Part 1: Madison

Since I’ve returned from our amazing safari, the adventures have continued. At the end of January, we went to Madison for the weekend. Scott’s brother was performing in a revue show with two other friends so we decided to make a weekend of it to support them. I’m calling the trip “That Which I Should Have Done (In Grad School) I Did Do.” There were a variety of things that I just never got around to doing when I lived in Madison. Many times I didn’t because I didn’t really have someone to do it with or more likely, I left things undone for no good reason.

This trip fixed some of that.

We drove up on Friday night after work. We arrived around 10pm but we decided to make the most of it so we went out to one of the bars on the Capital Square. I think I was there once as a graduate student but definitely not at night. It was quite crowded but we managed to get a table. We hung out with old friends; I enjoyed their cider selection. We lost track of time and suddenly it was bar time. 2am. Most of the bars close at that time so there is a great exodus. This was a time that I generally never witnessed while living here. I don’t think I ever stayed at a bar that late while living in Madison.

It was so strange to be out in January in the wee hours of the morning with so many other people. It was a whole different world! People were roving all over the streets, on their way to a party, to get food, and other mischief. There were varying degrees of intoxication.

That’s when my friend (who lives in Madison) suggested Pelminis. This name made me unbelievably joyous. While I was in grad school, there was a little hole in the wall shop called “Pelmini” that served Russian dumplings of the same name. You had three choices: potato pelminis, meat pelminis, or both. They served the pelminis with cilantro, hot sauce, sour cream, some spice that I don’t know the name of, and a piece of rye bread. It was my favorite place to go. That’s where I learned to appreciate records too. I’d go on a weekly basis. It was a special place for me. But I only went during the day. My friends told me that it was a completely different place at bar time but I never saw that side. Sadly, the place closed the week I graduated. A tiny part of Madison experience faded into the mist.

That night in Madison, I learned that it was reborn. It had reopened several years later. And yes, it was open. So naturally, I was keen to go. Nothing like walking down Nostalgia Road. And so I finally saw what it was like at night. Packed with a lot of inebriated college kids. Some were fine; some shoved into other people without realizing it. But I would get my pelminis. It was a twenty minute wait. But it was totally worth it. I got my meat and potato mix with cilantro, hot sauce, and sour cream. It was wonderful. Rich, warm, and slightly spicy. Made my heart soar!

Finally a picture of food I talk about!
Finally a picture of food I talk about!

That’s all for now! Tomorrow I’ll talk about two things crossed off my list: the Henry Vilas Zoo and ice skating on a frozen pond!


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