By Thursday noon time, we had logged one thousand plus miles and it was time for a break. We had reservations at a KOA campground just outside Madison, Wi. The campground is not noted for its beautiful surroundings or its privacy. It is composed of four concentric semi-circles with one way roads between. There are a few trees. Each semi circle has an RV hookup, septic, city water and electric. So we could run water freely, run the AC all night and watch TV.with a new RV/trailer,
The first day in a campsite you discover all the mysteries of the inner workings of the vehicle. For example, if you are out on the road and just pull over to the side of a   parking area for the night, everything is run on the battery, a 12V system. So, the refrigerator and the overhead lights work, but the  microwave, the Mr. Coffee and the 110 plugs do not. When you roll into the fancy campsite, like the KOA, and you hook up, you get the plugs, the electric coffee, the TV and AC. It took us some time to realize that the trailer is not set up for AC and microwave on a 12 volt system. Live and learn.

The TV is a story on its own. We brought one of the flat screen TVs from the house. According to the instructions at the KOA, all you have to do is turn it on and you get 6-8 channels. Sounded simple enough. Well, we set the TV up, attached it to the antenna and….. nothing. Twirled that antenna around 360 degrees and still nothing. Asked the owners of the campground for advise and they had no ideas. Dear hubby, a google officianado, went online and investigated all his options. Finally figured out the problem. Remember three or four years ago when the FCC made all TV transmission digital? Well, yup, we had an old analog TV, which is no problem when you have a satellite service, like at the house. So, the TV wasn’t going to work, and I have a feeling that dear hubby is not going to go two months without a TV, even though we get Fox TV on Sirius in the truck! So, on Friday, we went to Target and bought a flat screen TV small enough to fit in the cubby hole designed for the TV. Gee, so easy with the right appliances!

Having a big hairy dog is a conversation starter. I could walk around the park and nothing would happen. I take Max around the park and everyone wants to know what breed, what weight, how does he behave, and more. But he needs to be on a leash at all times. So he stays in the trailer until we are ready to go out. Once we take out the lead, he literally jumps into the air with joy over the impending excitement of being outside. A one hundred pound dog can actually rock the trailer.

Hubby and I wanted to see the state capitol, mostly because it is much admired by architects. We were very impressed with the design, mostly with its symmetry, its simplicity of style and its use of beautiful marbles and stone from around the world. The paintings around the rotunda and that suspended from the dome, are early 20th century, one of my favorite times, artistically. Not photographic  likenesses, but a realistic impressionism.

Wisconsin was pioneered by the Germans and Scandinavians. This is evident in the names of many of the businesses (ie., Shlotsky and Ehlenbach) and in the overall well-maintained homes and farms we pass. Much better looking than many in New York. It also is more conservative than where we come from, as far as how people present themselves. There is a much higher percentage of women in skirts here than at home.

But the number one evidence of the Scandinavian forefathers (and mothers) is the preponderance of natural blondes. There are an amazing number of little tow-headed children. Little girls with dresses and bows in their hair out on a Saturday morning trip to the farmers market is a surprising thing to see. And we saw enormous numbers of people at the farmers’ market!

Speaking of which…I haven’t been to many farmers’ markets because I always worked so many hours. I have been to the one at Faneuil Hall in Boston a few times, at least. It is my favorite place to shop for food. But they have permanent spots in the old warehouses for many of the vendors. In Madison, there is no permanent place for the farmers. So they set up in the green surrounding the state capitol building. Along the sidewalks, 360 degrees around the marble building are tents, approximately 150, containing non-GMO meats, vegetables, specialty cheeses, fabulous assortments of baked goods from tarts to breads, and even a few tents containing home-spun wool yarn. Max the dog was a hit everywhere we walked. But it was exhausting for him and he was panting badly by the time we had decided we had bought enough. Too hot for the long-haired mountain dog.

We had to hit the cheese stores in the area. Of course, Wisconsin is dairy land. They outpace New York in the production of dairy products. And they have remarkably creative recipes, for example, bacon and cheese dip, portabella and chive cheese and summer sausages made with cheese, turkey, lamb and more! It was hard to decide what I would like to buy without breaking the budget. But I needed to buy some little presents for my relatives in BC. I tried to find things that I would assume they would not readily get up there. We will see.