Sunday, May 31, 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009

This One is for Kat

"Be who you are
and say what you feel
because those who mind don't matter
and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss

Friday, May 29, 2009

DOMANI 21 APRILE Artisti uniti per l'Abruzzo (FANTASTICO)

Here's some music for all my Italian loving friends.

The Tao of Wandering

"Girl in Villa Pamphili, Rome"

"Not all those who wander are lost."
-J.R. Tolkien

"My favorite pastime is

letting time pass,

having the time,

taking my time,

wasting my time,

living out of time-

against the current."

-Francoise Sagan, Responses

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Conjugating Memory in the Eames Lounge Chair

"Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson:
You find the present tense
but the past perfect."- John Updike

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Listen to Your Inner Voice

there are no mistakes, only lessons.
Love yourself, trust your choices,
and everything is possible."
-C. Carter Scott

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It All Works Out

pendant by "ala mode"

"Take chances, take a lot of them.
Because honestly, no matter where
you end up and with whom, it always
ends up just the way it should be.
Your mistakes make you who you
are. You learn and grow with each
choice you make. Everything is
worth it. Say how you feel, always.
Be you, and be okay with it."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Best of Love

"The best kind of love celebrates
your smallest win,
follows your biggest dreams.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

May There Be Light in Your Life

Bellis Studio via Etsy

photo via McKinneys photostream flickr

“Love is not consolation.

It is light.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

Saturday, May 23, 2009

On Our Way to Olbrich Botanical Gardens

After brunch we made our way down State street to catch the #3 bus.

All was quiet in the center of town.

Here's a colorful little place next to where the bus stops.

Walking from the bus stop by the lake

We arrived at the gardens around 2:30. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. There was an afternoon concert that started at 2:00 so music as well as the fragrance of blooming spring flowers filled the air. Olbrich Botanical Gardens is home to 16 acres of display gardens and a 10,000 square foot tropical conservatory. Ten outdoor specialty gardens include a Thai Pavilion & Garden, A Prairie-style Rose Garden, and unique water features throughout the property. It is a lovely setting to tour.

A pavilion, or sala, is a common structure in Thailand generally used as a shelter from rain and heat. Olbrich's pavilion is more ornate than most roadside salas in Thailand and represents those found at a temple or on a palace grounds. However, Olbrich's pavilion is not a religious structure.The pavilion was a gift to the University of Wisconsin-Madison from the Thai Government and the Thai Chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association. UW-Madison has one of the largest Thai student populations of any U.S. college or university.Olbrich was chosen as the site for the pavilion because of its garden setting and its proximity to water. Water is important to Thailand because of its implications for good health and prosperity.

Thai Pavilion and Garden Facts
The pavilion is 40 feet long, 22 feet wide, and 30 feet high
The pavilion features gold leaf etchings, a lacquer finish, and intricate decoration
The estimated value of the Pavilion is $1.5 to 2 million
The pavilion is crafted without nails or screws
There are no endangered woods or materials used in the pavilion
The gift of the pavilion was approved by Thailand's royal family therefore, it bears the Royal seal of the Thai Crown
The pavilion is only one of four located outside of Thailand. The others are in Germany, Norway, and Hawaii
The Thai Garden is connected to the central gardens by a 155-foot arched, ornamental bridge that spans Starkweather Creek

The pavilion was designed and constructed in Thailand, then taken apart piece by piece and shipped to Madison. A group of Thai artisans arrived in September, 2001, to reconstruct it on its permanent site along Starkweather Creek.

This little lion is Aria's favorite statue

Thank you Aria for a lovely Mother's Day Celebration.
It was very special to spend this day with you.

"Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems." ~Rainer Maria Rilke
If you are ever in Madison, WI, be sure to visit these gardens. Outdoor Gardens are open daily and are free to all. Admission to the Bolz Conservatory is $1 per person and free to all on Wednesday and Saturday from 10 am to noon.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mother's Day Celebration at Cafe Continental

Aria had made brunch reservations at a lovely little restaurant near the Capitol Building called, "Cafe Continental". It is located at 108 King Street (tel. 608.251.4880)
It has the feel of a neighborhood Parisian restaurant. We had a small private room in the back of the cafe.
After a long, leisure meal, plenty of coffee and three scrumptious desserts we were off to tour the Botanical Gardens.

The Schiavo Family Your Hosts, Zinc Bar, Over 200 Wines - 40 By the Glass, Wine Spectator,
Award of Excellence

Jocelyn, Aria and me. A very, memorable Mother's Day!
P.S. We loved this place so much we returned the next day to try the French toast with carmelized apples that we were too full to order on Sunday. To our dismay they were not serving the brunch menu on we "had" to order off the luncheon menu instead and they "had to" twist our arms to order more desserts again...whoa, the waiter's recommendation for bananas foster with hot rum sauce and vanilla ice cream...killer!
Tomorrow's post: Mother's Day continued with a tour of Olbrich Gardens...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Eating, Drinking, and Shopping...Oh My

Let the fun begin
Aria and Barb in front of the State Capitol Building

Saturday at the Farmer's Market

Although this time of year it might be more logical to call it the "Dane County Gardening Market," with starter plants just about outnumbering food products, it's the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country. All items are produced locally by the vendor behind the table. No resale is allowed. The Farmers' Market will be held on the Capitol Square every Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., rain or shine, through November 7th.

The Dane County Farmers’ Market is one of the largest farmer's markets in the country. It extends the full perimeter of the Capitol Square. We circled the perimeter twice,checking out all the wonderful sales. Lots of samples of fresh home-made cheeses, honey, flavored oils, breads, fresh baked multi-flavored scones and beautiful, locally grown produce including lots of interesting morel mushrooms. Dozens of stands sold starter plants for herbs and veges and lovely spring flowers. Go early, this sidewalk was very crowded by the time we left at 10:30.
Aria buys her bread from this baker every Saturday. This time he gave her the loaf free because he said it had an air bubble inside and the baker didn't want to charge her for it. Pretty lucky.

Touring State Street the main street leading from the Capitol to the University of Wisconsin campus

Kabul Afghanistan Restaurant
There’s a great array of all Middle Eastern food, not just Afghanistani food. They start you out with some flatbread that has a couple of great dipping sauces, followed by either a salad, or the Afghani soup. Fun stop for lunch between shopping on State Street.
541 State St, Madison, WI 53703-1010

Fresco, We enjoyed drinks and dinner here on a Friday night. Walking up the glass staircase was dizzying and that was before drinks. We decided to take the elevator down after dinner. This place has great atmosphere and ambiance, especially at night.
Located on the rooftop of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Fresco is a modern dining space boasting panoramic views of the Capitol and State Street. Enjoy exceptional views of Madison while relaxing with martinis in the all-glass lounge. Dine indoors alongside a glass wall overlooking the museum’s 7,100 square-foot sculpture garden, or sit at the garden’s edge and enjoy dinner al fresco. Fresco's menu consists of contemporary American cuisine made with fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients.

Fresco: 227 State St. Madison, WI 53703
Hours:Sunday – 5pm - 9pmMondays – ClosedTuesday – Thursday – 5pm - 9pm
Friday & Saturday – 5pm - 10pm

Barriques Coffee Bar

Aria's coffee house of choice to study ...Barriques Coffee Trader is located 1 block west of the state capital building in the old Loraine Hotel at the corner of West Washington and Fairchild. They offer a full service coffee and espresso bar that opens early each morning. In addition to their irresistible fresh from the oven bakery, they have a light sandwich and salad menu to take care of your tummy. For evening enjoyment they serve several tap beers, wines by the glass and a limited cocktail menu. Plus you can pick up a bottle of your favorite wine from the infamous Wall of 100. (Which we did!) Free wireless internet access is provided.

We made several stops here for coffee, snacks and wine!

Bradbury's Coffee, Espresso, and Crepes
Isthmus127 N. Hamilton St., Madison, WI, 53703; 204-0474

Located in a nearly all-glass triangle on the ground floor of the Capitol Point condos, it's visible as you round the outer ring at the Hamilton-Webster-Dayton area. This small, bright space, enlivened by hip track lighting and earthy wooden chairs, is devoted to serving a good espresso and celebrating the underappreciated art of the crepe. Whether you choose a sweet or savory crepe you'll be fully satisfied. This is Aria's regular breakfast stop every Saturday after the Farmer's market. We followed suit after our saturday outing to shop for veges. This is just between the Capitol and Aria's apartment. A very convenient location.

The Old Fashioned
located at 23 N. Pinckney St.Madison, WI
We stopped here for a late night dinner on Saturday night. Was a lively place and great food and beer.
Located in the shadow of the state capitol, The Old Fashioned stands as a meeting place for friends and family, as well as a vibrant testament to Madison's downtown revitalization.
Cafe Continental
Another stop for us on Monday...The Continental Cafe again.


Fromagination is a new specialty cheese market celebrating Wisconsin Artisanal Cheesemakers and highlighting artisan cheeses from around the United States and the world.

Fromagination located at:
TWELVE SOUTH CARROLL, MADISON, WI 53703 • 608.255.2430
Stay tuned, tomorrow's post, "Mother's Day Brunch"

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