Lucky for us, my dear sister has come to visit! Joanna flew in on Saturday morning and is hanging out with us until (very early) next Saturday morning. Dan and I wanted to do something unique while she's here, so yesterday we headed to Madison, WI, capital of the dairy state, home to University of Wisconsin-Madison, and one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S.
In the afternoon, Jo and I walked around shops while Dan either browsed patiently or waited on a bench outside. We both scored not quite perfect shoes from Land's End (another WI attraction), which will be excellent for student teaching. We went into tons of interesting and eclectic stores. I saw this adorable doll house. Now don't read into this folks, but I'm hoping Dan's dad will make one for a little girl someday. (Catch that word someday.)
We also went out to eat at The Great Dane Brewing Company, in search of deep fried cheese curds and other dinner deliciousness. The beer-battered cheese curds were excellent -- not as stringy as cheese sticks, but just as tasty. Joanna wanted to have a true Wisconsin dinner, so she had the Wisconsin-Style Mac and Cheese (complete with beer in the cheese sauce).
Dan had a hearty hamburger-bratwurst combo on a pretzel bun. (Along with cheese and beer, brats are wildly popular in Wisconsin.)
The food I choose had origins nowhere near Wisconsin -- falafel and fried sweet plantains -- but my dessert sure did! After a walk to a bike shop, we stopped at Ella's Deli, a tourist attraction and a site at which a horror movie could possibly be staged. At least 100 figures flew on wires attached to the ceilings, filling the Deli with whirring, clicking and clacking. It was kind of creepy, we all agreed. But the decor didn't distract me from sampling an ice cream delight: homemade espresso ice cream on grilled pound cake topped with hot fudge.
Now this is what Wisconsin is about.