Madison, WI

My last stop before heading back to Europe for real this time was in Madison, WI for a wonderful family reunion. Michaela flew to Dayton and we roadtripped from there to Madison, where Nathaniel and a whole herd of Goldsteins live. Ruby loves a good roadtrip and always tries to sneak her way to the front. She’s usually pretty successful.

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Along the way we stopped for a pretty “normal” lunch in Normal, IL:

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With Nathaniel’s excellent planning, the rest of the trip followed suit.

 The 4th of July is a special weekend in Madison, hosting the annual wife-carry championships.  The winner of this ancient Norwegian tradition gets his wife’s weight in beer PLUS 5x her weight in cash! There is a very specific technique to the carry, with an unfortunate positioning of the wives heads:

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Pairs race, two at a time, down the course and back, facing obstacles such as a tire run, hay bale jump, and mud pit.  Many wives were dropped, which incurs a 15 second penalty. Only one husband broke any bones, but waved from his stretcher as he was being carried away to the ambulance.

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On Sunday, we went to see Neil Young play at the world’s largest music festival, Summerfest, which is randomly held in Milwaukee every summer. While he has some incredible old tunes, his new music leaves something to be desired, but still had a blast. We borrowed our cousin’s 8-seater car so we could all ride together, but ended up forgetting where it was parked and had an extra 30 minute adventure around downtown trying to find it.

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On Monday we got the insider tour of the insane Epic campus where Nathaniel works. This place is seriously ridiculous. Five hours and six miles later, we had checked out at least half of the buildings.  A few favorites were:

1) The entrance to Andromeda

 2) The slide to get down to the cafeteria

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3) The conference rooms

 4) The ice and stalactite caves and dragons guarding the moat

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5) The treehouse with a swinging bridge and puzzle room inside

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6) Cornhole and bananas on springs

 7) sheep!

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I can’t think of a better send-off to Europe.  I love you, wacky Goldstein clan!

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