Saturday, May 26, 2012

The 3 C's: Car Ride, Capitol and Cupcakes!

I only live about 90 minutes from Madison, but for some reason, I never come out here.  Maybe it's because the city is usually crawling with intoxicated college kids on the weekends. Maybe it's because I didn't go to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, so I have no real ties to the city. Maybe I'm just an idiot!

The day began with the usual routine of getting the house ready for the bunny-sitter (known to Walter and Spot as Grandma Naner), triple checking that neither of us forgot to pack anything important, and rubbing two pair of furry ears for good luck before we embarked on the short drive to the state captiol.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, so we drove with the windows down and the radio cranked.  (Confession: I have an embarrassing collection of miscellaneous mix cd's in my car).

After checking into our hotel, we drove over to the race expo, which was held at the Monona Terrace Convention Center.

The expo was a little...lackluster. We picked up our race numbers, shirts, and swag bags (which were pitiful - 2 packets of Udder Cream, 1 packet athlete's foot powder, 1 packet creamy peanut butter) and were about to leave when something unusual happened.  We were directed to meet with the medical crew for a pre-race weigh in!  I'm no race newbie and I can say that I've never heard of this practice outside of Ultra-Marathons such Badwater and Western States.  Whatever. I rolled my eyes, stepped on the scale, and got away from them as quickly as possible.  I seriously don't think I'll lose a dangerous percentage of my body weight tomorrow, so I really don't see the point.

Holy crap...a race shirt that actually fits!

After a quick map check, we realized we were only about 2 blocks from the Capitol building.

As we approached, we saw something a little unusual.

Yes, that is a bride, a groom, a man in a gorilla suit, and another man in a banana costume! Only in Wisconsin.

After that spectacle, we continued a few more blocks onto State Street - a famous institution in this city.  It extends from the West side of Capitol Square for about 5 blocks where it meets the University of Wisconsin campus.  The street is closed to vehicular traffic, although bicycles are very popular, and is loaded with shops, restaurants, and of course, bars.  State Street is always a little nuts, and Halloween on State Street is legendary and insane!

As we made our way to the University end of State Street, we noticed a small street festival - and the Recall Walker groups were out in force (sidenote: Wisconsin is holding a special election on June 5th to attempt to throw the governor out of office.  It's a pretty hot issue here right now.)!

We did a little more wandering/people-watching before settling on a Turkish place called Husnu's for dinner since neither of us was terribly concerned about what our pre-race meal was since we'll both be taking it easy tomorrow.  We started off with homemade bread with Turkish olive oil for dipping.  The Husband had the lamb curry, while I had the 'almost vegetarian' combination plate - the dolmathes had ground lamb in them.

After dinner we stopped in at Madison Sweets for dessert!  The Husband had a Chocolate Cappuccino cupcake (chocolate cake filled with cappuccino cream, topped with cappuccino frosting and a chocolate covered espresso bean). I went for two mini-cupcakes: the key lime and the D'oh (chocolate cake with a cookie dough nugget baked in the middle, topped with chocolate frosting). Yum!

Now, my race gear is laid out and I'm in relaxation mode from now until bed time!  I can already tell that the alarm is going to come too early!


Elizabeth said...

good luck at the race! Mmmmmm....cupcakes.

April said...

Good luck! Sorry I'm so rotten at leaving blog comments.