Thursday, September 6, 2012

Madison, WI (Fri/Sat)

We spent Labor Day weekend in Madison, Wisconsin, this year.  We had to make it up there for a home football game again this year - last year was so much fun - and this was really the only weekend that worked for us.  And since flights were so expensive over the holiday weekend, we decided to just make a road trip out of it.

The trip didn't start out too well.  It was pouring rain when we left KC on Friday afternoon.  We've been in a drought all summer.  Why did it have to rain then??  It took us forever to actually get out of the city with all the rush hour traffic -- and all the people who have aboslutely no idea how to drive when it's raining!

Finally out of the city -- an hour later...
After one quick stop at a rest area for me to pee (you should of heard the boys complaining!), we stopped in Des Moines, IA, for dinner.  Now, the boys had failed to mention some very important "road trip rules" to me before I agreed to go on this little trip with them.  First of all, they have something called "no shame" days where you can eat whatever you want without anyone judging you and without you feeling shameful about it.  It's holidays, vacations, major sporting events, etc.  I didn't realize road trips fell in to this category.  Apparently, it is rule #1 of road trips.  So after numerous complaints from me, we still ended up at this place for dinner:

Wendy's?  Come on.  I never eat fast food.  It makes me feels so gross with all that grease.  There was no way I was winning out on this one, so I played along...and ordered a salad.  I couldn't face the ridicule, and ended up with a cheeseburger and ice cream, too.  They were happy with that.

After a phone call to another friend of theirs who frequents these road trips with them, a few of the other "road trip rules" were confirmed.  
  • #2: Don't get an STD.  (What?  Who gets STD's on road trips?)
  • #3: No sleeping.  (Please.  I'll do the no shame eating thing, but there is NO WAY I am staying awake in the car for 8 or 9 hours while driving through the middle of nowhere at night.  Not happening.)
  • #4:  You must have colorful snack-packs.  (HELL YES.  Finally a road trip rule I was okay with!  I was prepared for this one, I had candy, fruit snacks, cheez-its, granola bars.  I passed number 4 with flying colors! )
Needless to say, after chowing down on the disgusting food from Wendys, I went in to a food coma and slept in the car.  Yes, I broke a road trip rule on my first road trip.  Deal with it.  I actually tried to argue for awhile that I had just been resting and didn't actually fall asleep, but when they started asking me about conversations they had had, I realized I had dozed off ... for who knows how long.

Documented proof of my rule breaking...
We stopped again in Dubuque, IA for gas -- and more snacks/drinks.  I wasn't allowed to drink anything in the car after I made them stop once for a pee break.  These guys are tough!

We found this drink for sale at the convenience store called "Hog Wash."  I think it's another version of the Bug Juice drinks they have for little kids, but these had hilarious names.  We couldn't pass them up.  Spen bought several as souvenirs.

Squealin' Blue Rasberry, Gruntin' Grape, Oinkin' Orange, Swine-Sational Lime, and Piggy Pink Lemonade

Iowa souvenirs
Not far outside of Dubuque, once we crossed over the Mississippi River, I begged and pleaded until they finally pulled over for me to get a picture of this sign.  It's imperative that I have pictures of everything on my road trips.  That's MY rule! ;)

I couldn't, however, get them to slow down long enough for me to take a picture of a road sign.  I think this one (below) said 20-some miles to Madison...

We finally pulled in to the house in Madison around 1am I think.  And of course everyone was waiting up for us.  That meant I had to pretend I wasn't exhausted and talk to everyone for another hour...  For some odd reason, once I did finally get in bed, my mind was racing (quite possibly from all the sugary snack-packs I had in the car?) and I couldn't fall asleep for anything.  Made for a short night.

My favorite part about Madison last year was all the free cheese at the Farmer's Market.  I had been telling the boys all along how I was going to get up at 6 or 7 am and go down there to be sure and get lots of cheese.  Because they totally start setting up for those things at, like, 4am, right?  And I didn't want it to be gone before we got there. 

Well, I didn't set an alarm, and B came in to wake me 10am.  I was NOT happy.  I was supposed to be at the market eating cheese 3 hours ago!  I jumped up and showered, and we headed down there around 11 or 11:30 - with me complaining the whole time that the cheese was going to be gone.  Well, well...guess who was right!

Okay, I'm lying.  There was plenty of cheese left.  Of course.  But I had to rub it in at least a little every time I saw any stalls like the ones above! :)  Actually, I got more cheese than I needed.  I bought the most amazing 8 year cheddar ever, and some fresh cheese curds that squeaked.  Spen got berries and sausage, we got some cinnamon rolls from an Amish bakery.  Oooohhhh it was all just glorious...

I forgot to mention the ridiculously awesome Toms shoes my sister-in-law painted for me for this trip.  I bought the red and white Wisconsin "Campus Classic" TOMS, and she did THIS to them:

Honestly, they are perfect.  You would never be able to tell that she free handed them.  Talk about talent!  That girls got plenty of it!!  I was getting offers right and left for them at the Farmers Market.  $220 was the winner.  Probably should have taken that one, but I just couldn't part with them!  They totally made my outfit!  (And I loved having the coolest shoes in all of Madison!)

After I had my fill of cheese at the market, we went back to the house for a quick taco salad lunch, and then walked down to the stadium for the 2:45pm kick off!  We were almost late for the game.  Apparently I took a little too much time with all the cheeses...

It was a sea of red on the way there.  We found our seats - our GREAT seats - just in time to see the first play of the game.  There's nothing like the atmosphere of a college football stadium.  Especially one that has to have the greatest student sections of all time!
(Spen and CC were making fun of our pose in their pic...)

The first half of the game wasn't too exciting, but the students made up for it.  They did their usual chants (some of which are too inappropriate to even write on here!) and started the wave, did their "Jump Around," etc.  Northern Iowa didn't even score in the first half. 

That changed when they came back out after half time.  The score was quickly 26 to 21, and it wasn't looking good for the Badgers!  They held them off for a win in the end though...

We stuck around for the "5th Quarter" again.  It's totally better than the football game.  Maybe even better than the student section antics.  The whole band comes out and just plays random songs and dances around.  It's pretty entertaining. :)

After the game, we walked back to the house for dinner.  Some guests came over, too, including Bin Bin, their tour guide in China.  He told us some crazy stories about growing up their that just blew our minds.  That's one messed up country...and we are very lucky to live where we do!

Anyways, once dinner was over and everyone left, all I wanted to do was take a nap.  I was afraid the "nap" at 9pm would turn in to me not getting up until the next day, so I skipped that and we all went out to State Street for the night.  State Street is Madison's version of Aggieville in Manhattan:  just a bunch of bars and restaurants along one street. 

Our first stop was The Red Shed.  It's a dirty little hole-in-the-wall kind of place, and we shared two long islands there. 

Since it was an afternoon game and students had been partying all day, it was already pretty sloppy at the bars.  Just watching all the mayhem was more than enough entertainment for me.  I started noticing all the crazy ridiculous shirts the students wear in Madison, and decided to start taking pictures of them.  I got quite a collection in just a couple of hours...most of them slightly inappropriate. :)

No Fear - and a girl in a tutu next to him

We wandered up and down State Street (found DJ Spincycle!), and ended up at bar number 2 for the night: Brats.  It was a madhouse!  I guess it's usually a pretty chill place, but it was anything but that night.  It was so packed we could hardly walk around.  We eventually found a table to sit at and people watch for a couple of drinks, and didn't stay too terribly long.

No one was in the mood to wait in long lines, so Wando's was skipped for Nitty Gritty.  (What a name for a bar!)  When we first got to State Street, the line for this place was out the door and down the block, but it was dead when we got there.  Apparently they have some sort of happy hour earlier.  There might of been 8 other people in the hole place by 12:30am, which I was okay with.  The boys played some Buck Hunter, had a drink, and we agreed to call it a night.  Well, not before they gorged on Qdoba burritous -- a tradition that I did not partake in.


No comments:

Post a Comment