Madison, Wisconsin

My baby sister Lynn, Noelle, the beautiful being you see up top, and I took a trip up to Madison last June. This recap is extreeeemmmmeeeely overdue, haha. After this recap, I promise to be better with sharing stories in a timely manner. Or I should say, I'll try my best! Specifically travel stories, since I have a few coming up! We actually planned to head to Madison on the way to a balloon festival nearby. Sadly, the festival was canceled on account of the weather. Rings a bell, right? Afropunk Atlanta was also a no go last year, too, because of a hurricane in a nearby state. Asides from Vietnam, I was starting to think 2015 wasn't my year for travel haha. We made the most of it, though, eating and making pictures, like we always do!

Since it's been so long, this will be a short recap. One of the attractions that took up most of our time was the Wisconsin State Capital, with it's magnificent detailed decor. We spent our days browsing the corridors, and was even able to climb to the roof. The view up there is something else. Walking around Madison, there were a ton of food places that I can't even remember anymore, with the exception of one: Kilwins Madison. It is an absolute must try. When I say they have the best ice cream, I am not lying. Lynn's go to was a flavor called the "Superman," a combination of red, yellow, and blue stripes. To this day, I cannot put my finger on what the flavors really are. Sometimes it tasted like bubblegum and fruit loops, other times whipped cream and sherbet. Sometimes it tasted like all of those flavors combined. I can't really pin point it, and I hear there is a location in Chicago, so you'll just have to try it for yourself!

One of the last stops was Ella's Deli and Ice Cream Parlor, a restaurant that had amazing quirky decor, which mostly included animatronic toys. A life sized banana, a bicycle riding monkey and the boy who lived flying around on his broom, complete with a wand, were just a few of the toys that greeted us. It reminded me of an eclectic toy store. Some might find the toys creepy or a bit "too much," but I loved it. Imagine a mechanical circus, packaged into a tiny little building that you can sit down with your family at. They even have a carousel right outside the restaurant, and yes, it is operational! I first visited Ella's on a college trip to a leadership conference in 2011. I knew that if I intended to visit Madison a second time, I must trek to Ella's for a scoop of their ice cream. This time around, I had only enough time just for that, and I ordered a blue hued flavor called the milk and cereal. It tasted like I was eating fruity pebbles from my sugar cone. We ran outside with our ice cream cones and made pictures in front of the neon sign, enjoying the weather and our summer treats.

In the beginning, I kept thinking the trip was a complete lost because of the balloon festival we had missed out on. I'm a big planner, and I hate hitting those bumps in the travel road. After going through our pictures, and reminiscing on the fun we had, however, I realized that sometimes you hit a few mishaps in planning your travels and that it happens to everyone. It's not always pristine. It's really OK. This was one of my first for fun travel trips I had taken with Noelle and I was also able to take my little sister along with me. We shared a lot of laughs and enjoyed one another's presence. I mean, this trip was already perfect to begin with, and I was so silly for taking so long to realize it. Any where with the two of them is a dream trip.