Uncategorized, Vacation Planning, Wisconsin

Staycay pictures from Madison, WI

I recently went on a little “staycation” to Madison, WI to celebrate the completion of my first draft novel for the Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge. Here are some pictures from my trip. Enjoy!

Rooftop garden at the Madison Childrens Museum
On the first day of our trip, we visited the Madison Children’s Museum. The rooftop garden was, by far, my favorite part.

The Children’s Museum was cool, but not as big as I had expected. I really thought there would be a lot more to do. I think I might have felt ripped off if I’d had to pay the full ticket price. *Money-saving tip: If you receive unemployment or other state benefits, you qualify for $1 Family Access Admission. Just ask!

Wisconsin State Capitol building in Madison Wisconsin
Then we walked down the block to tour the Wisconsin State Capitol building.

The Wisconsin State Capitol building is big and beautiful. It always amuses me though, that a country that so often claims to be a “Christian nation” fills all of its most important government buildings with Pagan imagery.

Fossils at the UW Geology Museum in Madison WI
The next morning, we visited the University of Wisconsin campus in downtown Madison. Here’s a picture of my little super hero checking out some fossils at the UW Geology Museum.

Admission to the Geology Museum is FREE! It’s a rather small exhibit that takes only a few minutes to review when traveling with two boys who can’t be bothered to stop and really look at things. I especially enjoyed the crystals.

lamante by Beth Cavener Stitcher at the Chazen Art Museum
This rabbit sculpture by Beth Cavener Stitcher is my favorite piece in the entire Chazen Museum.

The Chazen Museum of Art was just across the street from the parking structure where we’d parked our car when we went to the Geology Museum, so we decided to go there next. The Chazen Museum has free admission as well and was HUGE. There is so much to look at, I could wander around the place for an entire day (without kids in tow.)

The only problem was, my kids would not stop touching the art on display. I kept getting on them and getting on them, but every time I turned around, they were touching something again. Eventually, a museum guard came over and yelled at me for “letting” my kids touch stuff. Argh. But they did stop the touchy-touchy after that.

UW Memorial Union Campus
The area around Memorial Union Terrace on the UW campus is more like a beach-side town than a university campus.

From the Chazen Museum, we wandered down the hill to Memorial Union Terrace overlooking Lake Mendota. We ordered burgers from a little grill by the lake and had lunch outside. Then we walked and looked at the sailboats and baby ducks. I could totally see myself writing out on the terrace if I lived in the area.

My 14-year-old also talked me into checking out a couple of comic book stores while we were in the city. However, my personal moment of heaven came at Daisy Cafe and Cupcakery:

Blackberry Cupcake from Daisys Cafe and Cupcakery in Madison WI
This blackberry cupcake was literally the best cupcake of my life. Literally.

It turns out Madison, WI is a really cool vacation destination. There are so many more things I wanted to do, but we just didn’t have the time to fit in much more. I can’t believe I have lived only an hour away for the past four years and am just now checking it out. Sometimes, we’re so busy planning our big getaways, we forget what is available to us right in our own back yard.

Bloom where you are planted
And here’s a little reminder from the Children’s Museum to try not to feel stuck where you are, but to always be your best self even if you’d like to be elsewhere.

Where is your favorite “staycation” destination? Please share in the comments below.

~Amanda L. Webster

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