Saturday, July 27, 2013

Farmers' Market trip: summer salad edition.

Realizing that we hadn't gone to the Dane County Farmers' Market in quite a long time, my friend Tonya and I ventured out for some Saturday morning shopping. Despite the chilly wind, the market was packed, and I left with an awesome haul:

Broccoli, lettuce, mini cukes, a beefsteak tomato, and sweet cherries.
Yum! Time for summer salad.
Then, off to brunch at Mickey's Tavern. A delicious morning!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

It's that time again: my 3rd chicken coop tour.

Any time before May of 2011, I never would have imagined myself saying this phrase:

On Saturday, I went on a walking tour of neighborhood chicken coops for the third time.

For me, one Saturday of my summer will always be devoted to thee Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association's Tour Des Coops. In Madison, it's legal to keep up to 4 chickens in a backyard, and local residents just love showing off their coops.

The Jones family (aka Scott, Elysha, Abby, and Clementine) and I took a leisurely walk down the bike path to get to the tour, which was smaller this year (only 6 homes). But still, I had the usual goal: snuggle a chicken.

Commemorative artwork from the 2011 Tour Des Coops (my first visit).
It didn't take us long to find some fresh eggs. 
And it also didn't take long for me to make a friend: Kuna, a 2-year-old Australorp chicken:

Kuna was quite talkative and did a lot of clucking.
Pretty girl, eh?
She had just finished laying this egg. Nice one, Kuna!
She lived in a well-decorated coop with some friends, like this gal.
Abby (a chicken coop rookie) had a great time feeding Kuna and her friends.
And soon, we were off to more coops! 

These 3 identical chickens stuck together, so I bonded with their cat instead.
Big Red posed while enjoying a snack.
It was getting pretty hot, so after our chicken coop fix, we grabbed some snacks at the Willy Street Co-Op and headed home via Jenifer Street. Of course, this meant walking by Andrea's house and seeing her latest sidewalk creation:

Ryan Gosling and a dog in sidewalk chalk: picture perfect.
As always, never a dull moment.

For my first Ryan Gosling chalk post, click here.
For my recap of the 2012 Tour Des Coops, click here.
For my recap of the 2011 Tour Des Coops, click here.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lakeside morning.

After my lovely 4th of July, I invited some friends to join me at Tenney Beach this morning. Bronwen, Scott, Elysha, Abby, Clementine, and I had a relaxing lakeside morning of swimming and lounging. And with Bronwen's homemade iced coffee and delicious pastries from Batch Bakehouse, I'd say this was a perfect start to my Sunday.

"It's so picturesque!" was Bronwen's reaction to this photo op. I just love lounging with the ducks.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lakeside 4th of July.

I've been a working professional for two years, and I know one thing for certain: paid holidays rock. The 4th of July is one of 'em, and nothing beats a weekday off from work. 

With perfect weather outside and only an afternoon BBQ on my agenda, I packed up my new Matt & Nat cork tote and headed to Tenney Beach. Less than 2 miles from my condo, this seemed like the perfect lakeside lounging spot.

Note: In Wisconsin, the word "beach" means a lakeside place to lounge with a small amount of sand and a large amount of grass. There are no waves, no seashells, and building a sand castle would be a challenge. 

I set up my towel lakeside and pulled out the latest issue of Vogue: pure bliss.
The ducks kept me company.
When I got through my magazine, that perfect lake was calling me, so I went for a swim. I went to summer camp for 9 years, so I'm used to lake swimming, but I probably hadn't been in a lake since 2003. And hell, I hadn't been swimming in the state of Wisconsin yet, so I figured I was due.
After my first swim in Lake Mendota. Wet hair and Ray-Bans.
Swimming: check. Now, back to lounging in my Havaianas.
My solo lake trip was fabulous but I was getting hungry, and in true 4th of July fashion, it was time for a BBQ. I headed off to Jennifer and John's house for a pretty amazing spread:

Chick pea salad, chips, olives, a veggie dog, and a veggie skewer: Yum!
After hanging at the BBQ for a while, my friend Michal invited me to join her at BB Clarke Beach on Lake Monona (yup, that would be another "beach" full of grass). I was pretty full and couldn't pass up more lakeside lounging:

Took those Havaianas to lake #2.
And then, it happened: I revealed the horrible fact that after living in Madison for over two years, I had never been to Memorial Union Terrace (arguably the best place for summer hangouts and swimming in Lake Mendota). We packed up our bags, headed over to the Union, and claimed our spot on the dock:

Michal and me enjoying the sun.
We had a beautiful lakeside view...
and jumped in! 
My second swim for the day: quite relaxing.
After hours by the lake (which included meeting Alejandro, a friendly Puerto Rican who will be Michal's new salsa dance partner), it was time to grab a table and get some food (we opted for Mediterranean wraps).

The signature Union chair: these are all over the terrace in orange, green, and yellow.
Really brightens up the place!
Two lakes, two swimming trips, and a delicious BBQ: a fabulous 4th of July.