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Let’s Go Back to Madison

When my family moved to Green Bay 15 years ago, I used to tell everyone about life further up North. During the winter months, I’d explain how things could be worse and lead into the story of how we all were outside figure skating on the homemade rink in our backyard. It was a beautiful rink and the picture mom has shows 2 foot high buffers of snow around the ice. The more interesting part? Mom took that picture on Tax Day. When I look out the window this morning, I’m not happy to be drawing any comparisons…


It’s starting to feel like winter may never end. I’m wishing we were back in Madison now since the weather was so sunny and gorgeous!

Speaking of Madison, the rest of our trip was terrific. We had nothing planned other than a few stops we wanted to make, so Friday morning we sauntered down to the hotel’s breakfast buffet:


We didn’t know the buffet closed at 9am – so just as we got our first plates, they took all the food away! If I’d known I would have grabbed a few more eggs. Oh well 🙂

After breakfast we went for a workout in the fitness room. They have an indoor “water park” which is more suitable for the kiddos, but if was fun to look down from the exercise room and see everything


(excuse the glare)

Ben found the elliptical – his machine of choice – and I went for the treadmill. He wrapped up after 20 minutes and went for the weights. I did 30 minutes and then Ben walked me through a few weight exercises as well.


We showered and left the hotel around 11 in search of Bed Bath & Beyond. Our local store is so small that none of the china, cutlery, or glasses are on display. Plus, the online pictures aren’t good enough. I wanted to hold and feel everything to make sure it was what I wanted and we had hoped Madison’s store would have more to see.



The store was huge with so much more to see. Our GB store always feels cramped but this was open and wonderful. The best part had to be the wonderful sales women we worked with. I made my top selections and then they’d go over the pros and cons, give me feedback, and I left feeling like I made all the right choices. We changed quite a few things based on our new-found education and I was so glad we did! What was so much fun was having the lady wheel out a cart with our china on it so we could pick out matching cutlery and place settings. They don’t have that in Green Bay.

The final product:


Super happy – I just love it! It’s hard to see in the picture but the china has a delicate white-on-white scrolling around the edges of the plates.

We were famished after all that hard registry work and went in search of some lunch. The mall had a little sub shop so we stopped there for some sandwiches.


We mosied through the mall for a couple more hours, made a few more unsuccessful errands to look for centerpiece ideas, and then went to look at Ben’s Madison office building. He has to go there a lot to help with computer stuff, so it was fun to see it all.

After that, it was time for dinner. We picked one of Ben’s favorite places when he is in Madison: The Bonfyre. You walk in and you can smell the wood chip smell and they have rotisserie chickens that have been slow-cooked all day.

My dinner started with a balsamic salad (kind of a departure for me)


I left the olives and hot peppers but ate the rest

Of course I went with the BBQ rotisserie chicken. It just sounded too good!


Ben went with his “usual” the self-declared best chicken parmigiana on earth


And we finished with two little “dessert shots”. The cookies and cream was definitely my favorite. Ben ordered the white chocolate raspberry and oddly, I think he liked mine better too.


I love mini desserts! You get a sweet treat without it being too big.

I also love their water glasses. So now I’m searching Amazon for a similar clear one for my registry. 🙂 I just think they’re fun.


We watched more Brewers Friday night and then crashed. It was a long day with a lot of walking. Saturday we checked out of the hotel and drove to a cute little retro 50’s dinner.

French toast for the boy:


Eggs, perfect bacon, and the fluffiest buttermilk biscuit ever for the girl


I caught Ben eyeing up my plate a few times and gave him a generous portion of my meal. As it was, I left totally stuffed. The place was so adorable too. It was all decorated to look like it came from the 50s. They even had an old fashioned black and white TV playing I Love Lucy. I would have taken pictures, but the place was packed and all the tables were in the open so I didn’t want to photo anyone.

A trip to Madison wouldn’t be complete without a stop to Trader Joes! I’ve been studying blogs for ideas on what to get and we ended up with a fair amount of new things to try. Among the goods: mandarin orange chicken, sweet potato fries, cashew meal, cookie butter (ooooh yes), tons of canned beans – stock up time, and a bunch of $3 wine for friends. I am so jealous we don’t have a TJs or a Whole Foods anywhere closer.

The drive back was pretty grueling. We ended up driving through a really bad rainstorm. The visibility wasn’t great and the storm didn’t let up for the entire drive. When we left Madison it was overcast and 60. When we arrived in GB it was 41 and pouring. Whomp-womp!

I’m so glad we got a little trip in. It helps so much to have a quick change of scenery and spend a few days doing absolutely nothing. Now I need to plan the next vacation. Ha ha! 🙂


6 Responses

  1. Ted and I really enjoy the overnight trips as well. It’s just a nice short break from day to day chores.
    Looks like you enjoyed yourself, good food and fun.

  2. That bed bath and beyond looks 100 times nicer than ours!!!! Jealous!

  3. OMG – cookie butter (aka crack butter).

    What a great BB&B service with picking out the dinner service. Cool!

  4. Glad you enjoyed Madison!

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