Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Never leave home without your Emergency Cheese Puffs. (Saturday Adventures, 1)

This Saturday's Adventure:

Planning To Go To The Art Museum But Then Having To Change That To
Bumming Around On State Street Just Prior to the UW Graduation (Although We Actually Thought The Graduation Was Over Already, And In A Different Place.)

The adventure actually began at the parking garage where I usually park for work -- I always park there when I go downtown, because free parking, but this time I'd forgotten my passcard (which was in my car, the car without the car seats.)

The original plan was take the Babies! to the art museum, which required that they have the stroller along. While I can walk with them and hold their hands, going to a place where I intend to contemplate/surreptitiously take pictures of art requires that I have the ability to strap them into something or they'll knock over a multimillion dollar piece of art that only looks like a pile of garbage but is actually a commentary on something-or-other.

Unfortunately, Mr Bunches nixed the idea of the stroller by trying to pick it up and put it back in the car, so I conceded the point and he, I, and Mr F proceeded to walk down State Street, me holding their hands on each side and loaded down with a backpack.

We walked the whole five blocks of State Street, past the Art Museum and various stores and shops and people in pre-graduation gear/states of drunkeness, before getting to the UW's Library Mall. We did that because, having lost the Art Museum as a destination -- no stroller, no art, that's my rule -- I had no other real plans beyond "Don't lose the Babies!."

When we got to the Library Mall, we stopped for a picnic lunch:

On the menu: Ramen noodles (that's what Mr F is eating in the foreground), s'more crackers (Mr Bunches' bagged goodies) and a ham-and-swiss cheese sandwich (not pictured) for me. We also had emergency rations of milk, Pop Tarts, and Cheese Puffs -- as any good adventure requires.

While we ate, we were treated to a Very Bad Skateboarding Demonstration. If you look closely in this picture:

You'll see a seated man on the far bench -- almost directly above Mr Bunches' head. That's the skateboarder who periodically would get on his board, come around, and nearly wipe out or fall off. He didn't complete any tricks that I could see -- but Mr Bunches thought he was awesome, and said so.

Mr F didn't care one way or the other -- he was digging in the dirt in a planter behind me at that point.

From the picnic, we went to the Wisconsin Historical Society, which had the benefits of being right there, and free. I wasn't sure what was inside, but that didn't matter so much because our first stop was the bathroom, where washing up occupied us for about 15 minutes:

From there, we proceeded to walk through all four floors of the historical society, seeing murals like this one:

I took that on the 3rd-floor landing, and if you ever doubt that I have superpowers, then you try this: Hold the hands of two superactive 3-year-olds on the landing of a giant stairwell with low walls, and take a picture at the same time. I got the nicely-focused picture and no Babies! went over the ledge.

We couldn't get a picture of the overhang by the library, a spectacular view, because as soon as I paused there to try the hold-on-to-Babies!-and-snap-picture trick again, the Babies! started yelling to make echoes, and we had to move on to a stairwell where we saw the eagle statue that used to be on top of the Capitol or something:

That finished up the Historical Society (with a brief stop at the arrowhead display in the basement) and we moved on to the Terrace patio by the lakefront. I did not get any pictures there, because Mr Bunches wanted more than anything to go swimming, but (a) it was sixty degrees and (b) he didn't have a change of clothes and (c) Madison's lakes are filled with deadly blue green algae and we never swim in them, so I had to retreat from there hastily.

We walked back up Langdon Street for a while, looking at the Frat houses and apartment buildings. I liked the view from below this building:

Mr Bunches and Mr F wanted to go inside, but I adamantly refused, and we moved on.

Outside another apartment building were large round sculptures. After trying in vain to push one of them -- probably in hopes that it would go careening down the busy sidewalk and create mayhem -- creating mayhem is the Babies!' hobby -- Mr Bunches rested:

From there, they caught sight of a construction area, and we looked at that for roughly 20 minutes:

Then I realized that we were only a block away from my first apartment ever in Madison, back in 1995 -- so I took them there to show them the building. They were suitably impressed:

If you look closely, you'll see a smidge of Mr F trying to avoid being pictured as he found the bushes more interesting than the doorway.

After that, they were getting tired, and we walked the three blocks back to the car, where I unpacked the Emergency Cheese Puffs for the ride home.

Adventure completed!

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