Many of our travels are by air but I really prefer road trips. I’m not afraid to fly and actually enjoy the whole airport experience. (you may find that weird but after getting through the unpleasant TSA rigmarole, I like people watching and there are a lot of strange people at airports!) Driving makes me feel like I have more of a connection to the places we visit plus I get to see more of the countryside.
Last summer we drove to Mandan, ND to take our grandson Riley home after he visited us over summer vacation. Crazy kid wanted to go back to school! Maggie was with us, of course, and we tried to find dog-friendly places to visit. On the way back to Florida we stopped in Madison, Wisconsin. It was one of the nicest day trips we’ve been on.
I had never been to Madison, nor probably Wisconsin, but I had a co-worker way back in the 80s that had lived in Madison and seemed to be very bitter to leave the wonderful city to join her new husband in St. Petersburg. (I always wondered how that marriage worked out!) I don’t remember her name or much else about her but after working with her for nine months, she convinced me that Madison was the center of the universe. Since then I had wanted to check it out.
As usual, I consulted www.dogfriendly.com for places that allow dogs. The site listed several restaurants so we planned to eat at the “Capital Brewery” but we couldn’t find it. We fell back on our old methods–asking at every restaurant if they could recommend a place that allowed dogs. One kind host sent us to “Capital Tap Haus”. This place was great, seated us in the outside dining area, gave Maggie a big bowl of water and a biscuit, the food was yummy and the foot traffic was entertaining. Maggie was very happy!
After our afternoon in Madison, we checked into the local La Quinta. We usually stay at La Quinta’s because they accept dogs and do not charge an extra fee. There is really no consistency in the La Quinta chain–some of them are nice and have all the amenities of a more expensive motel, others smell like dampness and the towels have holes. The one in Madison was probably the best La Quinta we have ever stayed in.
Madison was a lovely city. While perhaps not the center of the universe (I believe that it gets very cold there), it’s definitely worth a visit.