Tuesday, August 11

What The Hell Am I Doing At The Hotel Julien?

(Greetings! I am 'El Albino Enmascarado' (The Masked Albino), and I had the recent fortune of spending time at the newly-renovated Hotel Julien in Dubuque, Iowa. Before I get to all of the stories about riverboat knife fights and a drunken shoving match with Mark Twain, I would be remiss if I didn't give you a quick tour of my temporary home.)

(The place was absolutely top-notch. They took all of the historic awesomeness of the original hotel, added $30 million worth of state-of-the-art renovations and emerged with something truly beautiful. You pretty much felt like an old-timey gangster in the place (especially since I walked around with the mask on for most of the trip), and hey, it still had that New Hotel Smell! Bonus!)

(I'm not even going to begin telling you what this shower had to witness over the course of several hot, Summer nights. You'll quickly notice that despite being a vintage hotel, the modern sheen is amazing. It also was one of the most energy-efficient and 'green' places I've ever stayed at, too; what with its fluorescent and LED lighting scheme, motion detector lights in the hallways and whatnot; they managed to build a grandiose place that's also limiting its carbon footprint.)

(I figured that by staying directly in the heart of Main Street in Dubuque's Historic District, I'd be smack-dab in the center of a culture hub. And while staying on the Mississippi River, surrounded by beautiful, historic architecture, I soon realized that Dubuque isn't a 'hub' of anything. I suppose meth, maybe, but that's about it. Okay, I kid Dubuque. The people were very nice, there just weren't too many of them. A few strolls down Main Street had me thinking I was the last survivor of a Tri-State zombie apocalypse.)

(I didn't care how much fun I planned on having, I knew better than to get drunk and start raiding the mini-bar. I had the good sense to bring a ton of liquor beforehand as to not start getting the shakes at 2am, leaving me with a six thousand dollar room charge.)

(The Missus was very proud of this photo; she claimed it looked 'like a photograph in a High School Yearbook.' Yeah, because we all remember how great those turned out. I had my Senior photos taken in 1999, when Photoshop airbrushing was still a consumer novelty. The photographer claimed they could airbrush out my braces, when in fact they decided to airbrush my entire mouth area altogether, making me look like someone had tried to scribble-erase my picture from the yearbook. Thanks, guys.)

(To you, this may look like I am hard at work, uploading photographs and answering e-mail; 'Genuis At Work' business. Truth of the matter is that I'm locked in a death stare with the snack basket, begging myself not to just dive in and start tearing into every salty bag with reckless abandon.)

(The view from my window. Now wait a minute; before you get all 'eww, that's depressing!' on me, consider the following. Main Street went for miles, and when viewed as a whole, this Historic District was quite beautiful and downright surreal. The cliffs in the background showcased multi-million dollar homes, and the river behind us was stunningly beautiful. Every morning before my wife woke up, I'd watch people meander up and down the street for about an hour, and it made me happy. Mainly because I was already on my third scotch of the day.)

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day. More photos tomorrow.

(LISTEN UP! The Communist Dance Party is inching ever closer to Post #1000! As part of the festivities, the CDP will devote the entire week of August 17-21 to answering any and all questions you may have about the Little Blog That Could. So think of something you've always wanted to ask about Ryan J. Zeinert or theCDP.net, post or send it to communistdance@yahoo.com, and wait until the week of August 17 for the answer. You can stay anonymous and can ask as many questions as you want. Thanks in advance!)

(BONUS! If I feature any of your questions on the CDP next week, you are then eligible for a drawing that will net you a FREE CDP T-SHIRT of your choice! What do you have to lose? Send me those questions, and you might end up winning!)

I spelled genius wrong on porpoise.
I love staying in hotels, even crappy hotels (which is all I've ever stayed in, come to think of it). I wish MY husband would let us spend lots of money on a fancy hotel. *sniffle* I didn't think the Main Street picture was depressing at all. What's not to love about bars in old-fashioned buildings?

Why am I getting nostalgic for time periods I never experienced?
BERRY BEAR - I appreciate the sentiment and potential jealousy, but for the sake of full disclosure, we got a pretty sweet deal on the hotel room. No way we'd be able to swing the $250 a night they usually charge, even if it is totally worth it.

And yeah, while I was initially depressed with the Dubuque Historic District, I grew to really love it by the time we left. Taking the riverwalk to some of the most beautiful views of the Mississippi River was actually quite a memorable experience. When I went there early one morning, there were two different weddings taking place, and the vibe was really beautiful.

I get nostalgic for crap I've never done all the time. It might be weird, but I don't think so much about it any more.
I also have tickets to the Gun Show, in case you were wondering.

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