Saturday, June 17, 2006

Madison Wisconsin

We left my parent's house this morning after a really
nice visit that lasted about 10 days. I have some neat
topics to write about from our stay, but I didn't have
a very fast web connection, so I'll write about them in
the next couple of weeks when I have time. We decided
that the two day drive out to Indiana was a little long,
so we decided to take a different route back to Grand
Junction that will take about 3 1/2 days. It will be
a few miles longer, but we'll be covering some ground
that we haven't seen before and it should make it much
more interesting.

We arrived in Madison, Wisconsin after only a 3 1/2 hour
drive, feeling refreshed and ready to explore. Madison
is a city of about 200,000 people and is the State
Capitol of Wisconsin. Their capitol building looks a
lot like the US Capitol in Washington. Although it's a
pretty large city, it has a small town feel and is
surrounded by several fairly large lakes. It reminded
us a lot of Dunedin, on the South Island of New
Zealand. We drove through several neighborhoods and
it seemed like a place we might want to come back to
and explore for a couple of days sometime.

Madison is also home to the main campus of the University
of Wisconsin. It's a Big Ten university and it's enrollment
is just over 40,000. It's also located on a lake and is
fairly modern architecturally. Although it's picturesque,
it's not an old looking or quaint campus. Most of it's
buildings are very tall and kind of overwhelming. I also
didn't get the feeling that it was very compact. I have
read though that it's an excellent university, known for
it's Engineering and Agricultural schools; much like
Purdue University, where I attended.

We went to dinner at a really good restaurant near our
hotel, called Imperial Garden. It was excellent and has
received "Best of Madison" accolades 20 years in a row
in the "Asian Cuisine" category. Lynn got the Rice Noodles
with Chicken and I ordered the Mongolian Beef (sans carrots!).

After dinner, we went to the Frugal Muse bookstore, also voted
the "Best in Madison" and I found a couple reasonably priced
used books that I had been seeking out for a while and Lynn
bought a practically new knitting book that caught her eye.
Although we've had good weather for the past week or so, as
soon as we got into the car outside the store, the skies opened
up and it poured. Riding-in-a-car-wash type rain. No more bugs
on our windshield! Tomorrow, it's on through LaCrosse, Wisconsin,
Rochester, Minnesota and into South Dakota for the night.

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