A weekend in Madison

Saturday morning (April 21st): After a good nights sleep, we packed up and took off from the Hilton. We found the bus stop right outside the Union Station and shopped for some supplies at a little store next to the bus stop.

We got on the bus, and had an excellent ride north up to Madison, Wisconsin. The first bus driver was charming and had some jokes that he served on the trip, and our second driver was just as funny. This was also the first place we noticed that some of the states in the US doesn’t prohibit wearing a motorcycle helmet - riders were passing by in full speed with their hair flowing in the wind. After a few stops, and two and a half hours on the bus, we were in Madison.

Waiting for Tim after getting off the bus
Waiting for Tim after getting off the bus

The weather in Madison was amazing! It was like a nice spring/summers day. Two weeks earlier it had snowed, and the locals were as pleased as we were about the sun. Our friend Tim picked us up at the bus stop and we went back to his place to leave our stuff. After some 30 min. of just kicking back, Dave stopped by. Selma&Louis where getting Lillehammer flashbacks (That’s where we all met the first time). The four of us headed for downtown Madison in Tim’s Wrangler Jeep. Tim parked the Jeep and we walked into the city center and down the closest thing they have to a walking street (gågate). They are proud of the fact they have one, and it was very nice. The street was filled with small shops and cafés and lots of relaxed people. At the end of the street we headed to the terrace. A nice outdoor gathering point where we had some beers and just enjoyed the weather. While we where sitting there, Alison and Sara joined us. So now we where having sort of a Lillehammer reunion. We remembered the good old days and kicked down a few. This was just what we needed to charge our batteries and we fell in love with the town of Madison right away.

Lots of people gathered to celebrate spring at the terrace
Lots of people gathered to celebrate spring at the terrace

After a few hours at the terrace, we made a short stop back at Tim’s, before going to the first of a couple of parties that night. This was a combined birthday- and job-celebration, with lots of people from the Scandinavian department of the University of Wisconsin in Madison. And suddenly we heard people talking Norwegian around us - and to us. A guy there, Jason, had visited Norway 32(!) times, and even flew in to celebrate his fortieth birthday at the Grand in Oslo. It almost felt like having a time-out back home.

Louis, Tim and Jason at the party
Louis, Tim and Jason at the party

After the first party, we were starting to get pretty hungry. We stopped at a Noodles restaurant, and had some chow. Then the boys brought Selma back to Tims apartment, where she spent the rest of the night relaxing, reading through two weeks of unattended e-mails, updating the blog, uploading pictures - and catching up on some much needed rest.

Louis, on the other hand, was ready for some p-a-r-t-y-i-n-g!

Louis sums up his night of partying

Hi folks! This is now a Louis Blog: Tim and I headed over to some friends of his. Problem was that upon our arrival, two of the people turned out to be sick, so after a short chat we grabbed Zach and started walking towards the center of town. To show you just how safe I felt on this trip downtown, check out my security detail!

Zach and Tim made sure Louis had a great time
Zach and Tim made sure Louis had a great time

First stop was a pub/nightclub where someone Tim knew where having a birthdayparty. We had to wait in line in the bar area, to get down to the dancefloor. It went quite fast, one beer to be exact. When we got in to the club part of the bar there where more beers, and Tim impressed with a shot containing . . . Jagermaister and God knows what. One good thing came of it, we had to drink more beer to get rid of the taste. After some local girls gave us a lesbian teasing show, Tim felt it was best to leave. We headed out into the streets and passed this handsome fella. Turns out he was norwegian and fell at the chickamago, or something way back when.

Then came the highlight of the night for me. Tim said I had to keep an eye out entering this bar, because there was a huge tree inside. The tree was there, BUT much more important than that; The cutest woman in town! The only problem was that she seemed to be out with her boyfriend, so i really didn’t get to talk to her, just my damn luck.

Cutest girl in Madison
Cutest girl in Madison. Louis’ date the next time he visits Madison?

More of Tims buddies turned up, even Wal Kilmer! And a buntch more.

When it comes to drinks, this just might be my place. I ordered some beers, for my guys and me, and one Jim Bean. And did I ever get a Jim Bean. I don’t know where the girl in the bar learned to pour a drink, but she filled my glass all the way to the top! Cheers.

Then we had to leave this bar and all its’ beauty. Tim brought us to a place to get some chow, before heading home. On arriving at this pizza place, we cut in line. Not just a little pass two people and that’s that. No we passed the whole damn line and found ourself at the front. Not one bad word uttered from the crowd, not even the securityguard at the door said a word. I think it was the hat! We had our excellent pizza on some stairs next door to the place, and it was good eatin’.

Pizza time!
Pizza time!

Getting a taxi in Madison turned out to be a bit harder. Again I blame the hat! Tim finally got us a cab, and on leaving we saw that the first taxi we tried to get was surrounded by several cop cars. Guess he was “high as a kite by then”.

Back home at Tims’ place we called it the night. And soon all we could hear where the titter tatter of the upstairs neighbours feet, as he kept crossing the floor. Good night zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Oh, just one more thing: I am coming back to Madison!

MADISON - DAY TWO (Sunday April 22nd)

We woke up to yet another beautiful day in Madison. Selma felt good after a proper nights sleep - whereas Louis was a bit more groggy. Selma got up, took a shower and brought her Powerbook out into the sun. Two hours on Skype with her girlfriend, sitting in the sun at a table just outside of Tim’s apartment - what a great way to start a day! We had one of the easiest mornings this far, chillin’ on Tim’s porch and talking about last night.

But finally we managed to crawl out in the sun for real. Tim took us out on a sightseeing trip across town, showing us the Monona terrace (buildt in honor of Frank Lloyd Wright) - with a plaque honoring Otis Redding (who died when his plane crashed into the lake here), the state capitol, the university campus - and a bit outside town so we could see the Madison skyline. And we still think Madison is a great place - or, as the saying goes: ten square miles surrounded by reality.

Louis, Selma and Tim at the Monona Terrace
Louis, Selma and Tim at the Monona Terrace

After the sightseeing we headed back to Tim’s for a quiet night. Tim made us dinner before heading out to a meeting, and the two of us enjoyed the quiet time in a real livingroom again (as opposed to the generic hotel rooms we’ve been staying in for the last couple of weeks). We borrowed Tim’s washer and dryer and got some laundry out of the way. Tim came back home, and we watched a documentary about the student riots at the UW Madison campus in the late sixties/early seventies. It was really fun to see old footage of the same buildings we had been walking past earlier the same day.

Chillin' in Tim's living room
Chillin’ in Tim’s living room

We called it a night early, got settled on Tim’s couch and a makeshift bed on the floor - and fell asleep.

Got tips? Comments? Do tell!