Sunday, August 23, 2009

Weekend recap

Coming into this weekend I had one thing I wanted to do: Go to the Farmer's Market downtown. Last time we were there was much earlier this season. We had been to a smaller farmer's market but not the "big" one. I didn't have anything in mind, but the scenery and choices are more plentiful downtown. This meant of course that we were limited in our other activities like biking and kayaking that we might have done if we had the whole day available. The weather was due to be great, almost like the beginning of fall. Chad said we could go, and we were also going to check out a restaurant in downtown Madison that is run by the couple who ran our local coffee shop years ago.

No alarm was set for the morning, to allow us to sleep in, yet whenever we plan for that it never works. Kevin opens the door early and asks what the plan is. He was awake and figured the rest of the house should be too. Chad and I went out for one of my 15 minute PT run/jogs. I'm now up to 3 minutes running and 2 minutes jogging. He went out ahead of me to put a little more time in and swung back past home to pick me up for the 15 minutes. The weather was nice, sun out and slightly cool.

After showering and a small snack, we headed for downtown. Thinking we were late getting there I was worried about what would be left, but the square is even more crowded than the earlier time we usually shoot for. The walk was slow and we got some fresh veggies, and the typical cheese curds and beef sticks for the boys. Looking for some particular home grown hot peppers, all I kept seeing was jalapenos and Anaheims. Chad had started to comment that I could grow different varieties and make some money selling them. Then we came across a vendor with multiple kinds and my profitable business ended there. Five peppers for $1, not going to retire on that. Good deal for me, I found what I was looking for to make my fresh salsa.
After the long walk around the square he headed straight for Argus Bar Grille. They had a great menu. I ordered a Fat Tire pint from New Belgium. I had been wanting to try it and they had it on tap. Chad ordered a wrap with some spicy cajun fries. The rest of us had sandwiches. We got a tour of the building from the owner. It is the oldest commercial building in Madison complete with tile floor and decorative tin ceiling. Nice place. Zack was excited about the pool table in the basement.

We ran a ton of errands and were trying the kids' patience but a stop for some ice cream towards the end of the trip revived them. We then stopped at Brennan's for some cheese and they were sampling ice cream sodas with Sarsaparilla soda and cherry vanilla ice cream, very good. The soda was from Jackson Hole Soda Company, and they had a Huckleberry soda too, so of course we had to get a four pack of assorted sodas to have later at home.

For dinner Chad grilled some steaks and some sweet corn we picked up at the farmer's market. Grilled sweet corn is the best, especially the way Chad cooks it. The cobs are laid right on the grill unhusked so the kernels get brown were they lay on the grill. It gives the corn a caramelized flavor and it was so sweet you don't need much butter or salt on it. And the pulled back husks leave a nice handle to hold onto when eating.

We had set up to go mountain biking with a friend on Sunday morning. The bikes were loaded up Saturday night. I am still borrowing Kevin's mountain bike because it had the knobby tires mounted on it and regular pedals. My mountain bike has slicks for riding on the road and clipless pedals. Kevin's bike also has a suspension fork, and I think after riding with it I'm spoiled. I want to try riding my own unsuspended to see if I can do the trails, but I worry that my early 90's Cannondale that I love dearly won't get me over the rocks and roots. Chad thinks we could maybe modify it, so we'll see.

The trails at Blue Mounds State Park were pretty empty. It was still set up for a 3, 6, and 12 hour race the day before. I don't know what time that race started but I couldn't imagine those trails in the dark. I did pretty good, I was working harder to keep my pedals level so I didn't wedge them against rocks. We went a little farther than the first time I went out and I felt good after. Chad took a few pictures and as you can see by this one I was going so fast the camera couldn't capture me.