A New Chapter...for awhile travel blog

The Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison

Inside the Governor's Conference Room

The Supreme Court bench

In the Senate chambers

A view from the outside observation deck looking at one of the...

A small part of the Farmer's Market crowd

More crowd around the capitol on a beautiful Wisconsin Saturday afternoon

Nice hat you got there, honey-selling guy


We were out the door just after 9:00 Saturday morning and after a quick stop at Cracker Barrel, were soon parked just down the street from the Capitol building in Madison to do 2 things. First off, we walked the huge Dane County Farmer’s Market, the largest market of it’s type in the U.S. And large it is. It stretches completely around Capitol Square every Saturday morning from April till October, for a total distance of almost ¾ of a mile, with vegetable, meat, flower and other vendors jammed tent to tent. We did our part for the local economy by buying some scallions, bread, cheese, bratwurst and cookies...and some biscotti and a sesame pretzel to fuel us on our journey.

Our second event of the morning – actually early afternoon – was to tour the Capitol. It was pretty interesting, as Iowa and Minnesota’s have been, and was pretty extensive with us getting to see the Governor’s Conference Room, the Senate chambers and the Supreme Court. We didn’t get to see the State Assembly (their version of the more common House of Representatives) because it was reserved for a wedding. Of all the places to get married in Madison, you choose the Wisconsin State Assembly? We found that a bit odd. If you are sufficiently bored, here’s a link https://capitol100th.wisconsin.gov/ to see more fun facts about the building.

During our time in Madison, we have both commented that for being the capital of Wisconsin and home to the University of Wisconsin – Go Badgers! – it is still a pretty nice place. Plenty of shopping and dining choices, scenic, surprisingly clean (in most areas) and while we haven’t noticed the people to be overly friendly, they haven’t been cranky and nasty like some places. Overall, a pretty good area to spend some time in.

Speaking of spending time here, it looks like we may be staying in Wisconsin longer than expected. Let me explain...I had just sent an email to someone we had met in Red Bay back in 2015 and told them that we had not had any major problems with the bus lately. I spoke too soon. Less than 5 minutes after I hit SEND, something in the front AC/Heat pump went boom and started sounding like nuts and bolts in a blender. Now, I am not all that mechanically inclined, but I’m pretty sure that ain’t right. So, up to the roof I go, hoping to find that the fan had disintegrated, which actually would have been good, because I have a spare. Of course, it was not the fan…this time.

So now, in addition to a toilet repair on my list for today – more on that in a minute – we now have a AC/heat issue to start working on that will, I fear, not be a cheap or quick fix. In fact, since the rear AC has been running on a wing and a prayer since last July, if the front one is a goner, we may just replace both at the same time. Ouch, times two. Always something to make your day brighter...now, about the toilet adventure.

Water that is supposed to stay in the bowl, would not; it would drain into the holding tank which, while it ends up there eventually, it’s supposed to stay in the bowl to block unwanted odors from seeping from the tank back into the house. So, after thorough internet research, I set about the easy task of replacing it...in fact, I didn’t even have to take the toilet up from the floor! I could separate the bowl from the stand and ta-da!, the world’s easiest toilet repair ever.

It went fairly well, and it was all back together in less than an hour. That’s when I noticed the leak, from what had just 60 minutes earlier, been leak-less. Are you kidding me? A valve assembly that I didn’t even touch is now leaking every time you flush? What kind of crap is that? So even after what I thought was a sufficient amount of cussing and throwing of tools, we still have a leaky toilet. Tomorrow, I will call the manufacturer and see what they think is the problem and resolution, then the hunt will begin for the part to HOPEFULLY repair it. Or more cussing and throwing of tools; it could go either way.



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