Just returned from a few days in Madison, Wisconsin. It was my first time in Madison, though not my first time in Wisconsin (I had previously tubed the Apple River when I was a teenager and living in Minneapolis). I was there for the Science Writing in an Age of Denial conference which was really cool.
A shot of the staircase inside the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, where the Monday sessions of the conference were held (not to be confused in any capacity for the Discovery Institute in Washington! A totally different animal - though the DI is a classic think tank for science denial...).
I'll post more about the conference, but for now I wanted to leave you with some photos out and about Mad-town and my adventures with my friend Theresa, one of my BFFs from 8th and 9th grade when I lived in Minneapolis.
(I should mention I have an adorable snoozing 6-week old kitten on my lap?! I just got home yesterday and a friend texted me a photo and was all, do you want a kute tinee kitteh? And I'm all, are you kidding me? Who can resist its charms? Yes! Even my 17-year daughter whose all emo and angsty lately couldn't resist the kitteh cuteness. But I digress. More on the kitteh of cuteness later.)
Theresa and I hadn't seen each other in... we calculated it at 27 years... and we had so much fun! We'd kept in touch by email and Christmas letters, but my travels had not taken me to the northern states so this was the first pop to see her! This is a photo taken on my Android using the Vignette app, which I love.
We did so much in a day and a half! She arrived as my conference was winding down, and we walked a mile or so from UW-Madison campus over to State Street where there are lots of shops and restaurants. This Rastafarian banana cracked me up!
And of course this one is particularly relevant right now! I shoulda bought it for myself for Mother's Day...
We walked over to "the square" where the Wisconsin State Capitol building is (no more protesters, but I did hear one "RECALL WALKER" rant in the distance). There are several shops around and we explored and photographed the Capitol building the inside of which is incredible!
There are tons of tulips outside the Capitol building of different colors and I thought they were so pretty. Kind of a cool retro image.
This is a tree outside the capitol building.
And a church across the street.
The whole reason we walked to the Capitol in the first place was on a hunt for cheese. Someone had recommended the store Fromagination, and we walked there, and arrived right as a busload of tourists did - like 50 people! So we left and went to the Capitol and came back after they were gone. They had tons of samples and we walked around sampling cheese and crackers and spreads. Yum!
Do you think I went a little overboard on the cheese purchase? We bought some and wine for later at the B&B we were staying at.
The other reason we went to Capitol Square was because that's where the foodie restaurant I'd picked out was located. It's called Graze! It's in the building with all the windows, and these are the tulips from the Capitol lawn. Nice huh!
We sat outside because the weather was drop-dead gorgeous - sunny and 60ish (see I didn't die of frostbite in the Himalayas of Wisconsin, y'all!). I had the Crispy Smoked Tofu served over toasted farro with smoked mozzarella, asparagus and other garnishes. It was delish and I wish I'd taken a photo! Theresa got the trout. After we ate, we walked back to the campus where Theresa parked, and drove 15 minutes or so out of town to the Token Creek Eco-Inn B&B.
I will blog separately about the way cool B&B - it's so cool - but for now here's a pic of the door! We stayed up late drinking wine and eating cheese (after a big dinner!) and then went to our room, where we proceeded to laugh our fool heads off over the Bloggess's Giant metal Chicken named Beyonce blog post (I am reading her AWESOME book Let's Pretend This Never Happened, which I picked up in the bookstore at the airport, and I NEVER have time to read but I've read the whole thing except a few pages and I don't want it to end!) And then we went outside and looked at the stars, and then downloaded Skymap app so we could see the Southern Cross through the bottom of the Earth below us... and then I couldn't sleep! LOL.
And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that when I flew to WI, I had a 3-hour layover in Minneapolis, so my other BFF Kris picked me up from the airport (I also hadn't seen her since high school) and we went by my old house... see below...
I totally remembered the house style and the lawn, but I didn't remember the color. Maybe they painted it. This is where I ran away from home for exactly one night, and slept in the car garage and my parents never came looking for me. And where I punched my stepdad in the nose after he chased me out to the garage. As Kris said, I was a force to be reckoned with. Or something like that. :) Even in 8th grade - ha! And that was well before my wild child days really began!