I hope my readers had a good weekend. I had a great week off. Tuesday Travalon and I went camping at Roche-a-Cri State Park for my half-birthday, which was an adventure. We have both camped many times before, but always with other people who knew what they were doing. This was our first time doing it ourselves, but we figured it out and finally had a roaring campfire to grill burgers over and sing around while I played the ukulele. Only a few other people were at the park, so we felt like we had it to ourselves.
On the 4th of July we drove to Castle Rock County Park and swam in the lake. Warning: there are two Castle Rock County Parks, one in Adams County and one in Juneau County. I’ll save you the time by telling you the Juneau County one is the one you want to go to. We drove to Buckhorn State Park and grilled the rest of our burgers for lunch, then we went to Mill Bluff State Park and swam in the pond there. Back in town we joined Rich and a large crowd of other people for the Patriotic Concert on the Square. No cannons during the 1812 Overture this year. Afterwards Travalon and I went to the East Side Club to watch the Monona fireworks.
Thursday Travalon and I had a relaxing day. We had lunch outside at the Free House and then hiked on Governor’s Island. He went fishing with a buddy back in his home area while I met Light Bright for dinner and then shopping at Goodwill. Thrift store shopping is the way to go: you can buy a whole outfit for $5! Then I went to the new tavern in our neighborhood and sat outside enjoying a craft beer while watching the fireworks from the Mallards game across the street. It was a perfect view.
Friday Travalon had to work. I went to a retirement party at my old job for one of the other people who got a layoff notice. He decided to just retire a year early instead of looking for another position. It was a very quiet day over there, so I spent time talking to Handy Woman. In the evening Travalon and I took the free Middleton Trolley just for fun, but then it passed the Capital Brewery and we saw they had a live band playing, so we got off and listened to them until the trolley returned. That was a super fun and free activity, except that of course we enjoyed a couple of beers.
Saturday Travalon and I went to the Farmers’ Market, but we got there kind of late and some of the vendors were already packing up. Tons of people were still shopping there. Tiffy came to town for the Early Music Festival, and she, the Daughter of Denni, and I had dinner at Himal Chuli’s and then enjoyed the first concert, where they played some Buxtehude. The theme of the festival this year is “Journey to Lubeck,” which early music enthusiasts will probably realize refers to the trip Bach took to study with Buxtehude. Since Buxtehude is a great favorite of mine, I am very excited about this year’s theme.
Yesterday after Mass one of our choir members had brunch for all of us at her beautiful house. Her backyard is particularly wonderful. Travalon and I had promised to bring orange juice, and when we stopped for it, we were ecstatic to find these delicious smoked Gouda crackers we had discovered on our trip down south in March but hadn’t been able to find up here. Then Tiffy and I took a $5 pontoon boat ride on Lake Mendota, and then we had dinner at Roast on State Street before the Early Music concert. This one was Piffaro, the loud band, and while they didn’t do any Buxtehude, they did focus on older influences on Bach, like some old Lutheran hymns that made me very nostalgic for my OTHER choir director’s choir. However, he is retired now so there is no going back.