It was Father's Day, so Unky Herb and I went to Janesville, Wisconsin to visit the Prairie Princess at her place of summer employment. It's a five plus hour journey, so we spent more than ten hours in a car this weekend. The extra hours were spent visiting Madison (Mad Town) and a couple of scenic locations in Janesville (Jane's Vegas).
Saturday afternoon we stopped at the Wisconsin State Capitol, the place where all the big demonstrations have been happening the last few months where the legislature and the governor are passing laws that are intensely disliked by the unions in the state. There were no demonstrations while we were there, but there were signs and bumper stickers galore expressing political opinions. We spent some time circling the capitol and taking photos. The first photo is PP at the capitol up on a wall at the capitol where she probably wasn't supposed to be, but no one cared and it's a nice photo. She's mugging for Unky Herb as he takes a photo.
Part of the reason for the trip to Madison was to find a good Vietnamese restaurant, a lack in Janesville. I had an address of one from my internet searching and we started to walk in that direction. It was a longer walk than I expected, but just after passing a gathering of young people with a sign announcing "Fruit fest" we encountered Bahn Thai, a pretty good Thai restaurant where we stopped and ate. Sweet and sticky brown rice with mangos were the topping delicacy. As we waited for the food I took a picture of my kids. Not really kids any more, but still mine.
We also visited the Madison Arboretum later as the sun went down. There's a native prairie restoration of several acres that was lit by lightning bugs and infested with tiny rabbits. Not a bad first day.
On Sunday it rained in the morning. We went to the Botanical Gardens in Janesville. It's quite an impressive array of various forms of international flavored gardens - European, Japanese and even a grove of larch trees. We took umbrellas and stayed pretty dry. We were about the only people who visited Sunday morning. This next photo is UH and PP in an arch in front of a formal garden, trying to stay dry.
This is is Herb, with his camera in the midst of the foliage in the Japanese Garden.
And PP peering into a small structure that is part of the Japanese Garden where I was having a sit down. She's looking cute and wistful for the camera.
In the afternoon, after lunch at a Noodle Factory, we went to the 150 acre prairie at the place that PP works. We walked through knee high grass, scaring up butterflies and wood ticks in abundance. I even learned some new plant names - wild white indigo and spider wort to name two - from the wild plant expert who was showing us around. That was the Prairie Princess.
Then we had a snack at the world's largest Culver's (no photo exists to prove it) and hit the road for Minnesota. By the time we reached Hudson, UH and I had spent 33 consecutive hours in the People's Republic of Wisconsin. A nice trip. A nice Father's Day.