Day 9: A Capitol View

The Wisconsin state Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo: Jenny Williams

Ahh… A comfy bed. I’m not picky about sleeping accommodations when people are putting me up for free, but it’s always a nice surprise to get to sleep in a most excellent bed. This was such a bed.

Our view of the lake, right by the university. Photo: Jenny Williams

My original plan for this day was to visit The House On The Rock, which was a childhood favorite of mine. But between being expensive, it being 40+ minutes away from John K.’s house, and me being behind on both sleep and writing, I decided to scrap that plan and sort of take the day off. I slept in as long as I could, and then got some writing done this morning.

Our view of the dome and sculptures from the observation deck. Photo: Jenny Williams

Then for the afternoon we headed to downtown Madison, around the Capitol, and met John for lunch. We walked up to the university and he and I got food from the carts there. I got excellent Peruvian food. I don’t know why more people don’t put raisins with meat. Yum. The kids got a hodge podge lunch of what I could throw together at the Student Union. But then we went and ate our food by the lake. The breeze was coming off of the lake and we sat in the shade. It was fantastic and a great place to lounge for a while. The food, the lake, the conversation, and the company meant a lot.

Someone in Madison, Wisconsin is awesome. Photo: Jenny Williams

Then John showed us a local cheese shop. If I’d been less full of the most excellent Peruvian food, I would have probably bought something. But it is easy to say no to delicious food when you have a belly full of chicken, potatoes, rice, raisins, and a tasty yellow sauce. Plus many licks of ice cream. He then walked us up to the Capitol to make sure we could get in (they had metal detectors there for a while, because of the protests). It was all clear, so he went back to busily drawing Munckin awesomeness while we continued on. There were still a handful of protesters outside the Capitol, but they were just the determined few that still had the spare time to hold their ground.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do at the Capitol, but I knew I wanted to look around. Apparently there are tours, but I knew I didn’t have the stamina for one, and the kids wouldn’t have either. So we admired the outside and the inside, and took the elevator as high as it went. I wanted to see how high we were allowed to go. We saw a few busy staff members, but no one questioned our right to be there. This is the difference between Madison’s Capitol and the U.S. Capitol. Free wanderings won’t be a part of our U.S. Capitol tour next month! Anyway, we wandered, and wandered, and finally saw a sign mentioning an observation deck. Score. This we had to find. After a false start or two, and many staircases climbed and descended in vain, we found the route, thanks to a helpful public servant. You could see all of Madison and both lakes from the observation deck. You also got a nice, close-up view of some of the architecture and decoration of a higher-up part of the building. My son continued to rave about the observation deck for an hour or two afterward. It made his day.

After making our way back down to ground level, and being barely able to walk (the observation deck was six flights up, not to mention our false starts, and the only elevator we took was part of the way up), we hobbled to the parking garage (or “parking ramp” as it seems to be called here, according to John and my parking slip of paper), retrieved the car (Cheap parking! I love small-ish towns.), and came back to the house. We have another quiet evening ahead of us, which hopefully will allow me to catch up on more writing. I’d love to start the next few days of our trip ahead for once.

Drove: Around town.

States: Wisconsin.

Weather: Fantastic! Warm in the sun, but breezy and cool in the shade. A perfect summer day.

Kids: Spirits were good. The relaxing morning sitting around was helpful to us all.

Best Parts of the Day: Lunch with John K., the Capitol observation deck.

Worst Parts of the Day: Jelly legs after climbing and descending stairs of said Capitol.

Total GeekDads Visited: 4.

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About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.
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