Sunday, October 31, 2010

spooky, scary

Since Dave and I are too old to trick or treat, to celebrate Halloween this year we had to find something else to do. I wanted to do something spooky and thought the Bodies exhibit (that is literally right down the street) would be pretty cool, but Dave passed on that.

Now that I think about it, that's kinda creepy that we live and grocery shop right next to where all those bodies are being housed...

Well anyway, I poked around online a little more and then saw that the Strollers Theatre Company was putting on a production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Perfect!

The play was downtown at the Bartell Theatre - a great little theatre with two small stages. The theater was a little bit bigger, but reminded me of the Jerry Orbach Theater in NYC where Mom and I saw The Fantasticks this year.

Anyway, it's always fun to support live theater and the story was super-creepy and perfect for Halloween.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

happy halloween!

It's Halloween weekend! And Halloween is a big deal in Madison. There's a big street party tonight on State St. called Freakfest complete with three music stages, costume contest and very chilly fall weather!

Not sure if we will make it out, but I really wanted to show you how seriously people in Madison take their Halloween decorations.

(This is just a small sampling - it's not as easy to take pictures of people's yards as you would think. Especially when you don't want them to see you doing it!)

So the original idea for this post was to show you some of the decorations around our neighborhood. But then, last night, driving home from a show downtown, we drove by this house:

Those are ALL jack-o-lanterns! And if you can see through the front door, that's a guy STILL CARVING!! 

I know the photo quality is terrible - iPhone doesn't do well in low light. So, for a better picture follow this link over to Letter From Here, another Madison blogger who got a really nice shot of the house and coincidentally, blogged about it this morning. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

friends in Madison!

Last weekend I was lucky to have three of my best friends come visit me in Madison! (Dave was out of town with his guy friends, so the timing was perfect!)

We had the best time. Gaby, Johanna, and Carrie made it so fun because they were just so darn enthusiastic about everything! Farmer's market? They're pumped. Cheese? They're thrilled. Local beers? It's their new favorite. More cheese? They want it.

Bucky t-shirts? They need two each. Madison's lakes? They want to see them all. I think I may have coverted some tar heels to cheeseheads!

Thanks so much for coming up, girls! Love you and miss you already!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

homecoming parade

A couple Fridays ago was the University of Wisconsin's homecoming and the big game against Minnesota.

Like UNC and Duke battle for the bell when they meet on the football field each year, Wisconsin and Minnesota play for Paul Bunyon's axe!

Isn't that funny? What's funnier is that the axe replaced the former trophy, the Slab of Bacon!
But this post is not really about Paul Bunyan or bacon. It's about the Homecoming Parade! The parade was the evening before the game and was lots of fun. Dave found us a great vantage point up on a second story balcony on State Street so we had great views of the band...

...and Bucky!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

WISL while you work

Construction is complete at the Wisconsin Injury in Sport Laboratory (WISL)! You can see in-progress pictures here and here.

Here's the latest from the WISL. The platform is completed, carpeted, and waiting for forceplate installation.

The ceiling is raised and finished.

Next steps: equipment installation!

subscribe via email

I've figured out a new blog function! Now you can subscribe to the blog two ways - either via email using the little box to the right or way down at the bottom by RSS feed or any other news reader.

Oh, and we had another "you know you live in Wisconsin when..." moment today. Bloody Marys garnished with beef jerky and cheese!

Let's zoom in, shall we?

I don't know about you, but that was my first drink garnished with meat and cheese!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

back to Baraboo

Last weekend was cold in Madison. One night, the temp dropped down to freezing, so I panicked that our fall days were numbered and rushed out to buy a winter coat. Turns out that's a surefire way to get a weekend of great weather - this weekend is gorgeous! Yesterday was just like summer - sunshine and 80 degrees.

To take advantage of the perfect weather, we drove back up to Baraboo. I posted about our last trip to Baraboo here. There's actually a lot to do in Baraboo, but I'll post more about that later. This post is about our Saturday destination, Devil's Lake State Park.
The lake was created by a glacier during the last Ice Age. Surrounding the lake are 500 foot bluffs that make for great hiking trails.

Here's the view going up the east bluff on the CCC trail.
Here we are posing for pictures on the way up - it's a really fun, rocky trail!

Almost to the top, we bumped into a bunch of rock climbers. They were everywhere!
In fact there were people everywhere. We weren't the only folks with the bright idea to go outside yesterday. The first entrance to the park was full and we had to wait in line about 20 minutes to get in!

So, back to the hike. When we got to the top we were rewarded with expansive views of the lake and the Baraboo bluffs.

A little side note about the trail we selected at Devil's Lake: it happens to be a part of the Ice Age trail - a 1000 miles of trail that weaves all through the state of Wisconsin highlighting landscape features created during the glacial age.

On the way down, we saw the balanced rock.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

under construction!

Welcome to the Wisconsin Injury in Sport Laboratory (WISL)! As of today, Dave's lab is officially under construction!

Here's what the facilities crew got built today at the WISL...

I know it doesn't look like much, but Dave tells me that this platform is important because it will house the force plates that measure kinetics - the forces created when people land after jumping. The force plates are in this pallet of equipment somewhere...
...along with the Flock of Birds. Yeah, if you're not one of Dave's athletic training people and you're reading this, the Flock of Birds is a high-tech piece of equipment that according to Dave measures joint motion and activity. It does lots of other things, but I don't think you want me to try to translate what Dave is saying to me right now into something understandable to us lay people! So we'll leave it at joint motion.

But to help you better appreciate the step forward today with the Lab, here's some true "before" pictures. We'll be sure to keep you posted as construction continues!
Here you can see where Dave framed out the platform in tape. So we've moved from tape to wood! Big step.

Monday, October 4, 2010

cupcakes for dinner

Friday night was the Iron Cupcake competition in Madison! Kinda like Iron Chef, but with cupcakes!
And we were the judges! Yes, for a mere $6 entry fee, we joined up with a cupcake-loving crowd of Madisonians. We picked up our 10 mini cupcakes from the 10 bakers and got to tasting and voting!

Since the event was held at the Washington Hotel Coffee Room, the bakers had to incorporate coffee into their cupcake creations. Yum!
Iron Cupcake Madison was also a fundraiser for the REAP Food Group in Madison. So we could feel good about our calorie-laden cupcake consumption!

One more thing - I'm so glad we went to Iron Cupcake because it meant we discovered the Washington Hotel Coffee Room! The coffee shop is beautiful! Spacious, but comfy-cozy with huge windows looking out over Monona Bay and across the water to downtown.

I didn't snap a picture of the view from inside, but Dave did get a shot from outside. Check out the great view of the Capitol from the lawn.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


There were two blooms on this orchid when I bought it and now there are three!

So excited I haven't killed it...yet!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

what is it? #2

So if you missed the first installment of "What is it?" here's #2. The game goes like this. I post a picture of something that's new and different to me, something you don't see on the east coast or something unique to Madison. You leave a guess in the comments section on what you think it is. Whoever guesses it right is the *winner*! Maybe someday if we get enough people guessing we'll actually have a prize for the winner!

As seen on the campus of UW-Madison:

What is it?

Bells in Madison (part 2)

When Mom came to visit, we somehow ended up having an architecture-themed weekend. Last weekend with Dave's parents we explored what Mother Nature has to offer in Madison. In addition to the Madison-must-see spots, we ventured out to two new places Dave and I hadn't seen yet.

First stop, the Olbrich Botanical Gardens.
The gardens are in downtown Madison at the top of the isthmus. There's an indoor conservatory that was hot as a rain forest and smelled delicious!
There were birds living in the conservatory and they had a sloth, too! Can you seem him the tree?
The outdoor gardens are gorgeous, too.
I didn't take enough pictures because I was too focused on winding through the paths to find the Thai Pavilion.
One of our favorite things at the gardens was the garden kaleidoscope.
Inside the bowl are plants of varying colors and textures planted like slices of pie. The bowl rotates and you can look through the eyepiece to see a kaleidoscope view of the plants! So neat!

After a day of seeing the sites in Madison, we were ready to explore outside the city limits. We took a quick drive north to Baraboo. Doesn't that just sound like a fun place? There's actually a lot to do up in Baraboo, but we had our sites set on the International Crane Foundation. ICF claims to be the only place in the world where you can see all 15 species of cranes. Who knew?
ICF does a ton of conservation work. They hatch and reintroduce whooping cranes into the wild, even training them the flight path to Florida by using a ultralight aircraft.
photo courtesy of International Crane Foundation
Here's the current whooping crane couple. And yes, we heard them whoop!