Category: travel

Madison, Wisconsin


Madison is one of those cities that I love the idea of. I suppose that for someone who went to College in Ann Arbor, and then really never left the general area, that this makes sense.

I think that Madison will be the first evening of the road trip. Day one, then, won’t be too aggressive when it comes to distance traveled, and Madison seems like it’ll be a nice city to spend a few hours in.

If we get going at around 7:00 in the morning, then we should be in Madison in the early afternoon. During our trip, I’d like to get to bed at around 10PM. That’s about how long this body’s parking meter lasts when I’m trying to get a bunch of the driving done during the daytime, which works out best for me. 

I don’t want to make too many stops on this first day. Here, the plan is to pack a cooler and bring food for the road. My penchant for planning makes this a fun prospect. Then, we’ll have a late lunch in Madison, see some things, and then do dinner.

Design Sponge has a fun-looking city guide for Madison. I’ve had fun with these guides before and like to use them as a starting point. However, these days, I like to take photos as souvenirs, and occasionally pick up a food item or book to bring back home. I should stick to the books though. I tend to get too, I-should-save-this  about the food things and I never know when that attitude is going to morph into I-probably-shouldn’t-eat-this.

I would love to see the state capitol building. I have a weak spot for those buildings. Madison’s has one of the highest domes in the country. I love seeing those buildings at night. I can see Nashville’s, Washington D.C.’s and Texas’ in my mind, if I think about it, from visits to those places. 



Kitchen Gallery Store


Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Chazen Museum of Art

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Mustard Museum


Bike share

Capitol City Trail


Marigold Cafe


Dotty Dumplings Dowry

Bradbury’s (coffee and crepes)

Alchemy Cafe


Road Trip Love

Now that my son is officially a teenager, the whole thing about time flying is smacking me in my face. He has already reached the age where he sometimes has plans for his own time that are different that what I had in mind. Over the last couple years, we’ve taken a few road trips together, and we both see them as a tradition. We drive somewhere, see some things and listen to some audiobooks. Last summer, we didn’t take a trip for a few reasons. For starters, that was the year following buying a house and I was spending money left and right on the house. He also had his first job working as a CIT at his summer day camp. The training for his job occurred during the time we’d normally hit the road. I had some work-related responsibilities to fulfill  at the end of the summer, the other time we’d normally hit the road.

This has me longing for a road trip.

Planning a road trip for us, and likely any family, is all about the balance. I would be perfectly content planning a road trip that was just one historically significant place after the next. While my son is a good sport, I don’t think that he’d like that too much. 

Mount Rushmore, though, would be interesting to behold even to one who isn’t the president fan that I am. There is no way I was going to do an out and back from Michigan to South Dakota, so I took a look at the map. Denver isn’t that far away from South Dakota, especially considering the distance that this trip will cover. This would be a good opportunity to swing out in that direction and see some natural scenes that we would not see where we’re from. I’ve been wanting to visit both the Eisenhower and Truman presidential libraries, and this might be the trip for that.  Along the same lines as rolling through Denver, it seems like a waste of miles to go into Missouri without visiting Kansas City and St. Louis.

If I’m headed home from St. Louis, I couldn’t possibly ignore Springfield, Illinois. I mean, a gal needs her Lincoln fix, right. Right?!?

That is how the outline of a road trip has come together.

I look forward to planning it out in much more detail in the coming months. After all, these are the things that memories are made of.