First off, when we woke up on Saturday the place we were scheduled to get pedicures called to inform us that sadly they no longer had hot water. :( But Lindsey was on it and called places and got us an appointment for 4 o'clock which left us with some extra time for lunch and exploration of downtown.
We started the day with lunch at Fugu, an awesome Chinese restaurant that has an americanized and traditional Chinese menu. We both ordered main dishes from the Chinese menu, and they were two of the best chinese meals I have ever had the joy to eat.
The dish Lindsey ordered was a twice fried fish, that is shown to the side. I ordered a sour and spicy chicken dish. They both were the perfect amount of spicy and really truly amazing. On the left you can see Lindsey enjoying lunch (oh ya, we had edamame to start, and it reminded us of our pei wei wednesdays!!).
Next we decided to walk around and check out the downtown, we didn't realize we were walking into the heart of the protests, well that the protests were happening today in massive numbers, but as we got closer to the state capital it was impossible to ignore the number of people around us with signs. Most of them protesting the actions that Governor Scott Walker had taken in the past week in order to stop the ability for Unions to form and negotiate within the state of Wisconsin. (If you haven't been following this I suggest you start, it really is crazy, but the people of Wisconsin have truly done a great job having peaceful protests and working together to ensure that their voices are heard.)
Some of the signs that people had were very funny, while still some others were present showing support for the Governor. I did not see one person get angry or out of hand, they were all very respectful. Not knowing that we would be present for a protest Lindsey and I obviously did not bring signs with us, but we quickly were given signs to show our support for the people of Madison and Wisconsin in general in trying to recall the Governor as soon as possible (which isn't until he has served a year.)
We also say signs calling for a strike. It is scary what this might be coming to - I wouldn't want to be a resident of this town and especially not in the position to decide whether to strike or not. There have already been many walk outs by teachers. I think this will be very interesting to watch the development of, and Lindsey I hope things don't get too out of hand and that the Governor finally decides to negotiate and listen to his residents.
After the protests and working our way out of the crowds, we made our way over to get our pedicures. I had never had a pedicure before so was slightly nervous, but was very happy with the experience. The chairs in the waiting room were massaging us as we waited, and the chairs in the room for our pedicure also had massaging functions. So it was a relaxing experience for the entire body! I got my toes painted in a nice purple and Lindsey did a fun silverish/blueish/purplish color that changes depending on the lighting. Overall I was very happy (so much so that I am wearing sandals today to show off my great new toes and overhauled feet!)
After the manicures we went home to get ready to go out for the night. We started the night at "The Great Dane" with Wisconsin cheese curds and a fantastic artichoke dips. Lindsey introduced me to an Old Fashioned Sour and I tried one of the beers they brew at restaurant/brewery, the Old Glory American Pale Ale.
After The Great Dane, we went to join Lindseys' friends at the Whiskey River. As it was my birthday, whenever gentlemen heard so they requested to buy me a drink, or have a dance with me, with some experiences ending better than others. Lindsey even convinced one of the "nice" gentlemen to give me a birthday dance, as you can probably tell.. I was slightly uncomfortable, but it was truly a hilarious experience. After a while we were joined by Chantel and Annette, (lab mates) and we spent the rest of the evening singing (or screaming, I had no voice Sunday morning) and dancing. I had a great time, thanks everybody!
This trip to Madison and the awesome weekend with Lindsey made turning 24 a fun experience, and I think this birthday will be hard to match.