Needless to say, after a 7 hour 5 hour journey from Pokagon to Madison (due to the extra time around Chicago), we were ready for food and drink. Our friends Brooke and Jer had driven from Detroit to Madison to hang out for the weekend, so we met up with them at our hotel, The Doubletree, home of the Badgerland Bar and Grill. Not that we ever set foot in Badgerland, it's just a funny name for a restaurant. We proceeded to a sports bar by the capitol to grab some dinner and beer and watch the Pistons game. The one guy with the crazy face mask played really well. After the game, we walked down the street to a bar called Nick's Place. There are lots of really hip places along State Street in Madison (including a place called Paul's Club, which has a giant, fake oak tree that hangs over the entire bar), and Nick's Place would not be among these. It was small, had only a couple different beers to choose from and was not terribly full (both good and bad). They did have funky booths and a jukebox, though, so this became our bar of choice in Madison.
On Friday, we decided we could no longer fight off the incredibly strong touritational pull that is the Wisconsin Dells, so we packed a lunch and our swimsuits and headed to the Kalahari Resort, the largest indoor waterpark in the world, though Brooke says she's seen bigger. The Dells are an egregious assault on the senses and water parks and touristy CRAP abound; this is not a place anyone can spend too much time in, but one day at the water park was pretty entertaining. Kalahari had slides both indoor and outdoor, and at first blush, both sets seemed pretty small. However, they had two slides that made up for the lack in size. One was called the Master Blaster - you would start nearly at the roof of the indoor park, go down a hill and then get blasted by a jet of water UP another hill, allowing you to travel around near the roof for quite a while before shooting down to a pool below. The other cool slide involved sliding down a steep chute into a giant funnel, spinning around the sides of the funnel until you ended up falling out of a hole in the floor of the funnel into a pool. Pretty damn fun, though a little disconcerting if you didn't fall out feet first.
Friday night, we grabbed some pizza, then went to see Oldboy. Crazy Korean revenge flick that none of us are sure we "liked", but all of us thought was pretty cool. Not an easy one to recommend, though, since it's pretty bloody and there a couple nasty scenes.
Saturday was spent wandering around State Street nearly all day. We ducked into the gorgeous capitol building to avoid a thunderstorm in the morning, but other than that, we pretty much went from shop to shop. The evening consisted of Game 6 of the NBA playoffs and a plate of hot wings at BW3's, then back to Nick's Place.
And on Sunday, after a tear filled breakfast, Brooke and Jer headed back toward Detroit, and Sam and I hit the road heading west toward North Dakota.