A lion lives a mile away.

Today marks one week of living in Madison. It’s been a week of adventures! As lil J-Tay asserted, “You’re adjusting quite well – going to all these fun little Madison summer events.” Much of that success is attributed to my childhood friend, birthday-twin, and NEW NEIGHBOR, Becky Ballweg. The best welcome committee leader I could ask for. She’s a true ambassador to the city of Madison and I’m thankful for that!

So let’s see. Last week Monday, the parents moved me into my third floor apartment – downtown Madison. Sweaty. Long. My Dad said after a solid 8 hours, “Well, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.” I’m pretty sure the beer and pizza bribed him to forget quickly. But alas, it was a successful day! Purchased a couch, ottoman, coffee table, and bed. Quite the accomplishment. Shout out to the Riley Electric van for being a true friend.

In other news, I live 3 blocks from the Capitol, State St., and several blocks from campus. City livin’ at its finest. There’s a first for everything. And I have a great first impression of what it’s like to live in a big city [that feels small]. I have gone shopping at a bunch of places and I don’t have to drive 45+ minutes to get there. So that’s cool.

When I first arrived at my apartment, the electric wasn’t turned on yet. Get it together MG&E. But apparently #gasleaks caused a slowdown. Okay methane. I’m sweating. But eventually MG&E got their butts in geared and saved the day – 5 hours later. Panting. My mom and I arrived first and climbed stair after stair. 53 steps a time. [Side note: A complete load of laundry requires 318 steps… Imma be dirty.] Then my Dad showed up (fashionably late) and we switched to one-floor specialty. Like an unfortunate relay race. But we won. And I’m proud of that.

Originally the apartment seemed small, but I did recently transition from a spacious 3-bedroom, 3-bath, full kitchen, living room, and laundry room apartment. I did the calculations and my new apartment is 360 square feet. Truly sufficient for one person. I have a bedroom, bathroom, and an open living room/kitchen. The only thing I wish I had more of is counter space, but I’m working on alternative solutions to that!

So Monday 5/23/16 was move-in. I spent Tuesday thrifting… because I still hate how expensive all things are. And the apartment is looking well for it! Thanks to Craigslist, random thrift stores, Target [avoiding the Walton’s], and TJ Maxx/Marshall’s/HomeGoods (which, fun fact: are all the same thing).


Tuesday evening, I met up with Becky and some of her friends for my first experience on the Terrace (at the UW Memorial Union). Beautiful spot on Lake Mendota! Wednesday was another day of shopping for the essentials. Like toilet paper and garbage cans. Thursday included dinner with my cousin Megan, among others. With cheese curds, of course. Friday, my bff4l Katie Glod came to visit for the weekend! We spent the next couple of days adventuring: Mexican Restaurant (A La Brasa) [$4 margarits & $2.50 street tacos], piano bar [Ivory Room], Genna’s, Saturday Farmer’s Market, Tour of the Capitol, shopping on State St. [new favorite: Anthology], pool time, Italian restaurant for dinner [Angelo’s], followed by the Henry Vilas Zoo [one of the only free zoos in the country] in the morning. Luckily we arrived at 9:15 (open at 9:30), before the crowds started pouring in. Sunday afternoon I accompanied Becky to a couple of picnics where I played with babies, pet puppies, ate real food, spent time with adults, watched sunsets, and discovered a pet bunny chilling on a leash in the park (it was happily with its owner). Such a week. I also switched banks and went to the library. Because I’m pretending to be an adult.

Let’s cut to the chase, things I’ve learned:

  1. City life is convenient.
  2. Parking’s at a premium.
  3. It’s not hard to buy furniture on your lonesome, but getting it home is nearly impossible.
  4. Dry cleaning is expensive.
  5. Polar bears can appear out of nowhere.
  6. A lion lives a mile away from me.
  7. You don’t need a coffee pot to make iced coffee.
  8. The library can scan 3 books (in a pile) simultaneously – in a billisecond.
  9. Billisecond isn’t a real word.
  10. Clock radios can provide sufficient entertainment for a week. #nointernet #notelevision
  11. Determining whether it’s “Lake Mendota” or “Lake Monona” hurts my mind.
  12. Fabric paint can be used on wood.
  13. I’m the only one to blame if I’m out of toilet paper.
  14. Organization is key in a small apartment.
  15. Credit Unions are not-for-profit, while banks are for-profit. #UWCreditUnionFTW
  16. There are shopping cart escalators. #Target
  17. Craft time is essential to my happiness.
  18. Animals give me life.
  19. Flowers are a perfect apartment-warming/Welcome-to-Madison gift. Thanks Michael Glod!
  20. Apartment artwork is transformational. Thanks to Steve Shaw & Katie Glod!

The end. Cheers beautiful people. Come visit me. I’m ready to play.


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