Blog Archives

Take me to church

Because it’s Appleton

When the gales of November come tardy

Multi-tasking right here in river city

There’s a burr in the woods

You are beautiful, Appleton

Who stole the Kishka?

And a little child shall lead them

Uh oh. Better re-teach me how to Bucky

Molly and I arrived on campus in style for her first official act as a Wisconsin Badger.
Distracted by the deceptive savoir faire of Molly’s British GPS, we drove right up Bascom Hill and found ourselves awkwardly positioned on the patio between the building and its famous statue of Abe Lincoln.
“We shouldn’t be driving here, should we?” I called out of the window of our idling car.
“Probably not,” the student assistant pleasantly replied.
I chuckled merrily as I inched my little blue Bug down the sidewalk, weaving gently through strolling students, and headed back toward Observatory Drive. Molly hunched her tall self down as deep into the passenger seat as she possibly could go.
I parked, unbuckled my seat belt and then we had our second disaster.
“Oh no!” Molly yelled in utter panic. “We’re wearing the same shirt!”
I looked down and, sure enough, we had accidentally twinsied ourselves. Worse, still, we were wearing message T-shirts.
Even I, who actually bought and wore matching Christmas sweaters with my daughter through a stretch of her childhood, had to admit that it was decidedly uncool to show up at school wearing the same “You are Beautiful” T-shirt as your mom.
Molly quickly double-wrapped a sweater around herself, firmly sent me in the opposite direction, and headed off to take her placement exams.
Meanwhile, a glorious Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin stretched out before me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
While Molly spent five hours with a tiny purse calculator she’d dug out of our kitchen junk drawer and a couple of No. 2 pencils, I strolled up and down State Street, and enjoyed the Farmer’s Market. I sat on the Terrace with a cup of ice cream and savored the view. I heard a great military jazz band play, tasted lots of cheese curds and bought a new dress.
Later, when I met back up with Molly, I told her how excited I was that we (I mean she) got to spend four years on this glorious campus.
“I’m really excited,” she said. “But, I can’t believe we’re wearing the same shirt.”

Bascom Hill

Picture a cute little Volkswagon Bug (Blue Mist Metallic) parked on the terrace behind this statue. That was us.

Bring all of who you are

I really like this phrase (also, if you look closely, you’ll see me in this photo).


I mean, the variety of cheese curds at the Madison Farmer’s Market was truly mind boggling.


Of course I had to buy a Sconut. I’m a sucker for chocolate and a clever name. It was half scone, half donut.

Spicey cheese bread

But the real must-have at Farmer’s Market is the spicy cheesebread. Yum Yum.

Street band

I love a good street band.

The Capitol

Our capitol is beautiful.

The Raging Grannies

The Raging Grannies cracked me up.


Hooray for tulip season!


Despite the early season, there was an impressive array of produce. I scored some arugula, two kinds of radishes, rhubarb, scones, and two loaves of spicy cheesebread.

little boy and flowers

I thought the flowers were beautiful and the little boy pondering them adorable.


It was a special treat to hear the Army Jazz Band, which featured a cello.

end it with champagne

I spotted this cheerful French grandma all over Madison. I finally asked her to slow down so I could read her T-shirt. “Start the day with a smile. End it with champagne.” My kind of gal.

I got a kick out of the Raging Grannies. Here’s a taste.


A Moveable Feast

I tasted Hemingway through the sugar cane straw of my perfect mojito last week and I may never be the same.

No matter that it was three o’clock on a Sunday afternoon and I was the only member of my party to imbibe, that lime pulp danced on my taste buds like a wily marlin on the cool blue sea and I savored it as long as I could.

Later, we strolled through Miami’s Little Havana and feasted on the glorious colors there.

A wise old marketer sat on a bench outside his cigar shop and smoked, luring patrons in with the scent of his fat stogie and the winked promise of crusty stories. A line snaked out a famous ice cream shop and, across the street, serious gamers sat in the crowded Domino Park studiously ignoring (or covertly posing for) passing tourists assembled there.

Bright street art covered happy walls, and painted roosters stood sentry everywhere.

I followed our able tour guide, my nephew and fellow blogger Robert, through the neighborhood, cell phone camera cocked and ready to record. Again, I could have spent days exploring the food and shops, but we had a schedule to keep (and a Miami Heat game to attend), so we pressed on.

Later that night, we exited the American Airlines Arena and saw Miami’s Freedom Tower lit up in green and orange (in honor of University of Miami president Julio Frenk’s inauguration).

I felt, for a little while, as though we had traveled to Cuba…and I really wanted another one of those muy deliciosa mimosas. Viva La Pequeña Habana!

Welcome to Little Havanna

Welcome to Little Havana, USA where painted roosters preen.

Versailles bakery

Just as I was snapping a picture from the outside of the Versailles Bakery, a famous Cuban spot, this adorable little beret-wearing tyke ran over to the window on the inside with a look of pure glee…I’m still smiling back at him.

Please take a number

And if adorable toddlers weren’t enough, just look at the spread of Cuban baked goods!


I really should have just shot that unbelievable mojito, which you see hiding shyly behind my bowl of bean soup. I thought it would be more socially acceptable, though, to include my Sunday lunch. But, oh my! That mojito…

Table shot

The requisite table shot, which I tried to take in the ubiquitous Versailles Restaurant mirrors. I’m not sure this shot was a success, but the people in it are some of my faves. 

Street art

But I did love this shot of a Little Havana street mural.

Homemade Cuban ice cream

Homemade Cuban ice cream.

Domino Park

The game is serious in Domino Park.

Waiting for a game

This dapper gentleman was waiting for a game.

Cuban Cigars

How about this marketing ploy? You sit outside your Cuban tobacco shop, smoking a giant cigar and chatting up the ladies? Rough work, and this guy does it every day.

Freedom Tower

I liked the look of this yellow cab at the base of Miami’s Freedom Tower, which is considered the Ellis Island of the South.