The Madtown Junket

Okay, it’s November but I never had a chance to record our weekend trip to Madison. I work on Sundays so it’s often hard to really do anything (that and the piles of homework) but I shifted me schedule and off we went. It was the first weekend in October and we were thrilled to see the changing leaves further up north. However, the Saturday we devoted to walking around was super chilly. So the end result was walking and eating, walking and eating. Not too bad of a trip though.

We used AirBnB and stayed about a 10 minute drive from downtown Madison. Our house included a cat (!) Who was super friendly. That was great … until I spent the rest of the night with a nose running like a faucet. Sorry, Clooney the cat.

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Our drive home each night included a beautiful view of the illuminated capitol!

IMG_6470Our chilly Saturday morning included the enormous farmer’s market that skirts the entire block surrounding the capitol. Iowa City’s farmer’s market pales in comparison to all the fresh produce, flowers, breads, pastries and more. We loaded up on some apples, brussel sprouts and green beans. We later went to the local co-op and got a red kuri squash for soup later in the week.

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IMG_6439I can never get over how cool it is that the Wisconsin state capitol is right in the middle of the downtown. Iowa’s capitol is fairly removed from downtown Des Moines. We wandered around inside. It was beautiful. Made me miss working in the Iowa statehouse every day.

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For brunch we ate at the Old Fashioned. Yeah, it was a plateful of food. So delicious. Of course, Derrick wanted to try the old fashion.

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Speaking of food, on Sunday before we left we ate at Double 10, a Chinese restaurant that had rave reviews online. It was great and the first time I got to have my Chinese fix since I’ve come back. Chinese takeout isn’t the same anymore — too sweet, goopy. Once I took a bite at Double 10, my mouth was immediately transplanted back to Beijing. The spices, the tofu. Mmmm. We had a tofu and pork dish and a green beans and pork. Derrick accidentally ate one of the pepper seeds and he jolted back in surprise as the heat flooded his mouth. I made sure to steer clear after that.

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One Saturday, per a recommendation from friends, we visited the Mustard Museum. I recommend the stop. Who knew there was so much to know about mustard?

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Other places we visited: the Johnson Public House for some great tea, Chocolaterian Cafe for dessert (a brownie and a gluten-free chocolate cookie), and the Weary Traveler during our first night there.

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