Apr 30

Rusty Hedgehog: Modern Art, or Depraved Sex Act?

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Ah, long weekends! The delightful lack of responsibility. The languorous passage of time. The metric assload of work you end up having to catch up upon your return… So in case anyone actually wondered where I went or actually missed me, I decided to take a week hiatus after our Dubuque trip. With everything at work last week, plus hip pain and doctor appointments, I wasn’t feeling terribly entertaining.

But I’m feeling better now, so let me tell you a small tale about a small podunk town on the Mississippi River…

I’d like to start by saying that Dubuque, Iowa is a lovely city with a lot of fascinating history, beautiful architecture and a unique setting along the Mississippi River. You also can’t turn your head 45 degrees without seeing at least 2 church steeples on the horizon. Dubuque: Land of a Hundred Thousand Lutherans. Seriously, this town is like, 29 square miles and I counted at least 12 churches in the parts of the city I actually saw.

And this one didn't even appear to be in use anymore.

Of course, we stayed on Sunday night, so we arrived at the hotel around 2:30 on Sunday afternoon. Immediately, we noticed that EVERYTHING was closed. Upon checking in, the front desk clerk was pointing out the lounge and the restaurant, both of which were closed at the time. At one point, we tried to stop at the city welcome center to get a brochure to find a coffee shop, and it was closed too. Apparently, idle hands are as much God’s fault as the Devil’s work, particularly when they are confounding tourist plans.

When I said before that we were staying in a swanky hotel, I was mostly kidding, because seriously? It’s Dubuque – how upscale can it really be? But this place was GAWgeous! The lobby of any given hotel is usually fairly well decorated, but even the suites here were perfection right down to the $2.00 honor bar candy bars. My only complaint was that there was no jacuzzi tub in the room, but there was a hot tub and we were the only people in it.

Now most people, when they think weekend getaway, think about dining out. While we did do plenty of that, it wasn’t really spectacular. I stopped at a little local chocolate shop and bought 6 truffles in different flavors but for $7, I would rather have bought a couple bags of Dove chocolate. They used the same kind of molds that I use when I’m molding chocolate, only they didn’t tap the air bubbles out of their molds, so the chocolate was all bubbled and a little streaky. I ate my chocolate, but I didn’t enjoy it!

We went to an Italian place for dinner that was a Mom & Pop version of a Macaroni Grill. (Nothing wrong with that – I love Macaroni Grill.) The bruschetta was pretty good, but I prefer mine (naturally). Ken got a pizza, and I did the make your own pasta for our main course. Ken enjoyed his pizza, but my pasta was terrible. It’s like the bucatini wasn’t drained before they slopped unseasoned sauce on it. It was so bland and flavorless that I actually added salt and I NEVER do that in a restaurant. Not even the generous serving of wine (which was also rather uninspiring and lacking in complexity) could make up for the mediocre food. It’s a good thing that we had a bottle of champagne in the hotel room that I brought from home…

Our hotel stay also included at $25 dining credit at the restaurant downstairs, so we tried our hand there for breakfast. Whatever salt had been missing from my dinner the previous evening was clearly added to my biscuits and gravy. I didn’t even bother to finish it and then I spent half an hour after breakfast laying down in our room fighting off tummy rumbles. At least the orange juice was good, and we ended up finishing the rest of our champagne in mimosa form.

Being that we were in the most industrious little city on the Mississippi, and because the husband and I are the biggest nerds, we decided to take a tour of the Mississippi River Museum.  They even had some river wildlife on display in giant tanks throughout the building and it was both awesome and terrifying at the same time. Some of the wildlife even posed for us.

Catfish are even uglier when magnified.

We followed up our two hours of educational recreation with a stroll along the Mississippi River Walk where we were treated to some of the most bizarre “art” I’ve ever seen in my life. At one point, I’m pretty sure we were the victims of a mile long trolling, but if that’s the case then they’ve been doing it to the locals every year for the last 5 years. Art on the River is apparently a big deal there.

Seriously, if anyone can tell me what in the actual fuck those were about, you have my complete and undivided attention.

We capped off our stroll with lunch at the Star Ultra Lounge and Brewery, and let me just say that it was the best food I ate all weekend. Their sweet potato fries were sublime and the peach infused iced tea was delightful. It was the first meal I walked away from not feeling stabby and or queasy. Ken had red snapper tacos or something stupid like that. Whatever, mine was better.

And then we took some more pictures of church spires and spent the next hour and a half driving home. Happy Birthday To Us!

I also promised you kids prizes or some such thing, so hubby drew a name at random from the Badger Hat of Win and Awesome.

Without further adieu, the winner is:


I have your address but I’m pretty sure the post office wants a last name or something, so send me a secured cipher or something later. The other 3 of you that actually participated are fabulous too, and I already have everyone’s address but Jana, so make with the deets, woman. Everyone else, watch your mailbox.

Happy Monday: all uphill to Wednesday.


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  1. Ally

    Catfish may be ugly but they are delicious.

    1. admin

      Only if they’re fried, and even then I can think of a dozen other fish I’d rather have that weren’t slurping slime off a rock. *shudder*

  2. NATurally Inappropriate

    I thought those were panties he was drawing from. HAHA
    NATurally Inappropriate recently posted..Slug Bug + Fit Slap + Cop Chop + Jeep Jab = Holy bruisingMy Profile

    1. admin

      You would… and I would probably wear them. Note to self: do next drawing from a pair of panties.

  3. Misty

    Holy Schnikes!! I actually won. Wow! I have never ever won anything ever that I have entered on any blogs. This is awesome. Please tell your hubs that he is awesome and I owe him a big smooch if ever I am lucky enough to meet y’all.

    Actually, I’ve had stuff get to me using just Misty. Also, sometimes I get stuff addressed to Misty Laws. If you really need my last name though, I can email it to you.

    Oh, and I did miss you. Glad you had fun. Sorry most of the food was ass. That is the risk you take by being so much better at making stuff than most people! :)
    Misty recently posted..The Saga of the Planner: RevisitedMy Profile

    1. admin

      Call it good karma for all the spiffy drawing you’ve done.

  4. Jana

    I love that hat…it was AWESOME!!!

    Damn…I am kinda pissed I didn’t win.
    Jana recently posted..Zee EndMy Profile

    1. admin

      Hey, I offered you a hell of a consolation prize, but you had no interest in getting your rehabilitated crack whore mannequin back. Even if she has been hooker reformed.

  5. Valerie

    That big floaty head looks familiar… I’m pretty sure I’ve had a nightmare about it.
    Valerie recently posted..You have not been abandoned.My Profile

    1. admin

      Supposedly, it was designed and built with the intent of giving a voice to global warming. The only thing I heard was a cry for psychiatric help.

  1. Fat Hoarders and the Chubby Chasers Who Love Them | NATurally Inappropriate

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