Saturday, May 16, 2009


On Wednesday morning we headed to Madison to visit with some old friends, David and Bridget Lockridge, and check out their town. Andrew and David go way back to high school, and were roommates about 10 years ago. He's also been friends with Bridget for more than 10 years, and ended up introducing them. We ended up not getting into town until almost lunch time, so after meeting up with them we went to a local restaurant chain called Noodles & Company for lunch. It was pretty darn tasty. Ben devoured a bowl of homemade Mac n Cheese, and Joshua surprised us by eating almost a whole chicken breast but not very much of his noodles (it usually would go the other way around!)

After lunch we headed over to the farm where Bridget's horse Venture lives. Venture is a 19 year old Arabian, and so beautiful. Although Josh seemed really excited to see the horse, we thought sure that once he was in front of it, he would get scared and not want to be too close. How wrong we were! He brushed Venture, gave him a treat, and even got to ride him! He had a blast!

Of course Ben wasn't going to sit by and let his brother have all the horsie riding fun. He wanted a ride too! He wasn't too sure about it at first, but really got a feel for it after a minute or two.

Although the weather was kind of dreary in Madison that day, it was relatively dry, so we opted to do something outdoors and headed over to the zoo (which was FREE!). We got there after most of the exhibits had already closed for the day, but we did get to see a polar bear, a very active grizzly bear and some buffalo (which Ben learned how to say almost perfectly).

Just as the zoo was closing it started to rain a bit, so we all went back to our hotel so we could say goodbye to David and Bridget without getting soaked! We really enjoyed spending the day with them in their neck of the woods!

We decided we needed to find a good local restaurant that served Wisconsin fare (aka Cheese Curds) for dinner that night. The concierge at the hotel recommended a place called The Old Fashioned in downtown Madison, right across the street from the capital building (which was beautiful).

Thankfully, our hotel offered a free shuttle to the capital so we didn't have to worry about finding or paying for parking, which was definitely a bonus! The driver was really nice and gave us some history of the area, telling us how the lakes were formed by glaciers and that Madison as the only isthmus (two lakes separated by a thin strip of land) in the United States (while we were driving over it). The food at The Old Fashioned was incredible! Of course we had to get beer battered cheese curds for an appetizer. Holy cow were those good. Josh loved them, as you can see!

Andrew ordered bratwurst and a local beer ("The Big O" I believe it was called), and I ordered The Old Fashioned House Burger, complete with a soft cooked egg on top.

I was a little wary of it at first, but the waitress told me it was incredible, and that she had been wary of the egg at first too, so I decided to give it a try. It was really really good, and so messy. I ended up eating it with a fork because the darn thing kept falling apart! After dinner we caught our ride back to the hotel to turn in for the night. Although it wasn't a perfect weather day, we had a really nice time in Madison. Thanks, David and Bridget for taking the day off and showing us around!

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