vacation

Weekend happenings: Mother’s Day in Madison

This past weekend my family and I took a mini-vacation to our home-away-from-home: Madison.

We lived here for three years when I was a kid so every once in awhile we take the two hour drive to the capital of the cheese state and get our farmers market on (because Madison holds one of the greatest Saturday morning markets in the country).
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We ended up with some asparagus and tomato plants, plus my own personal loot:

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Lemon poppyseed bread, honey sticks (a childhood memory from this market), and six-year-aged white cheddar cheese. I tried just about every cheese sample in the place and settled on this. It will definitely go well with the fig jam I have waiting for me at home.

I was disciplined enough to hit up the hotel treadmill in between the market and church. This is a rarity for me when I’m on vacation, but it just goes to show that I’ve been bit by the running bug hard again. A quick four miles where I increased my pace slowly from 9:13 to 8:20 every mile or so.

Me and all my friends!

Me and all my friends!

On Saturday night we went to my mom’s favorite restaurant, Louisianne’s, a lively cajun restaurant hidden below a quiet Madison street. The minute you descend down their dark velvet staircase you’re transported to New Orleans, live music and all.

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It was quite dark inside, but we split a bottle of sauvignon blanc, crab puffs, and all sampled each others entrees: crab cakes and cheesy artichoke toasts for me, steak for Steve, Cajun andouille and seafood pasta for dad, and Hawaiian swordfish for mom.

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Dessert was a dream. We all got different dishes (indulgence at its finest…) and shared. Normally I’m not a fan of sharing food, but when everything is equally delicious, I absolutely love getting to try it all. And this is the case at Louisianne’s–everything is outstanding. The highlights for me were the frozen peanut butter and key lime pies.

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Mother’s Day itself was all about Sue, so we slept in, enjoyed a slow continental breakfast at the hotel (aren’t those the best?) and did a little more casual driving down memory lane throughout Madison. We walked around our old preschool (correction: I was carried)…

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…ate some insanely delicious Mexican food at our old stomping grounds, Pasqual’s:

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And ended the trip, of course, with a trip to the best custard stand of all time: Michael’s. Their turtle sundaes are topped with salty, roasted pecans, a taste I remember distinctly even though I ate them regularly decades ago. I’ve been unable to find a turtle sundae just as good ever since so every time we’re in town we stop by.

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All in all it was a quiet weekend spent with my family and nonstop eating, two of my favorite things. We’re lucky that even though my brother and I are both 24 years old, we’re still able to take family vacations together once or twice a year. Not to mention I should have no problem running my butt off this week with all the sugar I consumed! Good lord. (Worth it).

Question:

  • How did you celebrate Mother’s Day?
  • What’s your favorite part about hotel breakfast buffets? I’m a sucker for a good make-your-own omelet bar 🙂
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Weekend happenings

Well it was a jam-packed weekend full of family, friends, and of course tons of food.

The weekend started Saturday morning with another early morning spin class.  I swear to god the classes get harder every week! The instructor keeps upping the resistance so there’s a lot less sprinting and a lot more chugging along up imaginary hills. Needless to say, the small, non-air conditioned room with 30 people sweating up a storm makes for a very “cleansing” workout. No wonder hot yoga is such a good workout!

After spin class I rushed home to jump in the car with my family and go to Michigan for the weekend.  

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We’ve been going to the same beach area for 19 years now as a family–it’s one of our treasured family traditions.

Unfortunately we hit MAJOR traffic on the way down there.  It was such a bummer and we were all cranky and in need of some good food the minute we hit the Michigan border.

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The Blue Plate Cafe is one of our favorite breakfast spots in the area. They always have a million baked goods as well as fresh smoothies and other breakfast creations.

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After three cups of coffee with cream (hey, it was vacation!) I settled on a tomato/spinach/pesto egg scramble served with rosemary potatoes.  I also chose a side of cinnamon-raisin bread.

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The eggs and potatoes were out of this world! I loved the pesto with the eggs.  You couldn’t see it but you could taste it, so I guess a little really does go a long way! The cinnamon raisin bread was just okay. I wish I had saved my “sweet spot” for something better from their pastry area.

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Nom. Their special that day was pistachio chocolate scones.  Too bad I’m not a huge scone fan or I would have scooped those right up.  Pistachio is great in desserts!

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I love how it’s a family in the kitchen…so simple and authentic.

Even though it was cloudy we decided to hit up the beach.  I’m thankful that we did because the sun came out later in the day and we all benefited physically/emotionally from its presence.

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Sunday played much in the same way, with one exception: a phenomenal dinner!

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Red Arrow Roadhouse is without a doubt our favorite restaurant in the New Buffalo/Bridgman area in Michigan.  We have been coming to this same place for years and years and it never disappoints! My brother and dad claim it has the best ribs and while I’m not a big meat eater, I always find something great to eat there.

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We started off with the same appetizer that we always get here:

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The always-healthy homemade potato chips topped with blue cheese and scallions.

Since I knew ice cream was coming later and I was craving vegetables I went with a side salad and the crab cake appetizer.

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The crab cakes were on top of a salad with lemon vinaigrette which was great. I haven’t had nearly as much fish as I usually like to have during the summer months so it was nice to have this treat.

I also captured a picture of the “famous ribs”

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Also worth noting was what happened AFTER dinner.  THIS PIE.

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My dad ordered a piece of homemade blueberry pie and it was the most delicious pie I’ve ever had! I think I liked it even more because it wasn’t served piping hot like most pies are.  It was just warm which made it easier to enjoy along with the cold vanilla ice cream. I had to steal a few bites and I’m not the least bit sorry about that.

On our way out of town we stopped at another favorite:

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You can’t come to New Buffalo and not go to Oink’s.  I even have a piggy keychain from the place because I consider myself a devoted follower of their ice cream goodness.

I came in wanting coffee ice cream and left with this:

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Carrot cake ice cream?! Could there be anything more beautiful?

After my family rolled me back into the car we hit the road for our drive home.  It was a beautiful weekend and it was so nice to be able to keep the family tradition alive for another year, even though my brother and I are both 22!  We’re lucky that our schedules all aligned to make it happen.  I even got a little color and didn’t burn like a lobster! Woooo!

Question: how did you spend your Labor Day weekend?