Tuesday, July 24, 2007

We're baaaaack

from our road trip to Wisconsin/Illinois. I am now officially a cowgirl cheesehead. (right; click on photos for larger view.)

The trip was terrific.

I LOVE Madison, Wisc., and could easily live there if a) I had a job there; b) I had a place to live there; and c) my husband would move there. Alas, I will stay in Chicago (which is a pretty good place to live too). Both cities have horrible winters, but Madison has wonderful biking community. And if you go, stay at the Hotel Ruby Marie Bed & Breakfast. It was lovely. Very nice rooms, neat and clean, and a great free breakfast on the weekends. I had poached eggs, ham, toast and fried potatoes. Yummy. And wasn't hungry for a long, long time. We also ate at a very nice Indonesian restaurant. Double yummy. There was a farmer's market street fair going on, which happens every weekend in the summer. They had lots of food: cheese, vegetables, meats, cookies. Holy Moly. I wish my appetite was better (but maybe not).

Milwaukee was so-so, but Mader's (left) was great! The Knickerbocker, I wouldn't recommend. It was quaint, but old and run-down. But the location was good and the price was OK.

We drove down to Monroe to buy cheese and eat at Baumgartner's, a cheese store and tavern, where Bob ordered (and actually ate) a Limburger and braunschweiger sandwich (thickly sliced, I might add). I sampled a smidgen of the Limburger and it tasted like somebody's bad morning breath and a landfill, mixed together. Awful. Terrible. He felt like a real man for eating it (right). I can't describe the aftereffects throughout the evening, even on this blog.

Oh yeah, and we did a Frank Lloyd Wright tour in Spring Green, Wisc., (left). The man was definitely a genius.

We ended up in Galena, Ill., at the Ramada. It was fine, but honestly it is a new hotel without an elevator. (We were on the second floor.) I just couldn't believe it. Not even a service elevator for the cleaning staff. I saw a young woman dragging a 32-gallon trashcan full of wet towels up the stairs. The rooms were nice, though, because they were new. And we sampled the hot tub. We were whipped by then, so the next day we roamed the streets of Galena, but without a lot of shopping enthusiasm. We bought a few things at a French shop, and I found, and I can still hardly believe this, some burlap sacks that I have been looking for in Chicago for three years. There was a coffee shop full of empty burlap sacks. It was closed (though the door was open). The owner was inside and I asked him if he would sell me some sacks. I got six for a dollar each. That was my thrill purchase. (I fill them with cedar and use them for dog beds in the dog houses.)

Oh, and we found the perfect store for me! (See it at right.)

Bob bought some Galena wine, and then we headed home. Since he had driven most of the trip, I drove home so he could see the countryside (I have been through Galena territory twice before), and took a long nap when I got home. Dogs were happy to see us. We were home.

And all is well with my soul.


Anonymous said...

You make me laugh out loud :) I bought you a little present a week ago but I've been too lazy to walk into the post office and mail it. It will come sooner or later. I'm just horrible at going to the post office, especially now that I have this baby cowgirl to tote with me everywhere I go!

Anonymous said...

If you want good cajun food in Chicago go to Heaven on Seven...You'll find it via google.