Arriving in Madison


Sorry I’ve been missing for a couple days. I’ve been having such a lovely time here in Madison, Wisconsin with my wonderful host, Kenneth, in his artist’s sanctuary home and garden! I’ll be here a few more days, and posts might be a bit sparse, because it’s so delightful to just sit and relax in the garden rather than pack in lots of activity and sightseeing.

But I do want to check in and give an update:

I departed Chicago two days ago, on a bus since there is no train to Madison. Before I caught the bus, I pedaled from the hotel about 40 minutes to the famed vegan bakery Pie, Pie My Darling, after my friend Gill had raved about their wares.

But I was stymied! When I arrived at the address, I discovered that the storefront had closed; the business is only open for special orders now, by appointment. What a bummer! But HappyCow had told me there were a few other vegan bakeries nearby, so I decided to try the Upton’s Naturals Factory Store, where they sell their packaged vegan products, but also fresh-baked treats such as doughnuts.

I bought a sausage roll, and was delighted to find that it was a very near facsimile of the meat sausage rolls my sister and I ate as children in a classic bakery in Courtenay, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island, where our grandparents lived.

I also got a chocolate item that looked like a whoopie pie, but turned out to be hands-down the messiest dessert I have ever consumed. Luckily, I carry napkins with me, and also they had a restroom on site.

The bus ride was uneventful, but with beautiful green fields outside the window all along the way.

Kenneth met me at the park-and-ride lot where the bus dropped me off, and biked me the four miles back to his place. Upon arrival, I took in the amazing beauty of his yard and the artist’s studio he had built from the ground up for himself. It doubles as a guesthouse, so these are my blissful quarters while I am here.

Yesterday, he gave me a short bike tour of downtown Madison—mostly the isthmus between the two large lakes, where the state capitol, University of Wisconsin campus, and many popular shops and eateries are situated. It was a lovely downtown, and I look forward to returning to sample some restaurants.

We ended our tour by stopping at the co-op, where I spotted yet another Little Free Library. I actually saw them dotting our entire route; Rick Brooks lived in Madison for many years before moving to Princeton.

It feels lovely to have a restful sanctuary in a wonderful city, with a wonderful host (a friend of a friend of my former Portland almost-next-door neighbor in my condo complex! David, if you’re reading this, thanks again for the connection.) I’m looking forward to the next few days.

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