biker.

 

In my haste to rid myself of 400 miles of road grime and bug-encrusted chapstick, I honestly did not look around too much when we entered the lobby.  I just wanted a room so that I could take my shoes off, wash up and check on the condition of my sunburned nose.  (More about the nose later.  Much more.)  Two very nice ladies quickly checked us in and directed us to the elevator.  I will admit to stepping off the elevator and vaguely noticing that the carpet in the hallway was of the funky-cool variety, and there may have been some great artwork on the walls, but honestly, the days events had left my brain pudding-like and hazy.  I just wanted to get to room 303.  And then HOLY HELL, we walked in.  Here, let me show you.

And my heart went all pitter-patter

 

Is that some room or what?  Yeah, yeah, I know that I had briefly looked at the website before vacation, and there were a few pictures, but we all know that those pictures are usually taken by magicians that have the ability to make Madonna look like she’s not an alien.  So, grain of salt, is all I’m saying.  Well, color me flabbergasted, my room was prettier than the pictures and at that point I may have dry-humped an arm chair.

 

This room was cool, hip, well-designed, comfortable, well-stocked and wonderful.  From the leather headboard (*swoon) to the horse-hair bench at the foot of the bed (Squee!), everywhere I looked was something delightful for my eyes.  Custom artwork (see wall) and the refurbished original warehouse beams gave the place an off-beat groove that made me happy on a day that really needed a dose of happy.  I spent the next few minutes running around the room shouting, ” Look at this!”  and “Check this out!”.  My dork level was so high that it was like I had never been out of my house before.  After running around like a three-year old jacked up on pixie sticks, I realized two things.  A. I was too grimy to be in this nice place, and B. I was starving.

 

See that lovely bathroom up there in that picture?  The one with the beautiful soap and thick, luxurious robes?  Well there’s a secret about that bathroom.  And this time it didn’t involve an unfortunate smell or unidentified pubic hair!  Win!  Lemme show you…

 

Photo credit: Iron Horse Hotel

 

Yes, you can totally see anyone showering from the luxury of your comfy bed!  I will leave it to you as to whether that is cool, sexy, pervy, or completely inappropriate.  But anyway you look at it, not your average hotel room, right?

 

We cleaned up (sorta), jumped back on the bike and headed out to find some food.  Although there was a restaurant or two in the hotel and a bar, we wanted to make the most of the few days we had and see the city while we could.  Dinner was uneventful, as we just ended up finding a diner and grabbing some burgers since it was so late.  Or maybe I didn’t want to spend any more time than necessary away from my lovely room.  I still had the lobby and grounds to explore and they did not disappoint.  Here’s some random pictures I took that night and the next morning.

 

The lovely lobby. I could hang out here all day.

 

Common area chic. Well done.

 

Outdoor bar, sadly not open at 8 A.M.

 

The staff at the hotel were wonderful, the breakfast was divine, and the fact that they had covered bike parking and a bike-washing station made The Man extremely happy.  I have about 40 more pictures of various things around the property that I will share with you later, but for now let me just say that if you ever find yourself in Milwaukee, please consider staying here.  I’m sure you will love it as much as I did.  And if you like to watch your travelling companion shower, it’s a total win.

 

This post is not sponsored by The Iron Horse Hotel or any of it’s affiliates, nor have I been compensated in any way.  The Iron Horse has probably never heard of me, but I’ll try not to hold that against them.  Honest Injun.

 

 

Ohio Sucks…Except for Cleveland. I heart Cleveland.

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Jul 1st, 2010
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Vacation Day 1. Better known as the day we get the hell outta Dodge. Both The Man and I are suffering from serious burnout by the time vacation comes around every year. We are cranky-pants and short-tempered. I was not my usual ray of sunshine. *snort* But Joy! Elation! Happy-happy! Vacation has arrived.

The plan was to roll out at seven a.m., bound for parts unknown. Or Ohio. But what happens when we make plans? Chaos and mayhem, that’s what. I was awakened at 4 a.m. by a horrific thunderstorm. And I’m pretty sure I could hear laughing in the background somewhere. We both laid awake until 6 o’clock listening to the storm, until we could bear it no longer and turned to the weather channel to see how bad it was going to be. We got lucky and the rain quit by 8:30 and we were able to hit the road by 9. Freedom was ours. With a wary eye on the gray clouds, we proceeded to Cincinnati. Which I believe is also known as the armpit of the Midwest. From Cincinnati we turned north and made our way through Ohio.

A little background for you. My dad used to pave roads for a living. He was an asphalt man. I understand the concept of road repair and construction. But Ohio, you shouldn’t really tear the fresh hell out of a road and leave the speed limit at 70. It causes people to believe that they can drive at least seventy. Or ninety. Crimeny, there were Nascar wannabes racing for the finish line all over the goddamn state. And near me. Which made me feel stabby. I don’t want to feel stabby on
vacation.

I don’t have many pictures from that first day because as I said before, Ohio sucks. But rolling into Cleveland that evening was divine. The architecture is amazing and the peoples are friendly to a fault. Lake Erie and the pier were a refreshing sight and we took an enjoyable stroll down the pier on our first evening away.

After a wonderful walk, we went in search of lodging for the evening. We got a reasonable room with all the normal amenities and cleanliness. I trotted down the the restaurant and ordered a pizza to munch on while Dave unpacked our gear and found his favorite channels on the tv. I thought a barbecued chicken pizza with some monterrey cheddar and red onions sounded nice, but the smallish Vietnamese gentleman has trouble understanding what I wanted. After pointing my way through the menu, and determining that I did not want a smalleeeee, but a lahgeeee, he kindly offered to bring up my food to the room when it was ready. Wonderful!

Thirty minutes later, our food arrived. Now, most everyone I know has eaten at at least one Chinese buffet in their lives. You know that very red-colored barbequed chicken they serve? The one with the unnatural color? Imagine that laying on a puddle of pizza sauce and sprinkled with some cheese. Run that through an Easy Bake oven and throw some raw onions on top. Kinda reminds me of the crap we invented in our kitchen in college from things leftover in everyone’s fridge. Either we were really tired and hungry, or just didn’t care becuase we were on vacation. Yup, we ate it. And didn’t care. This was about the time that I noticed something about our room. Something different. Something out of place. Something that didn’t belong.

In case you didn’t spot it, here’s a closer look.

I promise this was a nice place. Marble floors in the lobby and leather club chairs. And pine tree air fresheners.

Spoiler alert: Day 2 was so cool, that we are now way cooler just by default. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Vacation Totals Day One: Miles ridden- 373
Condition of ass from riding on a 1-10 scale – 9
Number of times I lost, misplaced, or forgot something – 2
Number of times I cared that I lost, or forgot something – 0

Stay tuned, it gets way better.

John Madden Is After My Man

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Jan 31st, 2010
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The man and his PS3 are making a very serious attempt to drive me over the edge of reason. Since I work days and he works nights, we rarely see each other through the week. He will come dragging in anywhere between 3:00AM and oh-my-freaking-Gawd-do-you-know-what-time-it-is. A sane person would toddle off to bed after working 14 hours and then driving another hour and a half to get home, but not the man. No. Huh-uh.

After being punched in the nuts about fifteen gazillion times for waking me up with a “Hey Baby, ya wanna?” at No-Fucking-Way-O’thirty, he has learned to find other ways to amuse himself. I think he’s now having an affair with John Madden 2010 NFL Football.

It’s a tad bit disturbing to be woken by commentary by John Madden. I can be blissfully asleep, dreaming of having some sexy time with movie stars and college cuties, when out of the blue I hear:

“He’s back real deep, waiting to return this one.”

“Looks like he’s going to re-enter.”

“He’s got a hot hand now and it looks like the other team is definitely gonna have to put some hands on him.”

“He’s got a valuable weapon there.”

“He’s feeling some pressure now and looking for a tight end to step up and help him out.”

“They need to gather the troops now, because that’s just poor execution.”

See? John Madden wants to have orgies in my house! I can hear it in his creepy old man voice and to tell you the truth, it’s scary. It’s a good thing The Man likes bendy girls and boobs.

Looks like it’s time to shave my legs and set the alarm clock a few hours earlier, ’cause there’s no way I’m letting John Madden horn in on my game.