Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cruising Lake Monona On Betty Lou

On day 2 of our Madison Adventures (yes it's still only day 2!) we have reservations for the *Betty Lou cruise on Lake Monona.  There are several options which include tours on either Lake Mendota or Monona.  The one we chose was an hour long cruise with limitless pizza and beer.  This is a fun tour and I highly recommend it.

Great beers from Capitol brewery

Pizzas all kinds of choices from a popular pizzeria on State street 

It was a beautiful day on the lake

After the cruise we walk along the lake shore to the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. This site originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1938 features breath taking architecture.
Monona Terrace is open to the public daily from 8 am to 5 pm.

Daily tours are at 1 p.m.  fees are $3.00 per adult and $2.00  per student.

Monona terrace features wonderful views of the lake to sit and relax 
or grab a snack at the rooftop outdoor cafe.

View of the Capitol from Monona Terrace.  What a great day here in Madison. Tomorrow's adventures are just as busy! Stay tuned.

*For information on taking the Betty Lou Cruise:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Touring the Capitol Building, Madison Wi.

Day 2: Touring the Capitol building 

After a leisure morning at the Olbrich gardens and our lunch on State street we headed to the Capitol building aiming for the 2:00 tour.  Tours are free and no reservations are required. This is a magnificent building inside and out. I highly recommend touring the Capitol building of Madison.*

    "Rising between the picturesque waters of Lake Monona and Lake Mendota, the majestic granite structure of Wisconsin's Capitol building glows like a beacon, accenting the Madison skyline."

The beautiful domed ceiling

Our knowledgeable tour guide gives us great insight into the history of the buildings architecture.  She stands before one of the many giant fireplaces. 

  Beautiful stained glass ceilings stand out in each wing of the Capitol.

An easy elevator ride and about 12 short steps lead you to the observation deck where you will behold a panoramic view of the city and the two lovely lakes that flank either side of Madison. Don't miss this view!
The sixth floor museum and observation deck are open during the summer months.  

"Where's Bucky the Badger now?"

"Bucky the Badger" is the mascot of the University of Wisconsin.  He is often seen by Daniele all over the city.  Today was not exception.  While we were high atop the observation deck Daniele spotted "Bucky" scaling the side of one of the nearby buildings. "There's Bucky!" he exclaimed and in disbelief we indeed saw Bucky climbing down the side of a building.   It was hilarious!

After our tour we walked down a short distance to the shores of Lake Monona in time for our 4:00 boat cruise.  More on that tomorrow!

*If you are in Madison don't miss touring the Capitol building located at 2 East Main Street, Madison, WI 53702.        Free tours are offered daily, year round except on the following holidays: New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas. Tours start at the information desk Monday through Saturday at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 a.m. and 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 p.m.; and Sundays at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 p.m. A 4:00 p.m. tour is offered weekdays (Monday - Friday), excluding holidays, during Memorial Day through Labor Day. Plan on spending 45-55 minutes for a tour.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Olbrich Gardens and More

Day 2:

We spent a leisure morning August 16th, at the lovely Olbrich Botanical Gardens located on Madison's East side along the skirt of Lake Monona. 

Olbrich features 16 acres of outdoor gardens featuring stunning landscapes. Admission is free to the outdoor gardens. Definitely a lovely place to stroll.

Don't miss the beautiful authentic Thai temple on the grounds

A trip through the Bolz conservatory on site is well worth the $2.00 admission. From mid July through mid-August you can experience live butterflies emerging from their chrysalises daily.  We were surrounded by wonderful butterflies in the sunny 50 foot high glass pyramid with towering palms, orchids, waterfalls and koi fish.  Absolutely magical.

Getting hungry, time to head back to State Street for lunch.

There are many ethnic restaurants throughout the city.  

So many fun places to try.

We decided on Fugu which was asian fusion.

Mmmmm food was yummy

After lunch some  shopping and some monkeying around!


 We worked our way up State street to the Capitol building for our  tour.  

More on that in tomorrows blogpost...

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