Monday, September 20, 2010

Wisconsin Tour: Days in Madison

After we got back from the Apostle Islands, our next series of trips were either hanging around Madison or taking day trips near Madison. After we got back from the Apostle Islands, we took a day in Madison to relax and unpack. On this day we went to the Olbrich Gardens, which I had been wanting to go to ever since the first time I came in Madison a year ago. The Olbrich Gardens were amazing...they have a conservatory with tropical plants, as well as a really neat maze of botanical gardens outside. It was well designed and filled with a variety of plants. I imagine it's a neat place to work! There was even a golden temple that was donated to the gardens from India. I was disappointed we couldn't stay longer, but Boo had to give someone a tour of the WI LA department. Hopefully I'll get to come back where things are bloom again.

Day One Itinerary (08.17.10):
Olbrich Gardens
Snack at Chipotle
Dinner at Home: Taco Mac & Blueberry Crumble

The scenery at the gardens was truly amazing and extremely photogenic. I think these are just a fraction of the photos that were taken. I promise to someday get a handle on all of my photography and post this stuff to a Flicker account or at least to Facebook! Also, we decided to cook some meat we had stored in the freezer, which was a nice retreat from all of the veggie munchin' I have been doing lately... Although it was nice to eat meat, I feel that I feel better and more fit with a veggie/fish diet. So I guess I am perpetually sticking with the vegetarian diet until I feel another need for change.

Day Four Itinerary (08.21.10):
Lunch at Chipotle
Gandy Dancer Festival in Mazomanie
Dinner at Brocach's Irish Pub
Movie: 'Sweeney Todd'

After our 3 days of day trips (which will come in a follow up post!), Boo had to do some work for this WRM practicum in Mazomanie. However, I got to come with him later that evening to the Gandy Dancer Festival, where the WRM had set up a information booth. I learned a gandy dancer is someone who maintains railroads, which is an interesting name! Along with the festival was some bluegrass music, which seems to be popular in Wisconsin. We got to see the Lonesome River Band, which I had seen a couple years before, at the J.D. Crowe Festival here in Wilmore, KY. Kind of ironic!

A Gandy Dancer

Kid's Hula-Hooping & The Feedmill Restaruant

Day Five Itinerary (08.22.10):
Tour of Troy Gardens
Hung out at Glenwood Children's Garden (Home of a Jens Jensen Council Ring)
Peruvian Style dinner with the WRM Students courtesy of Vanessa Cottle's Mom

Unfortunately, we didn't grab any good photos of the events that took place on this day, but it was still nice to get out and see some of the hidden gems in Madison. Troy Gardens is one of the first and only co-housing projects with a community garden, community supported agriculture plot, restored prairie, and 30 units of affordable housing... It is quite impressive to see all of this working together.

Also, Madison is home to the largest concentration of Jens Jensen designed "Council Ring" landscapes. The last one he designed before he died is in the Glenwood Children's Park. It really is quite a humbling experience to get to tread in the footsteps of great designers, and I really love coming to this park. It is along the bike trail and is such an interactive retreat from the city... They have equinox festivals there and do yearly restoration work which I participated in last year. I think one of the reasons I enjoy Madison so much is its very diverse range of spaces and experiences. After living here a year, I still find myself exploring much of the city and discovering new things. And experiencing those things with Katrina makes it even better!

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