With July 4th looming we decided to take a bike ride over to Henry Villas Park. The park curves along the northern shore of Lake Wingra and has a nice sandy beach where we saw lots of swimmers, sunbathers, joggers, cyclists and people playing various sports. Also in the park ( or nearby) are the University of Wisconsin Arboretum and the Henry Vilas Zoo.
What is quite unique about the Henry Vilas Zoo is that it offers free admission (donations only – $2.00/person recommended). There are some very neat exhibits at this zoo especially considering that there is no admission. There's a nice aviary, a good primate house, a wonderful herpatarium but best of all is their Arctic exhibit.
As much as we enjoyed the herpatarium exhibit the Arctic exhibit was the bomb. They had a nice display of penguins but it was the polar bears that were super entertaining! The day we visited there was a large polar bear who was enjoying swimming and as a result the near entertained the crowd swimming and frolicking in the pool. The bear would dive in the water, lazily swim on its back and then go under and come up right by the viewing window much to the giddy delight of the little kids. Then the bear would push off the glass and perform this act all over again. We very much enjoyed the entire zoo as the animals seemed happy and well cared for.
An added surprise arose after our arrival in Madison because no sooner had we set up in our site Sharon posted a few pictures on Facebook and we began receiving messages from several of our RV friends who happened to be in the area. as a result we have been doing a whole lot more socializing than we expected!
During our touring of the downtown area we were contacted by friends Darla and Brett whom we first met in Texas during our winter stay at Mission, Texas. They texted us that they were in town to take the grandkids to the zoo and were having lunch. We last saw them in Montana a couple of years ago. When they texted us we were just across the street from where they were! Crazy isn’t it?? Happily we popped in to say hi but didn’t stay too long as we didn't want to take away from any of their cherished family time.
The second set of friends we heard from we also met at the same time in Texas as Brett and Darla. These friends Holly and Randy were staying just south of us so we went down for happy hour and they graciously made us dinner. We saw them last in New Orleans, Louisiana and since it had been a few years it was really fun catching up on all the news.
A third set of friends contacted us on Facebook and invited us to come up and see their home in a town north of us. So we hopped in the car to see Maggie and Vic whom we first met during our winter stay in Florida. Although we last saw them this past winter we looked forward to seeing them again since we will probably not winter in Florida this year. We met at their house and chatted a bit before finishing the evening at a Brew Pub. We had a nice dinner and great time catching up with Maggie and Vic.
While at Maggie and Vic's we contacted another set of RV friends, Penny and Steve, we first met in Louisiana at Betty's RV park. We told them about our Florida wintering site and now they winter there! They also know Maggie and Vic from Florida. Anyhow we made plans for a get together for all six of us at Penny and Steve's place about 30 minutes south of us. We met up for happy hour and then made our way over to a fun restaurant for wings and beer on the waterfront of Lake Koshkonong. What fun that was…
Man all this socializing can wear a person out… but it sure is a fun part of our life on our Road of Retirement…
NOTE: We left Madison today and are headed to Green Bay WI where we will hope to find a spot for the weekend!