Thursday, July 28, 2016

Interactive Gig with Kids

Yesterday right after work I caught a ride with Hardingfele and another bandmate to our gig at a park in a lower-income area. Food carts come every Wednesday evening, and the residents get vouchers to get free dinners for an “Eat Out” event that is supposed to bring people together, but the organizer said the food cart people are getting frustrated because nobody ever comes who can pay full price. If, like me, you had never heard of this event, how could you have come? They are competing against Concerts on the Square, which is where all the middle-class white people are on a Wednesday evening in the summer. Also, most of the people at this event were kids, and why would they want to hang around with me or any other middle-aged person? It seems to me the target audience for this event should be middle-class people with children, so all the kids can mingle together over food cart dinners. The kids mostly ignored us as we played folk music from Europe and white America – I am guessing their taste runs more to current hip hop – but once we finished, Hardingfele encouraged the kids to come play our instruments, so then they were very interested. I wasn’t sure how crazy I was about having a bunch of kids handle my beloved Mandy, and to my surprise the girls were rougher than the boys, but I think they were also a little younger. The girls just tried to play Mandy as loudly as they could, but a couple of the boys were really interested, asking, “Is that a banjo?” and trying to put their fingers down on the strings to change the notes. One boy who was quite a bit older, maybe 14, got a REALLY good sound out of Hardingfele’s violin. I am impressed that a kid who has never touched a violin before has such an instinct for how much pressure to apply to the bow! He said his previous musical instrument experience was all with drums. I hope we made an impression on these kids, and that at least a few of them will now have an interest in learning a musical instrument. What could be better than transmitting my love of music to the next generation? Maybe I missed my calling, and I should have been a music teacher.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Restaurant Week, Continued

Yesterday evening Travalon and I went to Liliana’s, where “Restaurant Week” went on for a few extra days. We sat outside and enjoyed ratatouille and scallops with haricots verts (that’s just a fancy way of saying green beans) and baby blue potatoes. There is a menu fixe (is that the right phrase?) for Restaurant Week, but after our waiter brought us delicious caramel torts, he realized that he had brought us the dessert for the wrong menu, so then he brought us the correct dessert – chocolate mousse! I probably should have turned it down, but they were both delicious. If I hadn’t had both, I would have been OK calorie-wise yesterday… There was a trio singing and playing jazz, and another guy joined them on the timbale (or some large Latin drum) for “The Girl from Ipanema.” They were so good that I took their card, although I am not in the habit of hiring musicians. In fact, Light Bright’s band at our wedding and Bahama Bob at Rich’s 60th birthday party might be the only two times I have done so. Not that I wouldn’t love to have live music all the time, but who could afford that? Maybe if I won the lottery, I’d have live music all the time – I’d get music and they’d get money! Another thing I’d do: charter a Betty Lou Cruise and take a bunch of homeless people and poor kids on it. They probably never get to go on boat rides.

Travalon’s phone continues to do random things. Today it sent me two texts in quick succession: “the whoaw a is aDr2Wsz5qA sq research A99o2,” and, “a.” Seriously, as I was pondering whether the first one was in some sort of code I should recognize, and wondering what the actual word “research” was doing in there, another one came in of just a lower-case a. This was just after I had sent him a heartfelt text about clearing the air with a coworker and how we each had thought the other was mad, but in reality neither of us was, so I figured it wasn’t a direct response from Travalon but his phone acting of its own accord again. At least it didn’t send me five texts of the staring emoji! 

Famous Hat

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Some Political Thoughts (No Endorsements)

Remember when I got that flyer about the contributions of Italian Americans? Today I got one about the contributions of Hispanics. There is also one posted on the breakroom door about the contributions of Jewish Americans, but that one didn’t come to me, so someone else must have received it and put it up.

I think one of the problems with the politics in this country is that people are unwilling (or unable?) to see things from someone else’s point of view, or indeed even acknowledge that other people may have a legitimate difference of opinion with them. For example, on social media people have been noting that some religious people are willing to vote for Trump because they feel that his shortcomings might be able to be addressed with prayer, but when these same people are asked if prayer would not also help with his opponent’s shortcomings, they reply that there is no hope for her, she is evil. I’m not sure where this double standard is coming from, and as Christians we are supposed to believe nobody is beyond redemption. One person even said he was asked by a Trump supporter whether he would be willing to concede that Trump was a great president if by any chance he was, and the person said yes, of course, he would be happy to concede that if Trump were a great president. He then turned it around and asked the Trump supporter if he would concede Hillary was a great president if in fact she was, and the Trump supporter replied, “That is not possible.” I do not mean to suggest that only Trump supporters have these blinders about other points of view. I think it would behoove all of us to try to see what about the candidate we don’t support appeals to other people (or, in my case, why neither of them appeals to me), and acknowledge that the other person has a right to that viewpoint. Maybe we could even get to the heart of the issues and find some common ground. I don’t know when “compromise” became such a dirty word; we really need to add it back into our political vocabulary.

Famous Hat

Monday, July 25, 2016

Pasta Party

First of all, I’d like to announce that we have a winner in the Name the Big Purple Plant contest, and I’m sure everyone will be shocked to learn it is Kathbert, who seriously always wins these contests, but that is because she always has the best entries. She submitted Bahama Mama, which is a red drink and pays homage to Bahama Bob the steel drum player, the plant’s previous owner, AND Ma Hat. Way to tie it all together, Kathbert! What does she win? Bragging rights, I guess. I will try to think of an appropriate prize at some point.

Travalon and I won $25 worth of fresh pasta at Fete de Marquette, which I forgot to mention in my previous blog post about the Fete, so last Tuesday I had to go to the Wil-Mar Center to pick it up in person. Friday we had a pasta party at Rich’s house, joined by him, Kathbert, and Catzookz. We had cheese tortellini and cayenne and garlic fettuccini. Jilly Moose had to work, and we never heard from OK Cap, but people did arrive throughout the evening, including Antoshka, Luxuli, and Prairie Man. Travalon and I didn’t stay too late, since he had to work the next day.

Saturday after Travalon got home from work, he and I took a road trip. A coworker had invited us to go camping with her friends at Kohler-Andrae State Park, but it was storming here (although beautiful there) so we didn’t feel like driving that far. We did take a ride out to the Thirsty Moose, where a duo called Burn N Bush were playing classic rock and country songs. We won a commemorative glass from them because Travalon knew a song they played was featured in the movie Animal House. We struck up a conversation with the group sitting next to us at the bar, and they recommended a restaurant called Hooker’s just down the road for their walleye. We headed there for dinner, but the walleye is served on Friday nights; on Saturdays it’s a grill-your-own-steak place. We were psyched for fish, so Travalon grilled salmon and I grilled mahi mahi, but I undercooked and overspiced it. The view from the restaurant is very beautiful, overlooking the Wisconsin River. Since it had been raining all day, I didn’t have enough steps in for the day, so when we got back to town, we went to the health club and I walked around the track while Travalon shot hoops. It was fun, and not nearly as crowded as when I usually end up going.

Yesterday a bunch of people went to brunch after Mass, including the Rosary Ladies, then Travalon and I went to an open house at Tenney Park put on by one of my coworkers. It was very hot, so after dinner at the open house, Travalon and I went swimming at Salmo Pond, but that was too cold for my taste. I thought I used to be tougher than that, but it was the coldest water I ever remember swimming in. I only stayed in a few minutes, then we walked around the pond, and then we went to the health club again. It’s so hard for me to get my steps in when it’s so hot out – it’s just as bad as the dead of winter! I walked around the track while Travalon went into the outdoor pool, and then I joined him out there. Again it was not very crowded, which made it much more pleasant. I love the health club when hardly anyone is there! No wonder some people go at 3 am. Not that I am likely to try that...

Famous Hat

Friday, July 22, 2016

Luau at the East Side Club

This week is Restaurant Week, when restaurants offer a multicourse meal for a special price, and I have been taking way too much advantage of it. Tuesday evening Travalon and I enjoyed the Nau-Ti-Gal’s special menu (I had lobster-stuffed salmon), then yesterday I went to lunch at Brocach with a person I know from Slow Food, and today she and I went to lunch at the Freiburg Gastropub. Not surprisingly, I have not been able to meet my calorie goals on my diet app most of this week. Good thing it is only Restaurant Week and not Restaurant Month!

Yesterday evening Travalon picked me up from work and we went to the East Side Club for their annual luau. It was stifling out, hot and humid, when we arrived in the parking lot, but after we sat down by the lake with a watermelon margarita, the temperature dropped twenty degrees and a lovely breeze blew up. Just as I was texting Jilly Moose and OK Cap about the wonderful breeze, it turned into a gale force wind and almost blew my phone out of my hand! Jilly Moose arrived just then, and right after that it started to rain, so we went inside. OK Cap and Richard Bonomo arrived during dinner, which was a whole slow-cooked pig (but not buried in the ground with heated lava rocks like at a genuine luau), several kinds of salads, and tons of desserts. I went way over my calorie count yesterday! At least I burned off a few dancing to Bahama Bob, the steel drum player who played at Rich’s birthday party. We started a conga line during one song, and some other people joined it, and for another song Bahama Bob brought out a limbo stick so we did the limbo. The champion was a kid who looked about fourteen – he was way more flexible than all us middle-aged folks. Bahama Bob even played the Beer Barrel Polka. Meanwhile, quite a storm was going on outside, and we could see lightning flashing over the lake, but by the time the party was over, things had cleared up. Travalon and I were dry until we got into the car, because apparently the moon roof was a tiny bit open, so when he started driving, a bunch of water fell on me and then I was soaked! Ah well, otherwise it was such a fun night, I can’t complain about one little thing, and anyway I did dry off quickly.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Photos of My Summer So Far

It is way past time for another pictorial post. First, here are a couple of photos from the Lake Monona cruise I took with Travalon and Ma and Pa Hat.

These photos are not in chronological order. Below are a picture of the Rose Tower at Olbrich Garden from the time I visited with Ma and Pa Hat, and a second one from the Rose Tower when I visited this Sunday with Travalon, as well as a shot of the Thai Pavilion, which is the only Royal Thai pavilion in the United States

Here are some photos of flowers, including my poppy and Kathbert's orange lilies, which were blooming in June, my purple lily which was blooming on Sunday, and a prickly pear cactus that was blooming on the 4th of July.

Tiffy and I saw this sign in the window of a restaurant on State Street. I sure hope they are able to find some good wait stuff!

And finally, here is a photo from the perspective of the mysterious lights I could see from the Monona Terrace. As it turned out, they were the signs above the stores in a strip mall called Lakeview Mall. Since you can see the mall from the Monona Terrace, I figured you must be able to see the Monona Terrace from the mall - and you can! This was our view during brunch at the Crema Cafe.

Famous Hat

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pictures of the Big Purple Plant

Ma and Pa Hat requested a photo of the big purple plant at Rich's house, so here are two:

It turns out the purple plant's previous owner's name is the same as Ma Hat's, so we could just call the plant Ma Hat! She suggested Purple Medusa, and Pa Hat suggested Smoking Bishop, a spiced wine mentioned by Dickens in A Christmas Carol. My coworker suggested Scarlet, because she said it is a very feminine-looking plant and should have a girly name. Feel free to keep the suggestions coming. There is not a deadline yet; it just seems like we will know when we find the right name.

Famous Hat

Monday, July 18, 2016

Big Purple Plant Naming Contest

It was another wonderful Early Music Festival weekend. Thursday evening Tiffy came back to town, and she, Travalon, and I listened to a couple of bands at the Brink Lounge, a folk one headed by the brother-in-law of the Daughter of Denni, and an eclectic one called Common Chord in which the Daughter of Denni plays the clarinet. She and another member of that band also played a couple of medieval tunes in between the two bands. It was really a fun concert.

Friday I took the day off of work and was planning to meet Tiffy and Rich for breakfast, but Tiffy canceled. Rich knew I was free, so there was no getting out of it – I had to do UGGH Club! The other members joined us for working out, but only Rich and I went to brunch afterwards. Then I joined Tiffy and the Daughter of Denni for the Participant Concert of the Early Music Festival, in which the various classes perform pieces they have been working on all week. As always, I am awed by the talent. Then we hung out at the Union Terrace (or, as the sign there says, we “terraced”), and Tiffy suggested we could sing it to the tune of “Here we come a wassailing,” so I made up some words:

Here we go a terracing, beside the lake so blue,
Here we go a terracing, just she and I and you.

That was as far as I got with this masterpiece. Various other people terraced with us, and we sat drinking beer and watching sailboats until it was time for the evening concert, which was a guy reciting Shakespearian sonnets alternating with a recorder and two lutes playing Elizabethan tunes. I have to admit that I slept through a good deal of this concert. Afterwards we went back to the Terrace and listened to the Cajun Strangers.

Saturday Travalon and I went to Crema Café, which is in the strip mall that I am obsessed with, since it is the source of the mysterious lights we could see from the Monona Terrace. We sat outside and had brunch while gazing at the lake, and Travalon had amazing savory waffles. Then we went for a walk at the park from which you can see the little island in Cherokee Marsh. He had to leave for a Steely Dan concert, so I went downtown and found Tiffy, the Daughter of Denni, and various others terracing again. We went to a Mideastern restaurant for dinner before the final concert of the Early Music Festival, which was structured like a day in Shakespeare’s London, so there was morning prayer, morning exercise, midday love, a masque ball… you get the picture. It was so wonderful to hear such a large group perform, and the program was as satisfying as a wonderful multi-course meal. I loved the mixture of sacred and secular pieces, small ensembles and the whole group. Afterwards – guess what – we terraced again. It was such a beautiful night.

Sunday Travalon and I went back to Crema Café to get those savory waffles again, since they were the special all weekend, and OK Cap joined us. Then he and I went to Olbrich Gardens, and I took photos which I will try to post at some point. Of course, now that Ma and Pa Hat are on social media, they have already seen these photos, along with most other regular readers of this blog. Travalon and I also went to Fete de Marquette, the neighborhood festival in the Williamson-Marquette neighborhood where they have French-themed musical acts performing, and we saw my Irish teacher there. She was trying to get me to speak Irish, but I couldn’t do it. If she had only tried French! It would have been more appropriate to the venue. (Her French is very good, and mine is definitely better than my Irish!) Then we went to Rich’s house for the birthday party of the Dairyman’s Daughter. Kathbert, the Single B-Boy, the Rosary Ladies, Prairie Man, and El Vegetariano were among the guests. Travalon always thinks that Rich’s house is too hot, so he and I had brought camping chairs and sat out on the front porch. To our pleasant surprise, the Dairyman’s Daughter, Jilly Moose, and OK Cap also had camping chairs, so a bunch of us sat out on the porch before dinner and listened to funny stories about a farm dog who liked to bite tractor tires. We also tried to think of a name for the new purple cordyline that Catzooks’s friend gave to Rich, since it was getting too big for her house. Some suggestions were Violetta, Klingon Blood Wine, and Zanzibar, but nobody could agree on anything so the plant remains unnamed. I said I usually name my plants after the previous owner, but Rich can’t remember Catzooks’s friend’s name. Kathbert suggested I have another blog contest to name the plant. I believe she has won every one of my blog contests, but even she had no really good ideas at the moment for the plant’s name. So, gentle readers, what would you call a big purple plant that looks kind of like a palm tree? Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments section or email them to me.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

More Early Music Festival

Sorry for my silence yesterday. I have been busy with the Early Music Festival, since Tiffy was in town. Monday evening her niece wanted to meet Rich and Travalon, so we all met for dinner at Himal Chuli’s and then got some gelato after dinner. Then Tiffy, her niece, and I went grocery shopping at the place downtown that is open all night. Lots of interesting people in there! There was one guy wearing a shirt with a marijuana leaf on it, and he looked like he had been indulging in some of it.

Yesterday Tiffy, the Daughter of Denni, and I met for dinner at Portabella’s, since you can sit outside there, then we went to another concert for the Early Music Festival. This one was the Baltimore Consort doing music associated with Shakespeare’s plays, and the animated soprano mostly wore a lovely evening gown, but she also dressed up as a gravedigger and as Puck, the mischievous fairy (or whatever he is) from Midsummer’s Night Dream. This group had been at the Early Music Festival a decade ago, and at that time the soprano was really pregnant. It didn’t feel like that long ago, but then we were thinking how that kid is now probably going into fifth grade, and that puts it in perspective. Can you believe this is the 17th Early Music Festival? Apparently when they did the first one, they had no idea it would become an annual event, but now it is one of the premier early music festivals in the whole country. And we are so lucky that it is in our town! I could go on and on about how wonderful we have it in Madison, except for the winters. If we could only do something about those, this place would be just about perfect.

Famous Hat

Monday, July 11, 2016

Silent Movie at the Early Music Festival

I hope my readers had a great summer weekend. Friday evening Travalon and I went to the little restaurant in the Lakeview Mall, called Elie’s, for fish fry. It was very similar to our neighborhood place, the Northside Restaurant. I figured that if you could see the lights of the mall from the Monona Terrace, it only stands to reason that you can see the Monona Terrace from the mall, and you can! I still want to try the café there, and there is a shop in the mall where you can make pottery and fused glass, which might be a fun activity for us Rosary Ladies – I couldn’t interest Travalon in it. After dinner he and I went to the East Side Club, which was lively that evening – there was a middle-aged woman in a cowboy hat and boots doing the hula hoop on the dock! It’s like everyone’s communal backyard.

Saturday Travalon and I met Rich and some other people for coffee downtown, then Travalon took a walk with Rodney to the Union Terrace while Rich and I went to a free organ concert at the Overture Center. After the concert Travalon kind of wanted to see Art Fair on the Square, but it was super crowded, so he and I went to Tenney Park and walked out onto the pier. In the evening Tiffy came to town, and she and I went to Kabul’s for dinner before the first Early Music concert. It was a group called New York Polyphony, but guess what? The countertenor is from Oconomowoc! How cool is that? They were amazing. Afterwards Tiffy, the Daughter of Denii, and I went to Portabella to enjoy the lovely evening and an equally lovely pitcher of white sangria. I got home kind of late, but Travalon was out later, at a concert put on by most of the members of the Grateful Dead. He recorded “Dire Wolf” for me, and it looked like a really fun concert, with lots of hippies in tie-dye throwing a beach ball around.

Yesterday after Mass, Tiffy, Travalon, and I went to Estrellon for brunch, then Travalon and I walked around Art Fair on the Square. (We did not check out Art Fair off the Square, since that was absolutely jam packed, probably because the art there is way more affordable.) In the late afternoon I met Tiffy, the Daughter of Denii, and some other people for beer at Mr. Brews, then we went to Estrellon for tapas, but the others left so it was just the three of us. After dinner we went to the Newberry Consort performance at the Early Music Festival – I’m not sure if it would be called a “concert,” because what they were doing was providing background music to a 1912 movie about Queen Elizabeth starring Sarah Bernhardt. The movie was in poor shape and was sort of odd to our modern sensibilities, like the queen’s death was so hilarious we were all howling although I doubt that was the response they were going for when they made the movie. The Elizabethan music the group played along with the movie was wonderful, though. This year I am once again just attending concerts at the Early Music Festival, not taking classes. This is mostly because there is too much going on at work right now to take a week off, but also because I am getting lazy in my old age. Before the concert on Saturday we saw my OTHER choir director, and he asked if I am singing less, and if I am still writing masterpieces like “Polyhymnia.” The answer is that all my creative endeavors have been suffering. He said Travalon is my song now, which is very poetic, and true.

Famous Hat

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Exploding Violin

Sorry for my silence yesterday. First I had a gig at the Mount Horeb Farmers’ Market, so Hardingfele, another bandmate, and I left work early to head down there. The other members of our band are retired, so they had already been playing for some time when one of them had an unfortunate incident – her violin exploded! I am sorry to say that this was before we arrived, so I did not witness it, nor did anyone make a video of it, but I do have photos of the aftermath:

What happened is that the glue holding her violin together melted in the heat, so one part came undone, and then because a violin is under a great deal of tension, the other parts came flying off. The irony is that some of us have very old instruments from the 19th century, but hers is from the 1970’s and is probably the newest one in the band, yet it fell apart first! This does give me pause as far as taking my beloved and relatively ancient Mandy out in the heat, but she has played with me on much hotter days without an issue. Anyway, this is only a temporary tragedy because the violin can be glued back together, hopefully with higher quality glue! Our fiddle-less fiddle player traded off with the other two for the rest of the gig, so she got to try everyone else’s violin. For all our effort, we each got $4 in tips. Ah well, I do not play music for the tens of dollars I make at it. My share went to fresh raspberries from the farmers’ market.

Then in the evening, instead of blogging, I went on a boat ride with Travalon. We went out into the lake, since the motor has conked a few times back in the marsh, and at first everything was wonderful. Then the motor conked! Why is it doing this to us?? Anyone (Rich) have any ideas? We had paddled for about half an hour when a boat sped by us, and we tried to flag them down, but they just waved at us. A little while later another boat passed, and we weren’t even going to bother them, but they did stop and tow us. That was much better than paddling for another two hours, except that I did get a lungful of fumes. The boaters live right across the river from us, so it was hardly any trouble for them, and we are eternally grateful. Our neighbor saw us getting towed in, and he said, “You guys don’t have bad luck – you don’t have any luck at all!” The whole condo association is still laughing about how I have fallen out of our canoe not once but twice, and they all know the motor on our boat regularly conks out. Still, it is worth the bad times to get on the water!

Famous Hat

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wonderful Fourth of July Weekend

Sorry for my silence; I really have no excuse for not blogging yesterday, but Travalon and I sat out on our dock for a long time, watching boats coming and going. We saw one particularly majestic sailboat pass by, with a light on the top of the mast. It was so beautiful. As for what I was up to this holiday weekend, Friday I went to the outdoor fish fry at Quivey’s Grove with Travalon, Rich, OK Cap, the Single B-Boy, Cecil Markovitch, and another couple. It was a beautiful evening.

Saturday I met with Jilly Moose and OK Cap for coffee and the Rosary, then Travalon and I joined Rich, Cecil, the Single B-Boy, and Antoshka for a hiking adventure. (Though I’m sure Rich will say it wasn’t “hiking” because we didn’t have 50-pound packs on our backs.) Our first destination was Gibralter Rock, a steep climb to the top of a bluff with an incredible view, although I couldn’t get too close to the edge because of my fear of heights. We took the Merrimac Ferry over the river and went to Parfry’s Glen, a very pretty walk that gets adventurous towards the end. There used to be a boardwalk, but it washed away and they never replaced it, so now you have to jump from rock to rock over a stream and then scramble over large rocks to get to a waterfall. We took the ferry back over the river and had dinner at Fitz’s on the Lake, sitting outside and admiring the view of Lake Wisconsin. Of course half of us were facing away from the lake, so Cecil suggested we rotate, which we all did every twenty minutes except for Antoshka. He had the best view, so he refused to budge. That is par for the course for him. Our last stop was Ferry’s Bluff, and we got to the top just as twilight was falling, so lots of cranes and whippoorwills were calling to each other. A young family had beaten us there, and they said they were going to watch the Sauk City fireworks from there, so we stayed and did so as well. I have never watched fireworks from a bluff before! It was pretty cool. The Dairyman's Daughter was in Sauk City watching the same fireworks, so afterwards she stopped by briefly to say hello.

Sunday Travalon and I explored a place right near our home that our neighbors had told us about, with hiking trails and boardwalks right by the channel out to Lake Mendota. How cool to find something new right in your own backyard! We got together with some other people and played board games, then afterwards he and I went to the East Side Club and sat by the lake, watching fireworks in the distance and the Betty Lou Cruise go by.

Monday I had my regular adoration hour, so Travalon and I had brunch at Short Stack, and then he joined me for my hour in the chapel. We went out to the Nature Conservancy land just outside of Spring Green, where the cacti are in glorious bloom, and we hiked the whole trail. It goes up a steep bluff too – we certainly got a lot of climbing in this weekend! Saturday we climbed the equivalent of 32 flights of stairs! Of course, there was a gorgeous view at the top of the trail. We had been alone the whole time, but on our way back we kept seeing people. In the evening we took a Betty Lou fireworks cruise; we had done the Lake Mendota one last year, but they were sold out this year so we did the Lake Monona one. That was so much fun! The boat was much smaller and more rugged than the one we took with Ma and Pa Hat, but I liked it because you really felt like you were on a boat. We passed those mysterious lights I always see from the Monona Terrace, and it’s just a strip mall. The funniest part is that it is on the left side of the street as you are heading east, and I was always looking on the other side, since that’s closer to the lake. Mystery solved! There is a coffee house there my coworker says is really good, and a little restaurant she cannot vouch for. We passed the East Side Club and saw people on the lawn looking at the lake, just like we had been the night before. We watched the Monona fireworks from the boat and enjoyed the view of the Monona Terrace at night as we were returning to port. I tried to take some photos, but they didn’t really turn out. Someday I will post photos of all this, I promise!

Famous Hat

Friday, July 1, 2016

Tiedeman's Pond and Sardines

Sorry for my silence yesterday. I was going to post some more photos but was busy for the last two evenings. On Wednesday Travalon and I went for a walk around Tiedeman’s Pond, where we saw lots of interesting plants. I took a picture of a shrub with flowers like little puffballs, and also some photos of the sunset over the pond. Then we went to a Mexican ice cream store and had a really interesting flavor of goat’s milk ice cream with toffee in it. Yesterday evening was a good one too. First some of my coworkers and I had a beer after work to say goodbye to one of our grad students who is finishing his PhD and moving to London, and then Travalon and I went to Sardines, a seafood restaurant with seating overlooking Lake Monona. It had been raining earlier in the evening, but it had stopped by the time we got there, and they were setting the tables on the patio again. We were the first ones out there, and it was wonderfully quiet (unlike inside the restaurant), but soon more people came outside. According to my health app, my dinner there was very nutritious and not too calorific. Seafood and Mediterranean food seem to be that way – maybe that is why the experts are always saying to eat more of that and less of the red meat. After dinner Travalon and I took a walk along the path by the Monona Terrace, watching the boats out on the lake. I feel very blessed to live somewhere with such lovely lakes. If only it was always summer here, this town would be just about perfect.

Famous Hat