The first place I went upon arrival into the US was Madison for Kara's wedding. I literally got off the plane, onto a bus and went straight to the Bachelorette (Hen) Party. What a fun party! Dinner at a fashionable pub with a waiter who was definately fun--Michael told us secrets just like all the hens had to. From there we went to watch a famous Madison stripper, but, randomly, the power was off in the appartment so it was a slow start. A very good and shocking show once it did!! Then off to watch more naked men in the local gay bar, but by then we truly were blase about it all having just had one up close and personal!! Off to hotel (thank you Nelly!) for some much needed sleep!
Friday saw us at McDonalds for breakfast (it was the closest thing to the hotel) and on odd errands all day. I bought a pre-paid phone at Walgreens and amused everyone by talking to it to coax it to work. Those long lists of small print! Yuck!! After dinner at Chilli's (I think it was Chilli's), we waited for people to arrive. Cara received TLC in the form of backrubs in many curious forms.
Saturday, breakfast was at Ihop, by which point I finally figured out that Americans just don't drink tea like me. Fried and fatty food filling us, we veged on the couch some more before getting ready to go to the wedding, which began at 2pm. Of course, the biggest set of storms Madison has seen in recent years had to come at just that moment!! Tornado warning, anyone?
The ceremony was held in a tent at Kara's parents house, and then the reception (when we could get to it) was held at the Overture Center. It seemed like a strange place for a reception at first (a bit like being in the middle of a fishbowl), but by the end of the night, there didn't seem a better place anywhere. We felt fancy and swish sipping cocktails like socialites going to the theatre (the Tahitian Honeymoon drink was particuarly good), and the green theme (including cake!) was chic too. Not too many speeches later, the dancing began and the night roared on.
Later, at the hotel bar, inhibitions flew away and the debauchery :) :) began. But you'll just have to hear that gossip in person.
It was so great seeing everyone!!
Amanda, Nick and Sue'sAfter farewelling everyone on Sunday I went to join Amanda, though sadly, all I could do for the first afternoon was recover (couch nap!). A peaceful, relaxing week of fun ensued!! Nick took me to the capitol building and around Madison. We tried the new Afghan restaurant Maza. Nick cooked delish vege burgers. I got my annual dose of Ryan family frisbee. We ate Strawberry shortcake with that sinful coolwhip. And don't forget my favorite shop half price books. I do love suburbia. I do think I would get bored if I had to live in it for too long, but I love it when I get to live it, if only for a few weeks!!
On Friday morning, despite the storm-induced traffic, I had a breakfast date with Andrea, and we caught up on all the exciting things happening in our lives. I heard about her time in Ukraine and we made plans to meet up somewhere near there next year!
Then Mel arrived and whisked me off for lunch and a tour of the Plasma/Nuclear Physics facility at UW Madison where her bro works at. Talk about crazy new knowledge!!! I can now recognize the vaccuum, coils and other sophisticated machinery required to create hydrogen plasma, although Mel and I have concluded that even though he works in Nuclear Fission technology, they're not actually going to achieve fission that soon.
Mel and I spent a lovely sunny afternoon looking around Kenosha. Can't believe that I've been there so many times and never seen downtown. We went to a small market, the local museum (where there were some absolutely gorgeous ivory pieces), and even into Mel's dream condo on the shore of Lake Michigan.
When I come back I'm going to Univ of Illinois at Chicago to take my last Globalization exam and staying with Mary from the Romania dig. Yay!