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SSR 10: Heaps: Joe, Monroe, What-do-you-knoe?

June 16, 2010


Saturday afternoon, after a day full of farmers market goodness, an exceptional expo experience, and a beautifully filling trip to Bratfest, I met my friend Jes for a frozen treat and chatty catch up.  There are a handful of places in Madison I like to sneak off to for frozen fixes, and by far my two favorite places are 1) anywhere that sells Babcock (the Union, or Dairy Store, for example) and 2) Chocolate Shoppe on State Street.


When we finally made it to the front of the line to place our order at Chocolate Shoppe, I asked the scooper for “a single of The Most Madisonian Ice Cream you have, in a sugar cone, please.” And she came to me with Heaps of Love.

heaps of love Um…yum much?  I’m not exactly sure what makes this “Madisonian” – but I agree that the variety of sweet treats in the Heaps of Love was a pleasant reminder of the variety of sweet spots in Madison of Love.


After a nice conversation with Jes, I made my way to the hotel we were staying that night to wait for Ashley to get done working at the expo.  The room was in Ashley’s name and we hadn’t checked in yet, so I took part in one of my very favorite traveling tips.  I went to the hotel bar, ordered a glass of wine and a glass of water, sat myself at a table near an outlet and graciously used the free wireless offered at the hotel.  This is a trick I have used when I find myself with an extra hour or two.  The bar is often not at all crowded during the early evening, and they don’t mind your slow sipping.  I was especially thankful for some air conditioning and space to unwind, take care of some emails, and rehydrate after a day out of in the sun. 


Not too long later, Ashley had appeared and we were ready to start yet another adventure.  First stop, Trader Joe’s, of course.


I don’t have a Trader Joe’s close to me, and I did my best not to go overboard stocking up.  I knew I would be taking another trip to Trader Joe’s before the end of my trip, and I limited my purchases to just three items I wanted to try. I had seen the flattened banana on a few blogs, and thought it would be a good snack for my travels.  I love pumpernickel bread, and couldn’t pass up the Pumpernickel Pretzel Sticks.  These were so delicious I’m saving for a stock up the next time I’m in a Trader Joe’s.  Ashley helped me pick out the cous cous, as I’ve never made cous cous at home and it’s something I’ve been wanting to try for a while.  (for the record, the box remains unopened in my pantry.)


After leaving the haven of groceries, we took a walk down Monroe Street, and I started little informative tour of my college years in Madison.  I shared some of my favorite businesses on Monroe Street wish Ashley.  The shops were all closed, but we looked through windows at the fabulous gifts and kitchenware at Orange Tree Imports, laughed at stories of my freshmen year at Edgewood, gazed longingly at Maurie’s, and shared the history of Mickey’s Dairy bar.  Before we knew it, we were facing the glorious Camp Randall and as I shared some fun trivia facts about the field house, stadium, and Badger sports, we had an impromptu photo shoot.  




I think this city is really starting to get to Ashley.  Actually, I know it.  Did I mention that the previous night at our blend slumber party, Ashley said the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. It seriously took my breath away. 

ash quote of amazing

Touché, my friend, touché. tear.

Ashley and I drove down to the area which we started the morning together, in order to see some night time views of downtown.  We were both pretty excited, but Healthy Ashley hadn’t been feeling well for a few days and she started to look a little bit like Sickly Ashley.  We took a few minutes just to hang out in the car, regaining energy.


Let me tell you something about this woman.  She never stops seeing the good.  You may remember that when I had received the Traveling Blogger Pants, I forwarded them on to Ashley.  Knowing Ashley through long distance communication I knew she was wonderful person, but the time I spent with her in Madison took my admiration for her to a whole new level.

Ashley may have been feeling pretty horrible, but she never became whiney.  She took breaks when she needed them, but she wanted to keep going, continue to explore and experience what the city had to offer her.  To say Ashley was a trooper wouldn’t be doing her justice.  She showed that she is one of most selfless people I have had the pleasure of meeting and through our several days of hanging out, sharing life stories, and giving one another advice, she truly encouraged me on a whole list of areas, situations, and issues I’m currently facing.  I am so thankful to have gotten to know her better on this trip! I know I have a friend for life in Ashley. 

Energized and ready for more “Tour Time with Heather,” Ashley and I set out on a nighttime walking tour of State Street and Memorial Union.  We started at the capital and made our way down to library mall.  I shared bunches of bits of information and fun facts along the way.  

IMG_2691 IMG_2698

I thought about sharing bunches of the fun facts I shared with Ashley with you here, but then I thought of a much better idea.  Let’s plan our own trip to Madison and I will take you on a THS Informative tour of your own.  Who wants in?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. gramshugs permalink
    June 17, 2010 10:35 pm

    i’m sooooooooooooo game…and ready for a tour with you !!!!!!!

  2. June 18, 2010 12:22 am

    I will admit, visiting Madison had never crossed my mind… until I started reading Julie’s blog and then saw all your posts about it. Now I keep thinking it sounds like such a wonderful place that I must visit it! So… I definitely select you to be my tour guide for the day when travels take me there 🙂


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