Sunday, June 19th – Thursday, June 23rd – Monona, WI

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We woke to our alarm at 4:00 AM…. not exactly the hour we wanted to be awake, but it had to be done. We had spent the previous day packing until we headed to the wedding of our friends Chris and Gretchen, however, the packing was not done. With tired morning grumbles, we stumbled around our apartment making the final preparations, and trips to the car. As the sun rose, and the coffee soaked in, we left our sleepy haze and officially hit the road at 6:30 AM.

The drive was pretty uneventful as drives go, and we arrived at AJ & Liz’s place near Madison, WI, around 7:45 PM. Baby Quin, now 3 months old, was already sleeping soundly in his crib. We would have to wait until morning to say hello. Knowing we were hungry, food was ready when we arrived, and we spent the next couple hours catching up with each other.

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Monday morning, we were woken by Quin being laid on top of us as AJ returned to the kitchen to continue making our favorite breakfast, Migas Frittatas (Eggs, Potatoes, Corn, Beans, Jalapeños, Salsa, Avacado, Onions, Cheese, and Tortillas… you can’t go wrong!).

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Monday turned out to be a day of eating, and game playing. Breakfast was followed up by pizza making. We tried something new this time… putting the dough, toppings, and more dough in a BIG waffle iron. The results were very messy and tasty, but we decided we would stick with regular pizzas in the future.

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We spent the day playing a new game, Splendor (great game!) and Alex and Liz went out for a short bike ride.

Later in the evening, friends Karna, Ripal, and baby Myra came over with dinner, Pani Puri, a traditional Indian dish. The puri are the hollow fried dough balls, which you crack a hole into to fill with the potato and bean stuffing, and then fill with the pani. Pani is a mixture of water, mint, and other spices that I can’t remember! AJ and Liz had been telling us about this meal on a previous visit, and we were very excited to have it. It was delicious! After dinner we all went for a walk before Karna, Ripal and Myra headed home. The remainder of the night involved more game playing!

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Dave was itching to get a long bike ride in, so after breakfast on Tuesday, he and AJ headed out. AJ would ride part way with Dave before returning home, and Dave would continue on to complete a 71 mile loop. While the boys were out, Alex and Liz took Quin for a walk. With everyone back home, we went out side to take some pictures so Alex could play around with a new camera. Once back inside, another new game was played, Viticulture. Again we give it a thumbs up… AJ doesn’t usually recommend we play bad games :o) As the afternoon turned to evening, Alex needed to get a bike ride in as well, despite the fact that she would rather just hang out with everyone. So, AJ put together a nice 25 mile loop for her, and off she went. While she was gone, the rest of the group went out for a walk and made dinner.

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Wednesday morning brought a forecast of thunderstorms, so we scratched bike rides from the agenda and made another batch of migas frittatas for breakfast. We have been wanting to get a new laptop for a while, our old one was getting buggy and to be honest we never really liked it anyways. So we spent some time finalizing our choice, maxing out the coupons code rewards, purchasing a lot of gift cards at the grocery store to maximize reward dollars, and then Dave went to Best Buy to pick up the laptop (we’ve joined the Mac world), while Alex, AJ, Liz and Quin went for a long walk. The remainder of the morning was spent with runs for Alex and Dave, and tennis for Dave and AJ, before we all took another walk to Fraboni’s for lunch.

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We spent the rest of the day playing more games, doing some tricky yoga which Dave escaped from to rock Quin on the porch swing, and cooking up some baked veggies for dinner.

Thursday morning, we had a slow morning sitting around before packing up the car and hitting the road around 9:45 AM for Vedauwoo, WY. Vedauwoo has become our usual first stop on our way out west. We pulled into a camping area around 11:30 PM local time (we are now in the Mountain Time Zone, 2 hours behind the Eastern Time Zone).

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