MADISON, WISCONSIN – I grew up in the Chicago ‘burbs. Graduated from high school outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Went to college in Madison, Wisconsin (Go Badgers!). Did a two-year stint in Columbus, Ohio. Ended up back in Madison for one year. But now we’re off to Chicago, Illinois. And we bought a condo, so it is very likely we will be calling it home for the next five to seven years.
Here is my farewell to Madison and just a few highlights and memories that will always hold a special place in my Badger red heart:
If the University of Wisconsin – Madison were Saved By the Bell, the terrace would be The Max. It’s THE place to meet up for beers (or a Babcock ice cream) on a sunny day for students and locals. It overlooks Lake Mendota and it’s the backyard of the Memorial Union. Sitting on a yellow, orange, or green terrace chair brings tears to every alumni’s eyes.
The Dane County Farmer’s Market is often ranked one of the best in the world. It’s magical. Locals walk counter-clockwise along the beautiful Wisconsin State Capitol building to sample cheese, pick flowers, and watch crazy protestors. It runs every Saturday from late spring to early fall and a Madison weekend is not complete without a lap around the farmer’s market.
My favorite stop is Farmer John’s for some squeaky cheese curds. Just look for the sign. The made-that-morning fresh cheese curds really do squeak. And they taste even better as the day goes on.
Madison is an isthmus, so as I trained for my half marathon I was able to run from Lake Mendota to Lake Monona and have a gorgeous lakefront path throughout all 7, 8, 9, 10 miles or whatever length I was running that day. Here’s the view of the capitol building from the top of the hill at Olin Turville Park overlooking Lake Monona.
My other favorite view is from the tip of Picnic Point. It overlooks Lake Mendota and you can see the capitol building far off in the background. I loved my long runs when I got both views of the capitol.
I was lucky enough to have a friend who’s active in Hoofers Sailing Club, so he took us out on Lake Mendota. We were even allowed to carry beer on board. Glorious! Locals can become members of Hoofers and rent out equipment or sign up for affordable classes.
It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Madison and I’ll miss it even more than the last time I left and moved to Columbus. But the future doesn’t look bleak. I think I can get used to this view:
Chicago, here we come!