• marty_sandiego

WHY WISCONSIN: MADISON

We ended our trip in Madison, where kids can still be kids, cosmopolitan is the word for downtown, cheese reigns supreme and riding bikes to maneuver through the city is safe no matter the hour.


When I travel, it is important for me to connect with the local community in a philanthropic way. My Dad’s mother, my grandmother who passed away last year, was very civic minded and taught me that you can have a positive impact everywhere you go. I was so excited when I found out I was going to volunteer at the Boys and Girls club! Cultivating the minds of the next generation is a true honor and as a child, I too went to the boys and girls club, and for me it was instrumental in my upbringing and I was happy to give back. I loved how many of the youth were knowledgeable about travel and wanted to travel. They thought I was cool, when in reality I was just grateful to have some of their time. I enjoyed answering all of their questions, and giving them the special attention they needed


Every meal we had in Madison was outstanding and I am not sure how we didn’t end up in a permanent food coma. On our first night we dined at Lucille's, the most visually appealing restaurant with the best starters, delicious pizza, and endless cheese curds. I couldn’t imagine our next spot being as tasty, but somehow it was! We savored soul food from Marie’s, enjoyed ice cream from the Daily Scoop, marveled at the mouth watering selections of Short Stack and Cento for dinner is a must!. The variety of food options available in Madison are endless, regardless of your dietary needs.


Of course we had to check out the cheese scene. You can become a Master Cheesemaker from the University or immerse yourself in cheese paradise at


Fromagination. The cheese was legendary. There were cheeses of all varieties, flavors an

colors and ages. From smoked gouda, to goat milk, to chili, to mobay. We learned about orphans, which are the slices of cheese leftover from sales, and let me tell you we went home with a whole family.


A couple of years ago I published, the ABC Travel Greenbook so, I was very excited to visit CocoVaa Chocolatiers, one of the businesses featured in the guide. The aroma that greets you as you enter the building makes you want to purchase everything in the store.

The mango passion fruit bon bons, were so incredible that I bought the mango passion fruit caramel sauce to take back home. The owner Vata Edari is an award winning, internationally known chocolatier. Even with all her accolades she remains down to earth and I felt right at home.Through our conversation her passion for her work was evident.The thought she puts into the designs, names, textures and colors, all made for the best sensory experience.


After we consumed enough food to allow us to hibernate all winter, I was so glad to learn that Madison has B Cycle bikes so you can burn off some of the calories. There is also the ‘’November Project’’ a fitness group that meets at the State capitol steps on Fridays for an intense workout. If you’re going to visit, make sure working out is part of your routine.


Madison was magical for my dad and I because we were able to connect in so many ways. We bonded over kayaking at Brittingham Boats, we had some good laughs visiting

the Henrys Villa Zoo and speaking to the orangutans. And we jammed out while listening to the Mad Lit music series at the top of State street.


Hopefully you’ve read all 3 articles and see exactly ‘’Why Wisconsin’’, may your experiences be as robust and incredible as mine.


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