Our daytrip to Madison, Wisconsin, was like visiting an old friend: It was familiar, friendly, warm, light, airy, really cool, accessible and interesting. Added bonus features include its being organized, political, bike and pedestrian friendly, clean, set on an isthmus, a recycling community (as is most of Wisconsin) and having all of the free stuff to do, including touring the capitol building and the zoo. There is so much to do in Madison that one cannot possibly do it in one day. Next time we visit, we would like to check out the Terraces, the Children’s Museum, some breweries and the Dane County Farm Market on Saturday. We also will spend more time at the Historical Museum. For the record, one can use the potty there, and the folks at the museum are really, really nice about it. And they have cool maps on the walls.
Despite what we didn’t do, we thoroughly enjoyed what we did do. We went on a Wednesday with the intention of finding the mid-week farm market. We did locate the market, which finds its home in front of the capitol building (and all around it on Saturdays). The Wednesday market is small, but there are food trucks on many corners, as well as political preachers. Lunch time in downtown Madison is busy and fun. Yet, no matter where one is at city central, it is impossible to avoid the beauty and lure of the capitol building. It is immense and gorgeous and perfect. Its integrity rivals that of Austin’s capital building. People were entering and exiting the building from all directions, and we heard that we could tour the building ourselves, so we did, and it was awesome and interesting.
Luna wanted to see the inside of the big Lutheran Church, so we checked it out, then strolled through the park around the capitol building. Afterward, we ate an inspired lunch at Fromagination, an artisan shop full of local and worldly cheeses and their friends, conversing with the super fun and informed staff, while sampling cheese. Luna had a cookie, and Scot and I ate sandwiches and drank a Wisconsin beer. It was a nice treat for sure.
Finally, we ended our visit to Madison with a stop at the free Henry Vilas Zoo just before closing. Among Luna’s list of things to do during our long term adventure is to see giraffes, which happen to be her favorite animal, so to the zoo it was. We were not disappointed. The zoo experience was a pleasant one as it is home to some amazing animals: a Siberian Tiger, a rhino, flamingos, a tortoise, an orangutan, otters, polar bears, a lion and much more. Of course the highlight for us was the giraffes. The tallest one took its time with us before it called it a day. And, of course, it was beautiful.
We really enjoyed our daytrip to Madison and think that it is a really cool place with really friendly people. We hope to visit it again someday. Thanks for everything, Madison!