Our visit to the mainland started out very badly, with the loss of Hayley. Only four and a half years old, and now she’s gone. Losing a pet can be devastating. And four days after arriving in Madison we heard that our Kauai next door neighbor died. While sad, this wasn’t a surprise, as she had been on hospice care for several weeks. And then the day after we returned to Kauai we heard that one of our Kauai friend’s cat had been run over. And to top that off, we were called down to the beach 3 days after our return, to deal with a turtle issue. A green sea turtle was on the water’s edge, and appeared to be dying. We eventually put the turtle in a cage, and it was going to be taken to Oahu for examination. And most likely the turtle would be euthanized. So it’s been a bad and difficult few weeks.
Our Madison visit, other than the sadness that we had, was great. We had lots of fun, visited with lots of friends, ate in many of our favorite restaurants, and experienced some of the weather that precipitated our moving to Kauai. So the weather turned cold and wet during our visit, but it was still a great visit.
Upon our return our air conditioning contractor was at our door the next morning. Rhyan and his crew needed two days to finish up, but the result is great. It’s been a warm September here, so we’re especially pleased now to have the house air conditioned.
On Friday afternoon we had been watching Treehouse Masters, and we were about to turn the TV off so that we could take a truck load of green waste to the county waste site. Before we could turn the TV off, the next episode of Treehouses started. When we heard that the episode was in Wisconsin, we decided to wait to see more details. And much to our surprise the episode was filmed close to Madison, and it featured some our friends. It was quite a surprise, but fun to watch.
To catch up on our trip to Madison, the first day back I joined my running group (that I hadn’t run with in a year and a half) for their 5:30 run. The run turned out to be a bridal scavenger run for Shalon, a member of the club who is getting married. Tom Dietz, the club coordinator, planned the event with Meg, another club member. When they knew I’d be in town, they included me as a surprise in their scavenger hunt. I was to sit at the union terrace wearing a veil and was to give Shalon the second clue. The first clue was that an old friend would be unveiled to her where students sip beer near the water. I sat in one of the union terrace chairs with a group of friends, the veil blowing in the wind. When Shalon appeared, she was surprised to find me there, and even started to cry. The whole running club was shocked, since nobody other than Tom and Meg knew that I would be there. Once the shock wore off, I gave Shalon an orchid lei I brought from Hawaii, as well as her next scavenger clue. It was great to be a part of the surprise, and great to be part of the running club again. Thanks to Tom and Meg for making this happen.
Our time in Madison was jam-packed with activity, we had lots of catching up to do. We met our friends, the Dehnerts, for a badger football game followed by a pontoon boat ride on Lake Mendota and dinner. We volunteered at the Wisconsin Ironman; we’ve done this 10 times previously, although this time we were on the run course rather than the bike course. We watched a Packers game with our Rock Island group (for more than 30 years we’ve all gone to camp on Rock Island). We missed the trip, but got together twice at Tom and Julie’s with the group. We had dinner at John and Mary Lou’s, Larry and Eileen’s, Mitch and Cheryl’s, and Stephanie’s. We went to the Madison farmer’s market both Saturday’s, as well as joining our friends Gary, John and Bob, Seth and Amanda, Dick and Joy at Graze for coffee, pastries and news of the day. Our visit also included several other visits to the Union terrace, meals with friends Jim and Joe, and breakfast at La Baguette. I should mention that Charlie worked almost every day – it was hard to fit that in with all of the things that we did! We didn’t get to see Anton and Marcia though, as they were out of town during our visit. I guess we’ll have to plan another trip back to Madison!
The week ended Sunday with the usual trip to the Hyatt in the morning. It was good to get back to our old habits, coffee, chai and a scone. Around 4 pm we got a call that two seals had hauled out at Kukui’ula Harbor. We drove down and identified W06 and K31 (Pilikea)….maybe W06 will be a mama next year!