If You Want to Be a Badger, Just Come Along With Me

Last weekend, my family took a road trip to Madison, Wisc. to visit family. It had been a long time since I had last been in Madison, back in 2004 with college friends. Before that it had been for a Halloween party in 1998. Madison is such a great city, why does it always take me so long to return?

 We left after work on Friday, and after a five-hour drive, arrived too late to do any exploring (but I did have time to enjoy a Spotted Cow before bed. According to the New Glarus website, “You know you’re in Wisconsin when you see a Spotted Cow.” They don’t sell New Glarus outside of Wisconsin, although I wish they did.).

Adam and Ben on State Street On Saturday, we walked down State Street after the Gophers/Badgers football game. Talk about school pride! We were engulfed in a sea of red and white, with the occasional maroon and gold mixed in. It was fun to be in the midst of the excitement, the energy, the we-don’t-have-any-agenda-today-but-to-have-fun college crowd. We walked past boutiques, thrift shops, sidewalk cafés, and busy bars, stopping at State Street Brats for a photo and Campus Candy for an afternoon treat.

I can now personally relate to the expression “like a kid in a candy store.” My kids didn’t know where to begin. Ben wound up with a bag of gummy worms (yuck), while Adam wanted a little taste of everything. We eventually had to cut him off. I seriously think he could’ve spent all afternoon in there (there are 400 different candy options).

We walked down to the Wisconsin State Capitol, where we saw two wedding parties taking photos on the steps, and another wedding party at the nearby Overture Center for the Arts. All of those cameras inspired us to take a few photos on the Capitol steps, too. (Really, we just wanted an excuse to stop and rest.)

Wisconsin State CapitolAfter our mini photo session, we walked back down State Street, past a street artist creating an impressive spray-painted work of art on the sidewalk (many people gathered around him, completely mesmerized), past more red and white and Bucky the Badger gear (I gotta give it to Wisconsinites, they sure do love their football), down to Memorial Union, where we had really delicious ice cream at Daily Scoop (serving UW-Madison’s own Babcock Dairy Ice Cream, whose profits fund the UW-Madison dairy program) before heading back to the car, completely exhausted.

On Sunday, we did a little shopping on Monroe Street (I highly recommend Calabash Gifts) before packing up and heading home. We were planning on going to the Henry Vilas Zoo or Madison Children’s Museum, but figured we’d leave that fun for the next visit (some time in 2014!)

On, Wisconsin!