(Almost) Winter in Madison!



Hi hi– back from a week with our Laurel in Madison, WI.  I booked this trip anticipating snow up to my waist, icy winds and swirling snowflakes.  But, surprise!, it was all sunshine and balmy days.

Even without snow, it was a sweet time with that girl of ours.  Laurel is the best best travel buddy.  Here’s what we do — tourist, shop, eat.  Repeat.  So here’s a little of each in the dead of Wisconsin winter!

Our winter “touristing” included frozen lakes, state park look outs and a woodsy museum.

Here we are astride Lake Menona (don’t ask me why I thought that was a good idea!)


Brave people ice fishing on the lake– and ice at the lake’s edge.
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One afternoon we ambled along a trout stream.

Laurel and John up the look out tower– and we did find real snow–piled in the parking lot!!
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After touring the Aldo Leopold Museum (early ecologist), we took a soggy trek back to the home in the woods we shared with his wife and 5 kids!

John’s trusty jeep carried us through the woods,gorgeous fungi on the forest floor.
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Through the forest, just before a flock up enormous sandhill cranes passed over head– It was a so magical!

We squeezed in a little shopping–kitchen store, books stores, thrift shops, the indoor winter farmer’s market along the way.

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And you know we found some good things to eat –starting with morning coffee & scones.

Friday “Fish Fry” at the Tip Top Tavern–and a humongous pretzel at the Grumpy Troll Brewery
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Indian breakfast at the indoor Farmer’s Market
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And Laurel pulled together a Wisconsin cheese tray feast when friends dropped by…

And one last P.S.– Thanks to our awesome nephew Shawn– who surprised us with the best seats for a Maroon 5 concert in Milwaukee– a big serendipity!!  We felt like rock stars ourselves!
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So thank you, thank you Laurel & John– you are always so warm and welcoming. Love you.  xox

44 thoughts on “(Almost) Winter in Madison!

  1. This looks like it was an amazing time for you~ I really like the wall of boxes with books…it’s such a cute idea. Although, I would imaging dusting them all would be a pain! And I haven’t been to a concert in over a decade. I hope you enjoyed it!

  2. Hi Rhonda! Looks really like you had a great vacation time in Wisconsin. The frozen lake, the trout stream, the woods. And you all looking so happy. It is true that the most simple things – like enjoying a vacation with your beloved ones in the nature – are the best ones. Hugs

  3. Wow, looks like you are having a great time in Madison with your loves! I love all the sweet photos! Thanks for sharing this lovely post, it makes me feel cold as it’s so warm and humid here. 🙂

  4. Hello Rhonda, I want to introduce myself. My name is Rita Penner and I am Rebekah Penner’s mom. She has been blessed with your cooking so I decided to check out your blog. I really have enjoyed so many recipes and reading about your family! Thank you so much for sharing your special treasures. Hopefully some day we’ll meet and I can give you a hug. Lots of love to you and your family!! (A little side note … Bekah and Travis became engaged!) XOXOX

    • Hi Rita!! I feel like I almost know you– from the girls and seeing your picture on facebook now and then. You’re so sweet to write this little note– so encouraging!! AND– I heard about Bekah and Travis!!! Alyssa and Jenna told us all at our Monday night meeting– so so exciting. They are both the dearest brightest kindest people. So happy for them — and you all! Don’t you think she’ll be a beautiful bride?? So really nice to hear from you. I hope we do cross paths one day… hugs!

    • Thanks Cindy– so kind. We just love hanging out with those kids. And we saw the most amazing huge sandhill cranes flying overhead in the woods. If you had been there we would have gorgeous photos of them!! Happy Weekend!! xo

  5. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Rhonda, you have one cool life. I feel like I get to go on an adventure to when I look at the posts of your visits. Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Looks like a wonderful time, Rhonda. Beautiful pictures of icy landscapes, happy people, and colorful food (that pretzel!). And of course the bookstore looks awesome. Great seats at the concert, too! Glad you had fun! 🙂

    • Hi Marcia– yep, wasn’t that pretzel ridiculous??! We didn’t finish it between the 3 of us! And there are a whole lot of good little independent bookstores in Madison. Because it’s a college town?? We browsed our way through 3 stores… Fun. Do you have good stores where you are?? Or do you get first dibs on everything that comes through the library??! Happy Weekend Marcia! hugs!

  7. looks like a wonderful trip…glad you are having so much fun! how are the wedding plans going along??? hope to see you soon!

    • Hi Debi!! It was the best time with that Laurel– we talked through wedding food and narrowed down her dress choice. I’m really free this month. What’s a good day for you? And we should talk to Linda… Take care friend. xo

  8. It DOES look like a wonderful time. Love your “King (or Queen) of the Mountain shot on that snow! And that scone is huge. That pretzel is just wild and it looks like such a fun trip.

  9. What a great time you had Rhonda! Love that you got to walk on the lake. Yes, that’s a big WI thing to do. We have friends who live in Lake Geneva and they walk on the lake all winter long and love it. Was it making cracking noises though? That would unnerve me. That big pretzel!! XOXO -Kat

    • Hey Kat– yep, walking on the lake was an adventure– no cracks, but lots of puddles and so slippery!! And lots of people were ice fishing down at the other end of the lake with shacks and tents– crazy!! Love the midwest– such nice people. You get to live there Kat!! hugs from here!

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