I took a much-needed, long-awaited vacation the last week of September -- it was nearly impossible to get significant time off at my old job, so as soon as I had 40 hours of PTO racked up with my new job, I was OFF! Woo!
I decided to split my vacation into two parts -- I spent the first half traveling, and had the opportunity to see old friends and some of my family! I look the Megabus to Madison straight after work on Friday night, and spent the weekend with my friend Anna, (we go WAY back, all the way to high school French class!), her husband, Langdon, and their daughter, Eliza. Anna is a wonderful "tour guide," and we had lots of fun during my stay!
I had a tour of their garden, courtesy of Eliza:
A trip to the Madison Farmer's Market:
(I saw many local foods that I haven't seen in Minnesota, including mushrooms, Door County cherries, nuts, aronia, sea berries, pears, and Asian pears. And, really, look at the size of that kohlrabi! Holy moly!)
We explored the state capitol:
And the zoo:
I had plenty of fun running around and exploring Madison with Anna and her family, but I think my favorite part of my trip was "naptime" -- Eliza is still plenty young enough to take a nap in the afternoon, and Langdon took the opportunity to head into work for a few hours, so Anna and I were left to lounge around their apartment, and enjoyed drinking tea and diet Coke, reading, and chatting the afternoon away. We've been friends for a long time and don't see each other all that often, so it was great to have some chill time to catch up!
Sunday evening, Anna drove me to Janesville, so I could spend a day and a half with my grandpa. I realized, when planning this vacation, that I have never really hung out with just my grandpa! We had a great time -- ate out too much, hung out around his house, etc. I also had the opportunity to spend some time with my cousins, which was awesome! We all went out for breakfast on Monday morning, and then I had the opportunity to head over to the barn to see Kristie's horses:
Megan's little boy is such a sweetie! I'm glad I had plenty of time to see them, (and a chance, last-minute dinner with two of my aunts and my uncle, Monday evening,) and time to get to know my cousin's son. I plan to make much more of an effort to get down to visit all of them in the future!
Now that I've been back to work for a week already, that trip feels SO long ago! But I was so thankful that I decided to go, and was also glad for my 5 days of down time at home! I spent a lot of time relaxing, (yoga, walking around the lake, watching "Wonderfalls" on DVD that a friend leant me, and reading,) and also got a lot done around my apartment, including piles of laundry and some deep cleaning. While I wouldn't say I was totally chomping at the bit to get back to work on Monday morning, I was definitely well-rested and caught-up! The perfect vacation, if you ask me!