Three Days

That’s how long all weekends should be, don’t you think? Sure, a fourth day would have been nice, but the three I had off were quite lovely.

Saturday was concert day, so after running a few errands and doing dishes, we packed our bags and headed to Madison. Naturally, Dave drove; for one, because he hates being a passenger and for another, because I hate city driving with a fiery passion. I was surprised that the drive to Madison wasn’t that bad at all, even right in the city. Must be because the hipsters love walking. Good for them!

Dave found this gem of a hotel called Hotel Ruby Marie, and I fell in love with it as soon as we walked in the door.

018 I requested a room with a king size bed and a fireplace, and it was just lovely from the comfy armchairs to the pull-chain toilet and jacuzzi jet tub.

021After the snowy drive, it was nice settling down in our comfy room in front of the fireplace.

020We will definitely come back here if we’re ever in Madison again.



Happy hour started in our room as our friends arrived and then we headed down to the hotel’s attached bar to redeem our free drink voucher that was given to us upon our arrival. After a drink, we headed past our hotel to their attached German restaurant, Essen Haus.

068 Obviously, we had to order a few boots of beer for the table.




I wasn’t terribly hungry but I hadn’t eaten much that day and knew I needed something besides beer in my system. I ordered the Veggie Reuben with the Deutsch Salad.


The Deutsch salad consisted of marinated kidney beans, carrots, beets, and coleslaw. I only picked at the salad, since the marinated vegetables were a bit sweet for my taste.

I had no trouble polishing off my delicious reuben, though.



Mmmm, sauerkraut.


At our friend JD’s suggestion, we hopped a bus to take to the Barrymore Theatre where Cloud Cult was playing. I think we startled the normal bus patrons as our group stormed the public transportation. There weren’t enough seats, so many of us grabbed on to the handle bars. and as I struggled to keep myself upright as we lurched and turned, I couldn’t help but think of The Knight Bus: “Take it away, Ernie!”

Cloud Cult had no opening band, they simply played themselves for two sets: one acoustic and one electric. As they played, two of the band members drew pictures that would be auctioned off at the end of the show. It was wonderful being so close to the stage–the lead singer, Craig, was so cute! There is no other way to describe his dimpled face.


On our way out, our friend Nicole tried to get us a cab while Shelby and I got our picture taken with a polar bear advertising for…something.

061The Madison cab was apparently going to take at least a half hour to pick us up. A half hour? In Madison? Shouldn’t they have a bevy of taxis?

So we started to walk. Two miles. In the freezing cold. I stayed positive, but I don’t think anybody else wanted to try that hard.The night ended much later than I wanted it to, and Dave and I got fewer than six hours of sleep in our comfy, king-sized bed before I woke up and took myself to the jacuzzi-jet bath with my book.

After checkout, we walked to the hotel’s breakfast place, Come Back In, to redeem our breakfast vouchers.

069 I was expecting the menu to be simple: eggs, toast, and hashbrowns, but they had a wide array of delicious-sounding breakfast items. I ordered the Veggie Benedict, which was chock-full of veggies seasoned with curry and served with breakfast potatoes.


It was so good, I wished I was hungrier.  Dave and I split so he could go home with Dan & Em, and I could drive to Green Bay to see my family for an Oscar party.

It’s always so funny when I don’t see my family for awhile, because when we’re all together, we just talk over each other and it’s really chaotic. Adding a toddler to the bunch didn’t help with the volume–that girl has got lungs on her!

We headed to the store to get groceries for our Oscar night. On the menu: Champagne (of course), White Chicken Chili, Brie en Croute, Buffalo Chicken Dip, Tuna Topped Wonton Crisps, Veggies & Dip, and Cheese & Crackers.


These Tuna-Topped Wonton Crisps that Mom made were a recipe from Hungry Girl made a really tasty appetizer.

  • 12 square wonton wrappers
  • 2 pouches Starkist Tuna Creations Sweet & Spicy
  • 1 cup bagged broccoli cole slaw, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lowfat sesame ginger dressing (Newman’s is great)
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced scallions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray, and lay the wrappers on the baking sheets. Bake until edges have browned, about five minutes.

Remove from sheet and let cool.

Meanwhile, flake tuna with a fork in a medium bowl. Add chopped broccoli slaw and dressing and mix well.

Top wonton crisps with tuna mixture and sprinkle scallions on top.

Recipe can be found here.


As usual, we printed off our Oscar sheets, made our votes, sat back and waited for the stars to dazzle us while munching on delicious food and enjoying champagne.




075The highlights of the event included the hostess Ellen (love her!) ordering pizza and passing it out amongst the crowd (the delivery guy got a huge tip that night), Jared Leto looking like a Hot Jesus with his long unkempt hair, Benedict Cumberbatch being Benedict Cumberbatch, and Aurelia singing and dancing along to the songs.

Well, when she wasn’t sitting in a box.


It was so fun watching it with my family, which included my mom, my sisters Emily and Moriah, my aunt Dina, my grandma, my uncle Howie, and Aurelia. Needless to say, it was a little loud. I insisted Dina get a hearing aid after she said, “Who won?!” for the hundredth time.

I lost spectacularly, guessing only 9 of the 24 categories correctly. Moriah won with 19, the little cheater. The injustice of it all! At least I guessed Best Picture (12 Years a Slave) and Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey) correctly.

After putting ourselves to bed, the next day we woke up with coffee and pretty much rewatched the Oscars as it was being rehashed on the morning TV shows.

The gang of us (minus Emily who had to work) went to Nicolet for brunch. It’s in a new building now in De Pere, but before that, nearly all of us had worked there before. Oh, how I miss the days of food service….


I had to order an old favorite: A seaburger with all the fixings and french fries.



The food is definitely not as good as the old Nicolet, but at least the taste of nostalgia is still sweet.

I said my goodbyes to my family soon after lunch and started the drive home to Stevens Point after my three day weekend, eager to see Dave, Athena, and Artemis again. There’s always something to look forward to, isn’t there?


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