Welcome to Part 2 of the Friendship Force Exchange to Madison from Santa Barbara and Winnipeg. To recap from Part 1, this cultural exchange took place from September 13 to the 20th. We hosted two ambassadors, Karolyn Hanna and Linda Williams both from the Santa Barbara Friendship Force club. We also made friends with other Madison area hosts and Ambassadors from both clubs. That’s the purpose to learn about others and help them learn about us and our area of the world.
To pick up the story from Part 1, the Madison Exchange Directors, arranged for all of us to visit the University of Wisconsin Discovery Center. This Center is a recent addition (2010) to the campus and was created and physically designed to foster collaboration and interdisciplinary research. Some of the areas of focus are regenerative biology, bioethics, medical engineering, and metabolism.
The science theme was continued by a very interesting visit to the UW Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences building. The department is one of the leading academic departments of it’s kind in the world. Much of the work that takes place in this building is related to weather, forecasting, and climate. A very interesting presenter talked about how some of the current theories and research will likely be applied in the future. In addition, one of the researchers that travels periodically to Antarctica talked about her research and living for weeks on this continent. Our tour ended with a trip to the top of the building with fantastic views of the large satellite dishes seen below, the UW campus and surrounding area.
In the afternoon, the Ambassadors toured the First Unitarian Society near the UW campus. It’s a unique building designed by the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright and is designated a national historic landmark. This church is the one of the largest Unitarian Universalist congregations in the US.
The afternoon ended with a tour of the Capitol Brewery in Middleton and a sampling of some of their products!
Saturday morning found us at the weekly Dane County Farmers Market on the Capitol Square. I recently published an extensive article on the Farmers Market, see the archives to read more about this Madison icon. The manager of the Farmers Market gave us a short overview of the history of the market that was followed by the slow walk around the Square where our guests marveled at the items presented for sale.
Later in the morning, we took a tour of the State Capital Building. After the formal tour, we took the elevators to the 4th floor and walked a few stairs up to the observation deck that circles the exterior of the Capital rotunda and provides excellent views of the city. We followed this with a walk over to the Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Monona Terrace Convention Center built overlooking Lake Monona. Of interest, it took over 50 years for this building to be built due to the ongoing controversy over the location and the Wright’s design. But it’s here at last in all its glory. We couldn’t a lot since there were several events being held that afternoon and evening, mostly weddings.
We followed this with a walk over to the Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Monona Terrace Convention Center built overlooking Lake Monona. Of interest, it took over 50 years for this building to be built due to the ongoing controversy over the location and the Wright’s design. But after a referendum that passed in 1992, it’s here at last in all its glory. We couldn’t see a lot since there were several events being held that afternoon and evening, mostly weddings.
From there we explored State Street, viewed the photos Donna and I have on exhibit in the Downtown area, and ended up at the Union Terrace for a beer. It was a beautiful afternoon and evening with lots of people and boats out on Lake Mendota. Again, I recently published a blog post on the Terrace, another Madison iconic location.
On Sunday our guests met with some people they knew from Santa Barbara so it was a for us to get caught up on our house and yard work.
Monday was our last full day with our guests. The group traveled to Mineral Point to tour the Pendarvis Historic Site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Pendarvis is made up of several houses built by immigrants from Cornwall in England who came to the US in the 1830’s and ’40’s to mine lead and zinc. By the beginning of the 20th century the mines petered out and many of the houses were left in disrepair until a couple of guys saw the potential and saved them from redevelopment. Eventually, the area was taken over by the Wisconsin Historical Society.
After our tour, we gathered at the Walker House, a renovated historic building, for a traditional Cornish pasty meal. The Walker House is one of the oldest inns in the State of Wisconsin. The pasty is a baked pastry filled with meat and vegetables and is considered the national dish of Cornwall. The pasty was an easy lunch for the miners to take down into the mines. After lunch we walked High Street in Mineral Point and visited some of the locally owned shops.
Our farewell dinner was held at Bunky’s with an unusual meal, Spaghetti on the Board. After our salad course, the wait staff “poured” a mound of spaghetti in the middle of the table (there was a plastic board on the table) topping it off with meatballs and marinara sauce! Diners “pulled” spaghetti and sauce towards them and eat off the tabletop. After a short program, the hosts took the Ambassadors home for packing as some had early Tuesday morning flights home.
As a bonus, after dropping Karolyn off at the airport, we hosted three delightful Santa Barbara ambassadors until their late afternoon flights. We had a lot of fun getting to know them, all had interesting life stories. Arn was a World War II pilot of a B-24, he didn’t see combat but told about picking up B-24’s around the country after the war and flying them to Arizona to be mothballed.
Well folks, it was a fun experience having people travel to us. We learned more about the Madison area and certainly learned about our friends from Santa Barbara and their life experiences. Here’s a photo of us with our Ambassadors Linda and Karolyn. We hope to visit them in the future.
Next up, Madeline Island where we headed to after this exchange.
Til next week, travel safe,