I had some seriously excited belly tickles as we headed toward my college town, Madison. It is one of my favorite U.S. cities, and it had been 3 years since we visited. I couldn't wait to check out my old stomping grounds, and show Iyla the lay of the land.
It was still quite chilly & rainy out, so Iyla decided to rock her cute Koala bear hat (sorry Arlo!)
First stop? My very favorite pet store, Noah's Ark! It is where my first two kitties- Zoey and Otis (RIP to those sweet ones!) were discovered. This store is unique in that they allow all of the kitties to have the run of the place. This means the cats are well socialized with other cats & people, and that you can snuggle & play with them all! Iyla got the hang of it quite quickly:
We set out on foot to dinner at the Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company. It was cold & drizzling out, but we would not be deterred. As an added bonus, Iyla took a little nap at just the right time during dinner, allowing me to actually eat (albeit one handed).
The next morning we set off to stroll the campus. We visited the Memorial Union Terrace on beautiful Lake Mendota, then had lunch at one of my all time favorite State Street spots- Himal Chuli:
Back at the hotel room we had some down time as Iyla & BC watched Spongebob episodes:
We then headed out to enjoy the gorgeous 70 degree sunshine on the lawn in front of my former dorm, Tripp Hall:
That afternoon we took a beautiful drive to the Madison suburbs to visit my cousin Amy, her husband Matt, and their 9 month old Liam.
Iyla had a blast playing with another baby and all of his fun new toys!
We also subjected the babes to a little photo shoot:
On Saturday, we bid the Amy's family farewell and headed toward the town where I grew up. We were staying at my friend Paige's house, and she was kind enough to host a party for all my high school friends, so everyone could come by and meet Iyla! We had a blast.
On Sunday we set off to visit my grandmother & Uncle Doug in Waukesha.
It was so, so special to introduce Iyla to Doug & my Nani! We got some sweet photos of it all:
Iyla was sufficiently exhausted from all the cuddles and took a nap right on the living room floor:
That afternoon we checked into our downtown Milwaukee hotel- The Iron Horse. It has to be one of the most gorgeous hotels we've ever stayed in! This was our 2nd visit, and I am sure we'll be back. Iyla seemed to like it too.
Then it was off to the Chicago suburbs for the last official leg of our trip. Onward we went!