You know the phrase "Sometimes, live gives you lemons"? Well, I don't think that phrase is specific enough to how the last couple weeks have been around here. I think a better phrase is, "Sometimes, life gives you giant, sour, terrible lemons". Yeah, you might still be able to make lemonade, but it's going to take a lot more effort to do so. While I don't feel ready to talk about the specific lemons that I've been dealing with, I do want to share my favorite fix for a shitty day/week/month/etc. GET OUT OF TOWN!!
We decided to spent Saturday night in a place that we've talked about visiting for years: Madison, Wisconsin. It's just a few hours from Chicago, and is know to have a great food/beer/culture scene. It's a nice college town, bigger than Columbia, Missouri, where Joe and I met as undergrads. It's the state capitol, and the home to tons of beer-centric bars and restaurants.
The capitol is a beautiful building, and it's open to for the public to visit. The domed building had tons of mosaics, columns, and beautiful architectural details. It was so calm inside, too... especially compared to the huge protest going on outside! It had been one year since the governor of Wisconsin signed the collective bargaining law, and about 35,000 people showed up to protest and rally for his impeachment. No wonder it was so hard to find parking downtown!
We spent the evening eating and drinking downtown. We had a couple beers at The Great Dane, a local brewpub, then found a great little Italian place for dinner. There were a number of great sounding restaurants around town, but more than once we were told there would be a 90 minute wait! Um, no. This place, Papavero, was an excellent option for rustic, handmade Italian food. And of course, we had to end the night with a couple more drinks, so we went to The Old Fashioned, which had about 1,000,000 beers from Wisconsin on the menu. Sensing a theme yet?
Sunday morning we went to check out the University of Wisconsin campus. It's on the edge of a huge lake, and the spring-like weather yesterday made it perfect for wandering around. So many people were out taking advantage of the beautiful weather, and we enjoyed wandering along with them. Imagine how nice this must be when the trees are all green!
And now we're home, and in the process of making lemonade with said lemons. Yeah, life doesn't always go as planned, but we're healthy and happy in our relationship, with a lovely home and great friends. Our jobs are good, our families supportive, and it's almost SPRING. So we'll look towards the future, which will most likely include another trip to Wisconsin in the warm weather months...
Any other weekend getaways near Chicago that you'd recommend? I've still never been to Michigan, so a visit to the east is going to have to happen soon!