Kara's Birthday and Copious Boot Drinking

Trip Start Oct 24, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Friday, July 18, 2008

We pulled back into Madison very, very early on Saturday morning (really Friday night) and quietly unpacked the truck.  It was summer, it was hot, and Konrad was unloading the truck with his shirt off.  While doing so, Konrad he noticed something on his stomach.  We went inside to take a closer look and decided that it might be a tick -- not uncommon considering that we were coming from a few days in the woods.  

However, neither of us had ever had to deal with a tick before, so we weren't sure what to do.  Of course, we both had heard things over the years and had some ideas: burn it with a match, pull it off with a tweezers, use hydrogen peroxide....  But we weren't sure which of those actually worked, so we went online and did a search which told me to try using tweezers.  I did so, but left part of it inside -- or so we think.  It was so small we were never actually sure it was a tick, but no bull's eye appeared, so we're hoping for the best.

The next day was Kara's birthday party cookout, one of our favorite summer activities, and something we hadn't been able to do in Vietnam.  We got up earlyish and hit the farmers' market -- another one of our favorite things about Madison in the summer.  For those of you who don't know, the farmers' market in Madison is one of the country's biggest (and best!).  It takes place every Saturday during the summer(ish) time on the Capitol Square, and it is the best place to pick up fresh veggies and flowers and plants fruits.  I'd missed it tremendously and this would prove to be our only trip, so we took our time making the circuit and soaking up the atmosphere.  We bought a few things to make a pasta salad for Kara's party, then headed home to get cooking.  A few batches of chocolate chip cookies and a bowl of pasta salad later, and we were all set.

We decided to bike it downtown, one of the other things we'd been doing loads of while back in the US.  The plethora of bike trails in Madison made it easy, and sometimes faster, to bike around -- especially if we were going out on the town.  After cruising behind the old house on Regent, we continued through to the terrace and snaked our way around Lake Monona, finally ending up in our favorite neighborhood where Kara lived (and we used to!).  When we arrived, the party was in full swing, crowded with loads of old friends we hadn't had a chance to catch up with yet.  Around sunset, Kara decided we should head to the Union to catch a band she wanted to see, so we hopped back on the bikes and cycled over to Lake Mendota.  More old friends were seen there, making it a very, very fun night.

Our days in Madison were quickly drawing to a close, so we were trying to squeeze in as many fun evenings and lunches and outings as possible.  One such being the night we spent downing boots, university-style, at the Essen Haus.  The pictures documenting the evidence can be found below.  While passing boots, we finalized a plan to go canoeing the next day, taking part in one last non-Vietnamese activity before heading back home.  

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