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We got a little bit of a late start on June 10th, a Sunday, when we headed for Madison for a picnic and a hike. It was a beautiful day and I was skeptical that we would be able to find an empty table at a park in the city. We were following our daughter, Jessica, and son-in-law, Shane — the grand-kids were with us. Since we had never been in Madison before, and didn’t have a clue where they were heading, it could have been very interesting. However, Shane drove slow so the “old man” following him — me! — could keep up and we ended up finding a table at Tenny Park, a small park near Lake Mendota on the Madison isthmus.
After the grand-kids were done playing following lunch, we headed out again. I really didn’t have a clue where we were going and, for a while wasn’t sure Shane did either. However, before long, we stopped at a University of Wisconsin gardens.
The Allen Centennial Gardens are open daily from dawn to dusk and there is no entrance fee. The gardens serves as a 2.5 acre outdoor classroom for the Department of Horticulture. Allen Centennial Gardens is centered around a beautiful Victorian gothic house known by several names, including “the Agricultural Dean’s Residence.” One of the first buildings on the agricultural campus, the house served as residence for the first four deans. Today it is home for the offices of the Agricultural Research Stations.
Allen Centennial Gardens was dedicated in October 1989. It was designed to compliment the house and existing plantings, including a larch tree planted in 1899. (See more at the Allen Centennial Garden web site.)
From the gardens, we walked past Porter Boathouse to the shore of Lake Mendota and took a pedestrian/bicycle path along the shore over to Memorial Union. Round trip, we walked a little under 2 miles. It was a nice stroll through the woods along the lake. There were a lot of other folks out walking, running, and bicycling.
Memorial Union is one of two buildings that comprise the Wisconsin Union. The other is Union South, located in another area of this very large campus. The Union is the “social, cultural, and recreational center of campus” and “serves as a daily gathering place for students, faculty, staff, community members, and visitors.”
The 19th annual Isthmus Jazz Fest was in it’s last few hours on the Memorial Union Terrace on Lake Mendota when we got there. We stopped inside for some ice cream and then went down by the lake with the grandkids while Professor Les Thimmig was playing the sax.