Posted by: Sarah | June 15, 2008

All these places I remember, with lovers and friends…

Over the past year, I have come home for the weddings of two incredibly important people in my life. Last November, one of my Paris girls got married. This weekend, it was one of my roommates.

In a day, I pulled on my running shoes, retraced my footsteps down the lakeshore path to Picnic Point, up Observatory Drive, where I paused on Liz Waters hill to take in the view of the lake, before finishing strong down Bascom. Jack and I went to Barriques, my old coffee shop on the Square, and sauntered through the farmers’ market for breakfast, running into two old friends on the way.

The wedding was picture perfect, planned to the minute, as everyone joked about, knowing that Emily would have it no other way. Our group came back together and the years that have passed slipped away. I caught up with my roommates’ parents, who wanted to know all about my crazy adventures around the world that they had heard about. Lunch at Amy’s and beers on the terrace until reception time. It’s good to be back. Wisconsin has been flooding so much over the past week that the piers off the terrace are nearly submerged in water. We ducked into the Rathskeller when the rain started, refilling our pitchers of Spotted Cow and catching up.

At the Monona Terrace, the tears gathered in my eyes a few times, but didn’t start to fall until Lauren’s speech when the memories of our college days came flooding back to us who had shared such priceless times together. We danced the night away, as our group is known to do, much like the countless nights that we spent at Bros. over the years. I know of no place other than Madison where a DJ will get as astounding of a response for playing Build Me Up Buttercup, House of Pain’s Jump Around, and a certain polka, that ends with a resounding When you say Wisconsin, you’ve said it all.

Wisconsin. What more is there to say? I looked around at the faces I knew so well and realized that these were the people who made my experience at Madison what it was. We grew up together, shared the experience that brought us to where we all are today – living our dreams, as art teachers in Minneapolis, accountants in Chicago, engineers, med students. I remember watching these people struggling though the courses in pursuit of their dreams and realized that we have all made it. Melissa joked that I won the Most Traveled Award for the distance I had flown to come back to the wedding. We both knew that it applied not only to this weekend. Those were my dreams. This is the place where I learned how to make them come true, these are the people who stood by me. They mean more to me than they could possibly know.

We moved the party to a bar near on the Square. I paused as we walked toward State Street to take in the sight of the capitol dome illuminated against the black sky. The evening finished with a slice of pizza at Ian’s. Because when you’re in Madison, is there really any other way to finish off the night?


  1. it was a double take seeing you yesterday! what a nice surprise 🙂

  2. aww! wisconsin 🙂 you just basically described my perfect day in Madison, all the way down to my favorite café!!

    please tell me things I should see/visit in Colombia, becuase it´s been a month and I´ve not yet been a tourist…I have yet to go to the beach! it´ll be better when more of the trainees get here.

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