Showing posts from September, 2016

Hand Pies, Chocolate and More in Madison

It was day three in Madison, Wisconsin , and my friend Roberta and I were getting ready to leave The Graduate Madison and heading to our next hotel, The Edgewater Resort. I had chosen to split the stay between the two accommodations because they are totally different. We certainly had enjoyed the college town atmosphere of The Graduate Madison . Before we left, we had breakfast in the lobby cafĂ©, Portage Pi. Hand pies are the specialty here, and very popular with college students. Lots of locals show up just to eat here and get coffee and smoothies, while taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi and power hookups. I went for sweet, while Roberta preferred the savory. Both were good with our smoothies and coffees. It was one time I wasn’t anxious to turn in my keys as I loved the idea that Graduate Madison had made them look like student IDs, but it was time to head out. While in Madison , I was also covering a tennis tournament at the university. Roberta dro

History and Fun in Madison, Wisconsin

My friend Roberta and I woke up early in our room at The Graduate Madison hotel. We both had full days in this Wisconsin capitol, even though it wasn’t all together. I loved our room at The Graduate. It’s got a dorm room look, but certainly upgraded from what I shared with two other women (only for a semester, then I decided to get my own apartment). The beds had cute pillows labeled, “Brat” and “Curd,” old-fashioned phones and notebooks, and even a unique clock. We had a light breakfast downstairs at the Portage Pi coffee shop before heading to the Henry Vilas Zoo . Not only is this zoo impressive, but there is no charge for admission or parking. I love the idea of exposing children to animals. As a small child, my grandmother used to take me all the time to the (then free) Bronx Zoo. I think that has a lot to do with my love of all types of creatures even today. This zoo is set up for the same experience with a Children’s Zoo that includes goat

Arriving in Madison, Wisconsin

It’s not often I get to combine both tennis and travel into one trip. I was happy when the opportunity came to do just that in Madison, Wisconsin . I had been to Madison only once before, and that was quite a long time ago for the Celebration of American Distilling . I only stayed for one night and didn’t get to see much of the city. This trip was scheduled for three nights: two at the Graduate Madison and one at The Edgewater . They are totally different accommodations and I was looking forward to seeing Madison from these completely different angles. My friend Roberta came along with me. Our first stop in the city was to check in at the Graduate Madison . I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t what we got. The Graduate brand has truly unique hotels. They are very welcoming with large open lobbies. They are also each uniquely remodeled to the (college) town they are located in. Although my first instinct was mo

Finishing Memphis at Big Cypress Lodge

It was our final day in Memphis , but we decided to leave in the evening so we’d have a full day to enjoy it. Angela, Kylie, Brittany, and I woke up around 8:00.  We were staying in Big Cypress Lodge , within the Bass Pro Shops Pyramid, and could hear the rustling of those getting the store ready below us. We dressed and went downstairs for breakfast at Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl.   This nautical-themed restaurant has a saltwater aquarium as well as a 13-land bowling alley that gives the feeling of actually bowling underwater. There wasn’t enough free time on our schedule for bowling, but we did enjoy the egg sandwiches and pancakes before our tour. It’s hard to even begin to explain everything within this massive 535,000 square foot pyramid that houses Bass Pro Shops and Big Cypress Lodge, which itself has 103 rooms and suites. We began the tour walking through the common areas of the lodge and saw one of the suites (the rest were all full).