Editor’s Desk

Posted 6/28/22

FROM THE BY SARAH NIGBOR A whirlwind weekend One of the most rewarding experiences of my life has been rediscovering the world through my daughter’s eyes. Seeing her get excited about an experience …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Editor’s Desk




A whirlwind weekend

One of the most rewarding experiences of my life has been rediscovering the world through my daughter’s eyes. Seeing her get excited about an experience is the best feeling. I can scarcely believe that in a couple short weeks she’s going to be leaving single digit ages behind and turning the big 1-0.

This weekend, Journal Publisher John McLoone and I attended the Wisconsin Newspaper Association awards dinner in Madison. I brought my mom and daughter along, so they could have a little getaway. From a young age, my daughter has loved to travel. She has her own little suitcase emblazoned with the Eiffel Tower and her own traveling toiletry bag. I’ve never seen anyone love to pack, but she does. My mother instilled the same love of travel in me, so a traveling trio we make.

We stayed at the Madison Concourse Hotel, right in the heart of downtown Madison a hop, skip and a jump away from Capitol Square. As we opened the door to our hotel room and Carolina saw the view out the window, her eyes lit up and she squealed with joy. The window framed the Capitol building like a picture. She couldn’t wait to tell her friends, especially since she and her fourth- grade class had just taken a field trip there in May.

While I was at the awards dinner Friday night, those two ventured out into the streets of Madison, which turned out to be eventful. A protest over the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was in process at the Capitol. While she doesn’t understand the reason behind the protest (I feel she’s too young, but will explain it all when she’s a bit older), I think it was a valuable experience for her to see the First Amendment right to assemble and express views through protest. They kept their distance and she was most excited to think she might be on the news because she saw news cameras.

We spent Saturday packing in as much Madison sight-seeing as possible before heading home. Our first stop was the Madi son farmer’s market, an iconic destination on Saturday mornings in the square. Table after table of fresh homegrown produce and flowers, tantalizing bakery items, handmade crafts and art lined the square surrounding the Capitol. Carolina was fascinated by everything she saw and marveled at the variety of things available. She picked out a blown glass marble with a sunflower tucked inside and sam pled cheese curds, pretzels and old-fashioned donuts. Even though the day was drizzly, her enthusiasm wasn’t dampened.

Next we headed to the Madison Children’s Museum, which turned out to be a delightful surprise. If you haven’t gone, I highly recommend it. From a magical outdoor playground and garden to a crow’s nest overlooking the city, the building is chock-full of enough interactive exhibits to entertain for hours. I’m pretty sure her favorite part was the human- sized hamster wheel, because she didn’t even mind standing in line to wait for a turn.

In the afternoon, praying that the rain would hold off, we met my cousin and her son at the Henry Vilas Zoo. The zoo is one of ten remaining admission-free, community- supported zoos in the country. Col. William and Anna Vilas donated the land to the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association on June 30, 1904 and named it in memory of their son Henry, who died at a young age from diabetes complications.

We don’t get to see my cousin as much as I’d like, so it was fun to catch up and watch Carolina and her son, who is 10, run around and tease each other like old buddies. They were thrilled that they got to see the zoo’s Red Panda, who was taking a nice nap within view. Everyone giggled as we watched a porcupine impatiently dump his bowl of vegetables on the floor and an aardvark eat like there was no tomorrow.

Our last stop of the night was The Great Dane, Madison’s first brewpub. Amy’s en tire family was there and we were seated at a large table in the basement area, which felt like an old hideout with stone walls and sconces. Since we missed Cheese Curd Festival, we made sure to order some in honor of Ellsworth. The festivities wrapped up after my 10-year-old cousin whacked his head on a fire alarm and almost rallied the fire department to our location. I think his pride hurt more than his head, but we Finns have strong, hard heads so he’ll be okay.

As we headed north on the freeway, leaving Madtown behind, Carolina chattered about her adventures and my heart felt full. Home is a wonderful place, but sometimes we appreciate it more if we can get out and about and experience new destinations.