Friday, September 29, 2006

Madison, WI and Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin Are Wondrous!

A Frank Loin Wright entry in the Cows on Parade Exhibit


Interior view of the sanctuary of Wright's Unitarian Church in Madison


Another Cows on Parade participant


Madison's State Street in the fall


The lovely Wisconsin State Capitol


And a view of a large sculpture in the main court of the University's Chazen Museum

If you need some additional narration, here it is.

What do old folks do on a busman's holiday to Madison, Wisconsin? Why they pig out, or should we say "beef out" on sculpture, architecture, and food.

We signed in at the Best Western motel with old friends the Blum's and the Waltershausens and then took a quick lunch at Panera. After a stop at the F.L. Wright designed Unitarian Church, we descended on Madison's State Street (also a great street) for a stroll. The university is at one end and the state capitol at the other end of this bus and bicycle environment. Inbetween are funky shops, bookstores, eateries, and entertainment venues. Adding to the pzazz were a couple of dozen cows on parade. They were Moo-arvelous and a couple of the pics above will give you a bit of their bright contribution to the streetscape.

Strolling brings out the thirst in a body, so we soon felt the need for a few glasses of frosty micro brew. I had a dark October Fest and Jan sampled the Spotten Cow from New Glarus. That led into an Afgan hostelry for a dinner of Lemon Chicken and Lamb with Couscous. Tangy and oh so filling.

Tuesday morning we headed toward Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin East at Spring Green. It was about an hour's drive in the sunny rolling Wisconsin countryside--one of those crisp fall days that would be lovely to cruise about on even if you did not have a destination to reach.

Our tour covered the Hillside School and Taliesin itself and the guide was outstanding. For a taste you can take a peek at the pictures. Lunch was at the Taliesin Visitor Center, which is also a Wright designed building.

After our return to Madison it was back down to State Street where we spent some time at the University of Wisconsin's Chazen Museum of Art. It has a nice small collection of classics and some dynamite moderns in a striking atrium domininated building. (See picture above.)

Dinner was totally into orbit at L'Etoile right next to the Wisconsin state capitol. It is one of the fifty best restaurants in the country according to Gourmet Magazine. A spoon sized cup of truffle soup began the repast. Then came a a tender salad of mixed greens with pecans. My main course was fresh broiled trout with creamy potatos, and a patois of unusual vegetables like kolrabi and spinach. Jan had the roasted pheasant, which was just as elegant. We shared a fresh rasberry iced delight for desert. We washed it down with a smooth white wine from Alsace. T'was pricey and a half, but worth every penny. Did I mention that the cadre of wait staff hovered about like quiet little helicopters whisking dishes on and off at just the right times and attending to our every need. "Quelle service! Ooh La La."

A fitting end to a fine day in the company of some of our best friends in the whole wide world. On Wisconsin!

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