Madison is Magical

Once upon a time I was a college student in what I consider to be one of the best college towns in the country, Madison, WI (I’ve lived in a few other of these as well…Ann Arbor and Charlottesville). Madison is magical. It’s the capitol of the state and has a gorgeous downtown area and capitol building.

It’s also home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. You know, Bucky the Badger ๐Ÿ™‚

There are only a few cities (like UT-Austin for instance) that are both capitol cities and are home to the state’s flagship university. In fact, the distance between UW-Madison and the Capitol is less than one mile. This was a main reason why Madison spurred ย the Progressive Movement in the early 20th Century. The close proximity of the University and the legislature gave rise to what is now known as The Wisconsin Idea, or the idea that the University (the faculty and researchers) can serve the state by helping to solve problems and educating citizens through extension education. <—ย oh you can’t tell that I was a history major in college and focused on early twentieth century American history? I still teach American history at the community college in Charlottesville so I suppose I am still a historian ๐Ÿ™‚

Madison is uniquely situated on an isthmus, which is really rare for a city. What is an isthmus you ask? An isthmusย is a narrow strip of land connecting two larger land areas, usually with water on either side. Madison is surrounded by both Lake Mendota and Lake Monona

The lakes allow for many outside activities like boating, water skiing, fishing, and swimming. They also provide a gorgeous backdrop for both the city and University.

Picture of Lake Mendota from the University I took in 2010

The University is literally sandwiched between the bustling city capitol (Madison is much more cosmopolitan than most people think!) and the tranquil lakes. And the student union–which has a full service bar serving pitchers of beer and brats[how Wisco, right?]–has an amazing terrace that students go to hang out, drink, and sunbathe in the spring, summer, and fall. See those “sunburst chairs“? They’re famous ๐Ÿ™‚

And I had to throw in this video, which went viral a few years back. “Teach Me How To Bucky?” Sure thing!

Although I graduated from college now 8 years ago it seems like just yesterday I was there studying, partying, protesting (yep, there’s a TON of hippies there ๐Ÿ™‚ ), riding my moped (they’re huge there!), eating, and working. I am going back for a visit on Thursday and I couldn’t be more excited. The bf has never been and I’ve told ย him to be prepared for a lot of walking and drinking. Madison and Charlottesville are both beautiful, but Madison takes the cake in night life. In fact, Madison has one of the highest percentage of bars per blockย than any other city. Chalk it up to the German beer drinking culture (Wisconsin was the last state in the country to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21 and it still shows there!).

In honor of going back, I thought I’d take a little walk down memory lane. Now, some of these pics are extremely embarassing. I look really young in many of the pictures, but they represent a great time in my life so I’m going to celebrate them ๐Ÿ™‚

Freshman year, I’m a baby!

Freshman year tailgating with my sis (I’m on the right)

Sophomore year spring break in Acapulco with my besties!

Junior year on the front steps of our house

senior year

My 21st bday dinner senior year (yes, I was a senior when I turned 21!)

Famous Mifflin Street Block party

no comment ๐Ÿ˜‰

Graduation!!! I have blonde hair!

I’m so so excited to go back to Madtown!

I was last there in 2010

Where did you go to college (undergrad)?

What made/makes your college so special to you?

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13 Responses to Madison is Magical

  1. aww it’s so nice to think back to college (for me it’s only been 2 years though). I went to a college in NY and loved it, I met my best friends there ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I have never been to WI but always wanted to visit. I hope you have a blast!

  3. Wisconsin looks so beautiful! Reliving those college memories is the best ๐Ÿ™‚ You are your twin sis are too cute!

  4. julie says:

    Love the pictures. You look so cute! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I went to OSU, also a capital town. We are such a large school that game day is epic, simply because of it’s size. There are almost 57,000 students just at the Columbus campus and about 525,000 living alumni. We were just estimated to have the larget college football fan base and we boast crazy traditions like jumping in a lake in the middle of campus at the end of November. Although I loved my college experience, I was from a suburb just outside of the city and ready to get the heck out after I graduated! Still love my Buckeyes though and visiting the city every holiday.

  5. katiemoves says:

    That place looks amazing! I wanna go! I went to school in the poconos and really miss it during the fall cause it is so beautiful this time of year. *sigh. I miss college in general!

  6. Melissa says:

    Looks like you had a great college experience! I hope you and the bf have a blast on Thursday! ๐Ÿ™‚ I went to the university at Albany in NY for undergrad (my hubby and I met freshman year and got engaged soph year) and grad…my hubby went to Cornell for grad school and I fell in love w that campus and college town (Ithaca ny)

  7. Love WI and LOVE this post. I so wish I was living in the states so we could go to a Packers game together!!!! Seriously, how much fun would that be?? ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Caroline says:

    Sounds like a great college experience, I’ve always been curious to visit Wisconsin. I went to Boston College, I loved the friends I made there and learned so much about Boston.

  9. Pingback: It’s a work from home kinda day | Let's Go on a Living Spree

  10. I hope you had SOOO much fun visiting! I’m glad my boyfriend is still in school cause I get the excuse to head to that wonderful campus every week. I live just 7 miles away (in Middleton) and couldn’t be happier. Yet reading this still made me nostalgic for the undergrad years too. On Wisconsin ๐Ÿ˜€

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