Re-transplanted, again.

For those that read this blog and might not know already, I've been transplanted again. This time it's to Madison, WI. From now on, I think it'll be fair to presume many of my posts will be about this new-to-me city. 

Here are a few highlights already...

Now I'm sure it won't all be sunshine and baked goods, but one can hope. 

Graze, Madison, WI

Now I know what you're thinking, "What did you get Marty?!" And that's a good question. 


Mansion Hill Inn, Madison, WI

If you care about the kind of place you stay, enjoy being in the heart of a city when you travel, have an affinity for the Trek Bicycle brand, or just like older homes and inns, look no further. This is your place.



5-story Staircase

Room #1 (3 distinct spaces)

Some special touches


Coalition, Excelsior, MN

If you haven't been to this quaint, downtown hamlet, I would highly recommend a day or evening trip. They don't only have offerings like great tacos, ice cream, and lots of shopping, but they have a few nicer restaurants along the same three-block strip. You can easily make an afternoon or an evening by heading over to one of the most popular breweries in the area, Excelsior, and then stopping into one of the restaurants for a really great dinner.

We decided to hit Coalition after doing just that. Father's Day gave us both the opportunity to do something out of the house, and the brewery was a great first stop. Then, on to Coalition. 

It seems easily, both outside and in, like one of the nicer restaurants in this strip. We also liked the menu and smells of plates going by right off the bat. 

Having just stopped at a brewery (read: tipsy) and after seeing some of the offerings and speaking with the waiter, we nailed down or choices quickly - green apple Brie salad, cauliflower, roasted chicken and their Coalition burger. 

This has us at "Brie croutons", awesome summer freshness, crisp Bibb lettuce. 

The cauliflower had an Asian dressing and was very flavorful, though we were a bit surprised it was fried. 

Delicious chicken, interesting to see "pork sausage" (aka, Kielbasa) along side, and always fun to eat hominy. Their description of "slightly spicy" was underestimated - it was spicy even for me. A heavily spiced, crispy tortilla served on the side was not understood and went uneaten.

Solid burger and fries. No brainier. 

In a nutshell - We like this place. We chose what we wanted, but thought they could add something on the menu or when be more accurate when describing the dishes, to make sure you get something you can handle. Then again, even if they change nothing, I'd say it's likely we'll be back.  


Garden of the Gods Park, Colorado Springs, CO

I wouldn't believe it if I didn't get out and scamper over the (approved) rocks myself. It's truly a wonder of ancient rocks, sands, pressure, and water. If you ever have the chance to go, I'd recommend it. But, I'd also recommend not just driving through - get out of the car and put your boots on the sandstone (where allowed of course). 

In case the fear of falling to your death wasn't enough incentive to keep you on the trail.  

Pike's Peak


Adventure Cat Sailing Charters, San Francisco, CA

Do THIS!!!

Who knew that San Fran has a catamaran charter available for anyone. For a relatively nominal fee, you get 1.5 hours of sailing around the bay. You see many of the icons of San Fran, all while enjoying a novel way to ride the high seas. Fun times for all, if you can stay warm, dry, and get your sea legs under you. 

The Boat:

The Views:

I can't think of a better $40 I've spent in the last umpteen years. I'd highly recommend you look into this if you're in San Francisco, setting sail right off Pier 39 on their famous Fisherman's Wharf. 


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