We have been in the US for about a week now; that’s about five days in Madison, WI which is to be our new home for the next 6 months. We have been put up in a Marriott Residence Inn suite which is kinda like a studio apartment in London. It’s comfortable and clean and although it’s quite impersonal I think we will be quite happy here.
As today was our first day off the job we decided to explore downtown Madison a little and it was quite cool. We already knew (and had briefly seen) that the main part of town is set between two lakes but we hadn’t really walked about so we started our mini tour just south of the main mall, State St. I enjoyed the somewhat boho style of this street with its numerous guitar and flute playing buskers as well as the quaint cheese house, popcorn cafes and coffee shops. Refurbishment of the east end seems set to bring the architecture bang up to date and really makes this place feel like its living. After negotiating the prolific artistic cows and admiring the Capitol (no it’s not St. Paul’s) we headed towards the smaller southern lake.
A rather grand air conditioned convention centre sits on the shore and acts as a promenade around the warm waters of Lake Monona. We strolled around a little and even spotted a Muskrat (water rat – beaver type thing) swimming towards the shore. When we headed back towards town storm clouds were gathering and thunder clashed around us. We took shelter in a sports store (looking for information on diving courses) and when we came outside again the rain was stomping down so hard that the road was quickly flooded. It was oddly rather calming and somehow that makes me feel at home.