Join Waukesha resident Brien Lee and his blog, Sir Fido, as they explore the city and report on the interesting things they find.
Email Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mom stopped in by me the other day and offered a ride home. Curious timing, I'd just used my last bus ticket that morning and hadn't bought more because they were out. Because she hadn't seen inside the new hotel yet, we wandered the block and a half to the Iron Horse after I was done with work at 5:00.
I wanted to tell her all about it, but kept quiet when told we could hook up with an official tour. The hotel rooms themselves were something I didn't get to see during my brief previous tour, so I was anxious to get started. We sat at the bar sipping a couple drinks, trying to be patient. She thought it still smelled too strongly of varnish. I said if they just allowed smoking, after a while no one would notice the varnish.
It wasn't long before a lovely waitress balancing plates of food appeared. She carried small Kobe beef burgers topped with crab meat she called "sliders" and bowls of popcorn shrimp mixed with kettlecorn popcorn. Caught in a trap! Lured by a tour, we'd be talked into buying expensive food we didn't want while waiting for the "free" tour to start.
Even though I've never tasted Kobe beef, I didn't even want to know what they were charging. Couldn't afford it. Mom did want to know, however, and the answer was it was all free. Not only was the burger among the best I've tasted, but in a few minutes someone else arrived with a large bowl of fancy potato chips made with truffle oil and parmesan cheese. I'm more of a Ruffle oil chip kind of guy, but if the price is right... Oh, and what is truffle oil and what's it doing on potato chips?
We speculated the food was free because they were looking for a little word-of-mouth advertising - a little mouth-watering advertising. Maybe they were just getting the kitchen up and running in preparation for tomorrow's full opening of "Branded". Either way, I detected no difference in chips with truffle oil, and will just stick to Ruffles with French onion.
The tour wasn't a letdown after our little meal. We stopped in the library and were told guests could remove books for free and replace them with something different - on the honor system. Surprising considering some of the offerings. The seven of us then went downstairs to see the 100 year old boiler room where the 36 person hot tub is going to be and some large original paintings.
Later exiting the elevator at one of the upper floors, zebra-striped carpeting, and the story behind it, greeted us. The room we toured had a single luxurious queen-sized bed with an animal hide covering the bench at the foot of it. The bathroom shower had a very large rain head as well as a conventional. The shower was encircled by glass - so much so that anyone in the bedroom could see silhouettes through the opaque glass of the person showering. We were told all rooms don't share this feature.
Mom and I enjoyed a surprisingly good, and well-nourished, tour. Everything in the building seems compatible with a pleasant stay. If only we had an extra few hundred dollars lying around...