Friday, September 7, 2012

Madison, WI (Sun/Mon)

After our full day the day before, I planned on sleeping in on Sunday.  We didn't really have anything we needed to get up for.  The Taste of Madison didn't start until 11am, and we didn't need to be there right away.  Mass was supposed to be 6:30 that evening.  No reason to get up and moving too I thought.

Matt came in and woke me up at 10:30am.  The converstaion went something like this:  "Good morning, baby.  How did you sleep?  Oh, by the way, we're going to mass in 30 minutes." 

Ummm...excuse me?  I could use a little more than 30 minutes to shower and get ready for church!  I literally jumped out of bed, but had already been beaten to the shower by Spen!  Somehow I pulled it off and managed to turn off the blow dryer about 1 minute before we walked out the door.  Awesome way to start the day. ;)

Mass was nice.  We went to a little Catholic church tucked away in a neighborhood (forgot to take pictures in my rushed state ;) ), and the little Indian priest had a good message.  The one interesting thing was the old lady in our row who apparently got tired of moving down after communion and just parked herself right in the middle of the family.  :)

After mass, we went back to the house for some snacks / light lunch, and then Matt, Spen, and I went down to check out the Taste of Madison, which happened to be going on that weekend.  Same location as the farmers market (around the capital), but this was all local restaurants/vendors offering samples of their food.

 Since it was technically still "no shame" weekend, we went to town.  Meatballs, berry panna cotta, Thai food, bacon on a stick, mac 'n cheese, banana foster sundae, sliders, wings, pancake dog, empanadas, cheesecake...who knows what else.  It was all great, and we were all sick by the time we made it all the way around the square.  It didn't help that it was hot and humid.  We literally had to take breaks from eating to relax on the lawn.
Some of the places we ate...

MORE places we ate...

Pancake Dog (upper right) was hands down the worst thing there: sausage deep friend in pancake batter covered in syrup.  One bite and we all about threw up.  Banana Foster (bottom right) was the winner of the day in my book!

Lower left: relaxing on the grass after we ate too much

Chocolate covered bacon on a stick.  For real.

It's okay.  You can admit it.  I look 5 months pregnant in this picture!  It's only a "food baby."  I promise.

We had originally talked about riding bikes down to the Taste of Madison, but it turned out to be a great idea that we didn't.  There was no way we could of rode bikes after that feast.  Matt's mom, however, did ride down and met us on a terrace that overlooked the lake on one side and the capital on the other.  Photo op!

As if all the food and drinks we had just had at the Taste wasn't enough, we decided to go to the local grocery store, Woodman's, to get more beer and cheese to bring back home to KC with us.  It was the biggest grocery store I think I've ever been in!  I mean, it was Costco size, but just food and beverages.  The boys were in hog-heaven in the beer section -- and I was the same when we found the cheeeeeeese!

Woodmans:  the biggest grocery store ever

Beer for the boys                                              Cheese for me

I was exhausted by the time we made it back to the house, and decided to take a little nap.  The little nap turned in to be a siesta of three hours!  I felt like a new woman when I (finally) woke up!  I obviously was in need of a nap!
Matt snuck in and took this of me when I was asleep...probably checking to make sure I was still alive after sleeping for so long.
We all showered and went out for dinner to Great Dane Sunday night.  It's a "Wisconsin staple" I was told.  Of course, I was thrilled when I saw mac 'n cheese on the menu!  Bet you can't guess what I ordered...

The whole gang

Glorious mac 'n cheese with pretzel roll.  SO good.

I was nice and shared with CC (who can never eat enough) so I didn't get too full for dessert!  I had plans in mind...  When we got back to the house, the boys and I walked down the street to Michaels' Frozen Custard. 

As soon as we opened the front door, I heard a familiar sound -- one of my favorites:  fireworks going off.  It was just torture that I could hear them, but not see them over all the trees in Madison!  If I would have known there were fireworks over the lake that night, there is no way I would have missed them! 

Anyways, the ice cream was good, but I couldn't help but be just a little sick that I missed the Labor Day fireworks show - that looked ridiculous in pictures! :(

(I found these pics on the internet the next week...)
This is what I missed Sunday night!
There was talk of going out again that night, but thankfully, they decided against it.  We sat around and talked and watched tv for a couple of hours, and just went to bed.  Which I was more than okay with -- even after my long nap.

I woke up pretty early Monday morning.  A full nights rest, PLUS that nap Sunday (and the 5K/10K race outside the window) didn't help me sleeping in, so I woke Matt up, too.  We had a little breakfast before we went out for a nice, long bike ride with his parents. 

Madison really is a cool city.  We rode by three lakes on our 8.5 mile ride.  The weather was great, and we stopped for some pictures at the University of Wisconsin student union (on a lake) and at the botanical gardens on campus, too. 

Our route...

We really didn't stick around in Madison too much longer after that.  Showered and had breakfast for lunch (waffles, ham, fruit, yogurt, etc), and then we hit the road for the long road trip back home.  Which I was NOT looking foward to. I was prepared with lots of candy AND a drink (which I drank very sparingly), but for some odd reason, the AC decided it didn't want to work, and we were all sweating in the hot sun.  CC finally couldn't take it anymore so we pulled off at a gas station to get out of the car and get some drinks. 

And when we all grudgingly got back in the car again...the AC worked.  So weird.

The Wisconsin / Iowa countryside

We stopped a couple of hours later at some outlet malls just off the interstate in Williamsburg, Iowa, and the boys actually shopped for quite awhile.  Nike Outlet, Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, etc...  For some reason, I - the lone female - was the only one who did NOT buy anything!  I am getting more stingy with my money these days, ha.  And I guess I'm getting old, too.  I walked in Rue 21, Aeropostale, etc...and instantly felt like an old lady next to all the littly teeny-boppers!

The outlets (from the interstate)

When we got back in the car to leave and the boys found out I didn't buy anything, I was informed that this was another somewhat un-written rule of the "no shame" weekend.  Apparently you are supposed to buy something for fun - that you don't really need.  Well that makes no sense to me, and my response was, "I'm too tight for that."  The response from the car was, "You need to stop saying that.  Every man alive thinks of something else when you do."  Ugh.  Boys will be boys. ;)

 It was raining as we pulled in to Des Moines...but the sun was still shining!

Our next stop was for dinner in Des Moines -- back at the same exit we took on the way up to Madison.  I was NOT looking forward to this meal, but was of course ruled about by the rest of the car.  I did put my foot down and refused to eat at Popeyes.  I just couldn't do it!  CC and Spen got an absurd amount of food from there, and took it in with us to eat at McDonalds.  Ha, not sure if that is an upgrae or not, but I didn't have many options.

I ordered a Quarter Pounder w/ cheese -- and a fruit smoothy.  I always try and sneak something in at least semi-healthy(ish).  The burger tasted just as bad as Wendy's on Friday night, but I choked it down, and even tried a biscuit from Popeyes (they're amazing).  The boys all ate themselves sick - and loopey.  I think we were all on a food high or something because none of us could stop laughing at the ridiculous amount of food we just ate.  Matt had 85% of his sodium and 89% of his fat for the day in the 15 minutes we were sitting there eating.  No wonder he didn't feel well the rest of the car ride home. ;)

First stop:  Popeye's for CC and Spen

Second stop:  McD's.  Look at all that food. 
The boys are looking quite shameful -- despite the "no shame" rules.

This is only part of what Matt ate...
I slept on and off the last 3.5 hours home - and woke up as we were passing downtown KC.  Perfect timing. ;) We pulled up to the house around 10:45pm, unloaded the car, and passed out for the night.

Another great trip to Madison - but I think next time I'll skip the "no shame road trip" and just pay the money to fly. ;)

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