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Mad City Ski Team-Entertaining Madison Since 1963!


Memorial Day Weekend Through Labor Day Weekend

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The Mad City Ski Team formed in 1963 and perform on Sunday nights at Law Park all summer long. We finally started going there in 2017 and realized how much fun we have been missing! They arrive early in the afternoon and set up camp, there is so much to get ready by 5 PM!

It’s important to get there early if you want to get a bleacher seat, otherwise you can bring your own chairs and blankets to sit on. Since I am getting video with two cameras, I get there by 4 to set up.  Parking is available in the Monona Terrace ramp, some in the parking lot to the left of the park. I usually park on Williamson and walk over from there.

Metcalfe’s Market also has a concession so you can get food there too, part of the proceeds supports the ski team. They are a major sponsor of the team and of course put on the World’s Largest Brat Fest every Memorial day weekend.

Before the main show begins, the Junior members of the ski team get a chance to demonstrate their skills from 5:15 to 5:45 PM. Some are as young as 4 or 5.

6:00 PM begins the Competition Team show. There is a different theme every year. In 2017 it was the Grinch, 2018 Alice in Wonderland, and in 2019 it was the Wizard of OZ.  If you can get there early enough in the afternoon, you can get a group photo of the team.

It’s 6 PM and it’s time for the show to begin! The MC is Adam Schaller of the Burish Group. His daughter Anika plays the main character of each show. In Alice in Wonderland she was Alice. In the Wizard of Oz she played Dorothy. Quite the talent, and she also goes out with the team to perform as well.

Let’s enjoy the shows. Below is the 2017 show.

2018

2019

During intermission, be sure to put some money in the bucket as the skiers go through the crowd. It’s much appreciated and you can get a program book too!

We are looking forward to the next season, join us at Law Park next summer for some great entertainment on Lake Monona in Madison, WI!

 

2019-The Year in Review


Here is our summary of all the places we have been in 2019.  I also wish to apologize for so few blog posts being written. Unfortunately, this also ties in with the fact we did not get to many places last year. We, especially Al, has had many more commitments on my days off that we could not go any place. I have spent the last 6 months trying to catch up on making the videos that will be going into as-yet unwritten posts.  You can view these on our YouTube channel.

We still did have fun though, we did get back to some of the festivals we have not been to in a long time. That included Bald Eagle Days in Prairie du Sac in January. We are returning this year too.

We also returned to Woodstock for Groundhog Day on Feb 2nd. This is one of our Favorite festivals and the fact that the movie was filmed here makes it even better!

We also made it to Middleton’s Mustard Festival in August. Thanks again for all of you that saved your mustard bottles, they made a fabulous hat that I proudly wore!

In September we made our first visit to Weiner and Kraut Day in Waterloo in 7 years. The highlight of the festival is the Weiner Dog parade. See it here.

We also went to a festival new to us, the Sorghum Festival in Fall River, also in September.  Sorgum is processed as an alternative sweetener that tastes like molasses.

Sorghum

 

 

We also got video of processing the sorghum to make the syrup. Similar to making maple syrup.

 

 

Education also took a front seat this year for both of us. In November/December Al went to Kick’s Unlimited for Karate. We have become friends with the many instructors there and I shared with them my old videos that I got of them over 10 years ago. I also got new video as well. Al tested for his Gold Belt on December 2nd and earned it! I learned a lot about the many forms done by all of the skill levels from white to black belt.

I took a class introducing me to resin art at Meant to Bead, my favorite beading store, located in Sun Prairie.  Thanks Erin for teaching me a new skill, I have many resin projects in mind for 2020!

I made these pendants with extras to make later.

The weather was excellent this holiday season and we took advantage of all of the fun Holiday events that took place those three weeks. We enjoyed our 4th visit to see the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train. See video here.

We also enjoyed Sun Prairie’s fire truck parade, Baraboo’s Lighted Parade, Holiday fantasy in Lights in Madison. We also made it back to the Rotary Lights in Janesville, or first visit there since 2015. A great Holiday season!

One favorite highlight of 2019 is our continued partnership with the Fever River Puppeteers in Hazel Green. I have made a video of each of their shows since September 2018 to help preserve them. Chuck and Sandye Voight would love to see you! I look forward to our visits there!

This year looks quite exciting, as we are planning to spend a week in Door County in mid-July. This will be our first trip there since 2011 and we plan on seeing everything we can!

Happy New Year to everyone. Please share our blog and subscribe, thanks!

 

St. Patrick’s Day in Madison


After a long hard winter, the first thing Madisonians want is a parade, and they get the first one of the year on St. Patrick’s Day.  The parade promenades around the Capitol Square and usually lasts about an hour.  Here is the 2019 parade, many entries this year.

Our dear friend Vi was in the parade last year, this year it was too cold. She has the best costumes!

Madison Pipes and Drums are always a favorite!

Saw this both this and last year, a leprechaun puppet! Seated next to it is Madison Police Chief Mike Koval.

The Irish Trinity Dancers, ever popular!

Madison parades have plenty of stilt walkers too.

After the parade, the fun continued on State Street. At the top of the street is Teddywedgers, where you can pick up a delicious pasty.  There is an apartment above where a couple was watching from above. They hammed it up for my camera 🙂

A couple even got married that day, they were getting photos taken.

The fun continues as we head down the street, happy people are enjoying the warm weather (in 2018) and it’s even bringing out the street musicians.

We were hungry for corned beef and cabbage so we looked for a place to get some for lunch. We chose Nick’s on State. They have been there since 1959.

A delicious meal on one of Madison’s favorite holidays, St. Patrick’s Day!

29th Annual Holiday Fantasy in Lights – 2017 – Hayride


November 19, 2018

 

I ♥ Media Sponsors-Thank You!

Another great display this year for everyone to enjoy.  This year I took a look at the displays from a new viewpoint, from a hayride! Info here.

Reserve your own haywagon ride (limited availability) for just $100 plus tax, more information: http://www.cityofmadison.com/parks/reserve/hayrides.cfm

The line was long, but it was a warm night and there was a fire to keep us warm while waiting.

Each year, there is a soundtrack you can listen to as you drive through the park transmitted by a LP (low power) radio station. There are actually two stations now. Tune in to 95.3 FM for the main audio, 95.1 for the Dancing Trees.

There were two wagons continuously going around after getting loaded.  The atmosphere was filled with excitement for the upcoming holidays and the kids in the group were so excited!

 It’s our turn!  Soon, we were on our way, watch the video of the hayride.

I returned on the 25th and drove through on my own. If you want to see the displays without other people around, come early in the morning before dawn.  Enjoy the Dancing trees, synchronized to Nutcracker music.

2018 will be the 30th Anniversary of Holiday Fantasy in Lights, I look forward to that!  I will do the hayride again, it was so much fun!

 

Mousehouse Cheesehaus in Windsor


7-3-18  Celebrating 30 Years!

You can’t miss it as you leave Madison, heading north on I-90.  Take exit 131 and you are soon there.  This prime location has given them so many customers, they had to expand over the last year to keep up.

In the 70’s, the store was mostly a liquor store with some cheese. Tony’s parents owned it from 1988-1998, increasing the amount of cheese over liquor. Tony took over ownership of the Mousehouse Cheesehaus in 1998 from his parents and added homemade fudge in 2009.  I took this photo in 2010.  The mouse on top of the roof is named Igor. Hours are 8 AM-7 PM daily so plenty of time to stop in.

In 2016, before the expansion, CEO Tony Sobczak and Vice President Heather Smythe explained all that they do on a local Wisconsin program called, “Talk of the Town”. She has been there for 20 years!

July 2018

The expansion was completed in 2017 and there is room now for much more cheese and fudge! Read more about the expansion here.

The inside is just as amazing, bring a cooler because you are going to need it.  This is your one-stop shop for all things Wisconsin.

You can now watch Fudge and Cheese Curds being prepared through the new viewing windows. On the left is the fudge window, the right is the cheese room.  Stop in around noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays to see these confections being made! Separate prep rooms for the cheese and fudge ensures the highest quality for you, the customer!

Inside the Fudge room. Inside are 2 steam-jacketed kettles with stirrers to make the fudge creamy and smooth while cooking. It takes about 40 minutes for the fudge to be ready to pour and flavor. Read more on the fudge here.

In the Cheese room, you can watch cheese curds mixed with herbs and spices to give you many flavor choices.

 You can watch both cheese and fudge being prepared on Tuesdays and Thursdays at around 12:00 PM. The new viewing windows to the cheese and fudge kitchen are a hit with the kids too! These new kitchens ensure that your cheese and fudge are prepared with the utmost care and in a very clean environment. You can see how clean everything is!

Enjoy a tour of the store with me in the video below. You can taste all the cheese before you buy too. You can get pre-assembled gift boxes or choose your own selections for a custom box. Watch Megan make many varieties of delicious fudge right from the viewing window!           Also, see April mix many flavors of delicious cheese curds made that very morning! I’m getting hungry just watching.

You can also get sandwiches here, no need to go somewhere else for lunch or supper.  Igor’s Big Belly Deli can make prepare sandwiches to order to go or eat there in their dining room. Get 8-inch subs too, pre-made and ready to eat.  Menu here.

We hope you enjoyed touring the Mousehouse Cheesehaus.  Tony, Heather, and crew are happy to serve you and bring you the best cheese and fudge in Wisconsin!  Contact them here or come for a visit!

  • CONTACT INFORMATION
  • 4494 Lake Circle Windsor, WI 53598
  • Toll-Free: 800-526-6873
  • Local: 608-846-4455
  • Email at: customerservice@mousehousecheese.com

Photo by Mousehouse Cheesehaus

 

Making a Big Stink About the Corpse Flower


6-14-18

 

It happened! Olbrich Botanical Garden’s Corpse Flower has finally bloomed today.  The last time this plant bloomed was in 2009, I didn’t see it then.  They have 4 plants altogether. The University of Wisconsin has its own Corpse Flower, affectionately named “Big Bucky”. That one last bloomed in 2012. It was named “Mori” by fans of Olbrich.

It’s housed inside of the Bolz Conservatory. At 4:15 PM it wasn’t too crowded so I picked a good time. Here are some facts about the flower.

The flower is located near the Conservatory entrance, there is a sign showing its life cycle. Picture courtesy of the University of Wisconsin.

I may have missed the peak smelliest time of the flower, I could only smell it up close. Inside the spathe the color is a deep red, setting off the green.

Now the whole plant.

It was fun meeting Mori, the world’s largest flower in person.

 

It’s The Cat’s Meow at Cat Cafe Mad


Cat Cafe Mad closed in mid-July 2018.

2-3-18

The latest trend in unique restaurants is ones with cats you can interact with.  Madison didn’t waste any time clueing into this new idea and the Cat Café Mad was born!

In April 2016, it just had a small kiosk in the front to get your drink from a single cup brewing machine. They expanded in 2017 to have more room for the cats and provide a larger menu, also to survive. There is now an open kitchen and small dining area to eat your food. Only drinks are allowed into the “Cattery”. These are your drink choices.

Hot tea also.

A view of the open kitchen and dining room.

Today’s special was a Pulled Pork Crepe, crafted by Chef Dunn, Manager and Chef at the café.  It was delicious! We had the large crepe, there are choices for every palate.

Just to let you know, the cats are not just sealed into a room with no stimulation. There are lots of toys and windows for them to peer through. In the wall separating the cattery from the restaurant, there are 5 bubble windows so they could see what is going on. As you see, one was doing just that.

Some cats were looking inside and it was so cute! Five cats are permanent residents, the others are up for adoption so the number of cats varies. The current list.

We finished our crepes and were ready to play with the cats. In between the room and dining area is an “airlock” to ensure an extra barrier between the people and cat area. Only children 5 and up are allowed, and a waiver must be signed by all patrons. A $5 cover charge is required to enter the cattery, it help cover the cost of care.  Photos are permitted, don’t use flash as it will startle the cats. There are rules all must follow to protect the cats and yourself.

Also tips on how read cat body language.  For someone who never has owned a cat (yet!), this was very helpful to me.

The cattery also has webcam you can watch anywhere on your device or computer. Click on this icon from the website. The camera is on the wall in the center of the room in the back.

Enjoy this video of our visit!

Such a wonderful place to de-stress if you love cats but can’t have one at home.  The crepes are delicious too! Many fun events happen here on the weekends.  High Tea is quite popular. See it here on time lapse.

We plan on making as many visits as we can!

 Donations are welcome and appreciated!

You can  join a Meetup group and make friends with other cat lovers in the community. You will be kept up to date on events at the café.

 

Related Websites

Madison Cat Lovers

Community Cat,Inc.

Underdog Pet Rescue of Wisconsin

TRUE Coffee Roasters

Sjölinds Chocolate House-Mt. Horeb

Petcube

Dr. Elsey’s Cat Litter