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I rode the city bus & bought a hammock.

Today marks 2 months since I moved to Madison. I suppose that calls for some updates.

First and foremost, ISO friends. A slight joke, but actually. It takes some intentional living to meet people and make friends as a real adult. I’m thankful for my current network, but it’s definitely a transition from having perma-friends (roommates who can’t runaway from you) and classmates. Do you, uhh, want to go on a friend date with me? Plz.

In others news, I just learned that Madison is the “City of Four Lakes”, but I classify it as the city of:

  • Biking. So incredibly bike-friendly. As I commute (walk) to work, I study the traffic, reflect on my biking ability, and observe helmet and bicycle choices. My parents recently delivered my Grandma’s bike (to me) and it’s perfect. If I went to a store to pick out a bike, this is the exact one I would choose. Thanks Grandma!!
  • Music. There is music everywhere, all the time, every genre you can imagine. The UW Memorial Union Terrace on campus (and a 2 minute walk from my office) has music 4 nights a week. So that’s a solid on-the-way home activity.
  • Active People. Biking kind of covers this. But people are so active. They’re active in terms of walking, biking, kayaking, swimming, frisbeeing, etc. But they’re also active in terms of attending and supporting community events. So much support.
  • Families. Along with the community support, this place is so family-friendly. Kids. Everywhere.
  • Free Events. And to top it off, so many things are free. As a new professional (who gets paid once a month), I welcome that with open arms. The zoo, museums, music. All fo’ free.

In terms of work, I like it so far! I’m working my way through that inevitable transitionary period. I took on the strategy of meet-with-everyone-you-can and ask-all-the-questions-you-can. Seems like a solid way of accomplishing necessary and helpful things like: networking, understanding office dynamics, getting a feel for university culture, analyzing relationships, uncovering politics, understanding responsibilities, and ultimately, having social interaction. So the past month has consisted of coffee dates, lunch plans, and office meetings. It’s always good when people start [whispering] #politics. Welcome to higher education.

What else? Steve (Shaw) came to visit me June 7-12. We explored the city. Of course we went to the Henry Vilas Zoo [again], explored the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, ate some delicious empanadas from the local (& dangerously near & addicting) food trucks, attended the famous Saturday morning Farmer’s Market [and got all the ingredients to recreate our favorite Bacon Bruchette appetizer from Cincinnati!], recreated our favorite appetizer, ate our favorite appetizer (all equally important), went to a professional Ultimate Frisbee game, frequented The Old Fashioned Restaurant [twice], ate fried cheese curds annnd squeaky fresh cheese curds (Steve’s first!)… he liked them. Oh, and we went tandem kayaking on Lake Mendota and kinda got along. So that’s good. But we may get separate kayaks next time… we will. 😉

Some other favorite things. I have attended several Concerts on the Square. These are free Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Concerts on the Capitol lawn. And people go ALL OUT. They bring lil’ tables, chairs, and table cloths. They prepare fancy appetizers, like brie, and olives, and other bougie things. People utilize infomercial products that you think no one would use. Like wine glass holders that stick in the ground. And baskets that convert into tables. People play cards, gather with friends, drink wine, beer, and other classy beverages and it’s literally like a movie. Everyone should go. Oh, and also, attendees are allowed to put blankets down beginning at 3:00 PM and the lawn is nearly covered within the hour. If you put a blanket down before 3 PM, snatched by the Capitol police. Bye blanket.

Others engagements. I’ve joined a group of Becky’s friends for some trivia. I’m the absolute worst at trivia, but nonetheless, it’s a good activity. I bought a nylon hammock that hangs between two trees. And I found two perfect trees at a nearby park. PSA. This is a product all outdoor lovers should own. $25 for the hammock and tree straps (everything you need). Mine is a brand called Yes4All; it can be purchased on Amazon. I finally went to Devil’s Lake over the 4th of July with Greg, Sarah, and Becky. Beautiful. My parents came down recently and we went to the Mad City Ski Show. The water was super rough, but they did a good job. Ooh also, last week I got free tickets to see Kinky Boots at the Overture Center with a new friend. Such a great show. Phenomenal singers, great dancers, good story. “Would recommend to a friend.” And this past weekend I went camping at Greenbush campground with St. Norbert kiddies and some new friends.

Coming up next, work trip to St. Louis (& JADE TAYLOR). And non-work trip to Syracuse (& STEVE SHAW). I miss my people.

Oh, before I sign off, I took the city bus and thought you should know. #proudofthat

If you have recommendations of things to do in Madison, let me know. If you want to go on a friend date, let me know that, too!

Life is precious, my friends.

That may be it for the updates. Cheers people.

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One thought on “I rode the city bus & bought a hammock.

  1. Love to read about your adventures exploring Madison, but I must admit my favorite part was reading about your new bike. It took me right back to your oh so funny November 2013 post, “I’m Not Proud, But I’m Laughing” which I just had to read again:
    “As I was casually scooting along on my bike, all of a sudden I was having trouble pedaling forward. What da heck?! Took me a half second to realize that my pant leg had conveniently gotten wound up in my chain. No big deal.” That sure was a sweet bike, but I am convinced that Grandma’s bike will also lead to some good stories along the way.

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