Half Day of Awesome-ness 2.0

A few spectacular girls and I decided back in September 2011 to take a half a day off from work and wander around downtown Madison to celebrate our Awesomeness.  It was such a hit that we decided to do it again.

Half Day of Awesome-ness: A day in which only 4 hours are devoted to work and the remaining hours are devoted to play.  The first stop is lunch where a formal strategy is created (not that it will be followed) for the rest of the day.  Every 3rd stop should be for either a beverage or a dessert-type treat.  The men-folk meet up with the ladies around dinner time to make sure they are still clothed and to feed them.  No fighting.  All love, sparkles and wonderful things.

Since this particular group of ladies not only celebrate their own awesomeness, but also their commitment to healthy lifestyles… Amy and I started the day with our own Awesome-ness 5.2k.  We walked from work to downtown Madison and to Coopers, where we were having lunch and plotting the rest of our day.  It was 70 something degrees and sunny.  We walked 3.5 miles in 1 hour.  We are bad-asses.  For about 3 seconds it rained, it was odd.

All jazzed up for our walk. 10:55am

We had Laura (health promotion princess) take our bags of post-walk clothes with her.  We had packed clothes so that after our very brisk walk we wouldn’t be sweaty bettys for the rest of the day.  She even was kind enough to bring them in with her to Coopers so that we could change there.

My essentials for post-walk: bra, tank top, eye liner, and chap stick

Amy’s essentials for post-walk: bra, tank top, cute orange sandals, face wipes and deodorant.  ** I must say that Amy’s choice to bring the face wipes was brilliant.  5 points for her.

Once the rest of the gang got there, we were escorted back to the snug.  The snug is a little closed off closet-esque area that has a window to the bar and the bartender is your server.  We started off the day with some delicious and wholesome sandwiches and drinks all around.

Me, Laura and Kim

Jane, Jody and Amy

Kim and I recently had birthdays and gift cards to burn, so we formed our game plan around our gift cards, ice cream, walking and martinis.  Our first stop was Driftless Studio.  It is a retailer of my favorite artist and creative sparkly person, Curly Girl Designs.  I got a wonderful journal, some new gift cards.  I use her gift cards for decorations instead of giving them to people.  Sometimes I feel bad about it, but not as good as I feel about looking at the pretty cards all day… so they stay with me.  I also got a fun little magnet that is just the letter I.  Sounds boring, but there is very little out there that has “Ingrid” or the letter I.  So, when Kim found it and pointed it out… I scooped it up. 5 points for Kim.

The next stop on our journey was the store Little Luxuries.  Another super creative and cute retailer of the odd and sparkly.  They have funny magnets, desk organizers that look like someone getting shot in the butt with lightning, washable and reusable lunch bags and fun hair accessories.  HUGE sunglasses (my fave) and crafty wallets.  This stop was Amy’s idea and it was a big hit with the crowd.

Now we were getting a little thirsty.  Two stops and some shopping finds had worked up a thirst.  I noticed a new sushi place, and more importantly the awning said “MARTINIS”.  I was sold.  T Sushi is the name of the establishment and the 6 of us walked in knowing we were going to start our awesomeness with a new restaurant.

This was a note to myself that I had been at the Sushi place and at that point I still had all my belongings… in case I lost them later and had to retrace my steps.

Pineapple, Ginger and a Bikini Martini.
Mine, Laura and Amy’s.

The waiter was a little slow to get us started and get the service started.  We were the only customers at the bar, so this was a little annoying to people (me) who don’t have much patience (me, me).  Even Jane had a martini and that is not her drink of choice.  I was proud of her for getting in the spirit of our day of awesomeness.  Kim was the only one to have 2 martinis here.  She has a lot of awesomeness flowing through her veins.  I let everyone try my Pineapple Upside Down martini, which was pretty much liquid wonderment in your mouth… and the consensus was that it was the crowd favorite.  In Dodgeville they make pineapple upside down cake shots, they are delicious and dangerous.  It has Vanilla liquor, cake liquor, pineapple juice and a touch of grenadine.  Yummy.

Our next stop was Pop Deluxe.  We could see this store from our barstools at the sushi joint and I also had a gift card there.  This is another place full of unique and wonderful trinkets and eccentric bobbles.  I was trying to hurry along at this point because it was already 2:00 and we had only stopped at a couple places. I found the cutest little cups that said the word “goof” and under it was a beach ball.  — Goof ball.  This is what Jason calls Vinny and I when we are being especially goofy or naughty.  It just made me a little warm and fuzzy inside so I bought that.  AND my other find was a book of fortunes that you can tear out and give to people.  Fortunes without the cookies and calories.  How exciting!  I haven’t even taken the time to thoroughly look through them yet… since I’ve been drinking, eating, dancing, sleeping and writing since then.

I forgot to pack my jeans during all the pre-awesomeness preparations so I was also on the lookout for some cute bottoms to wear.  After we left Pop Deluxe I strolled into Gap with a purpose and walked right up to their skinny jeans, found my size and the perfect wash, picked them up and thought “success!!”  Then I looked at the $69.99 price tag and laughed and put them back.  Success… fail.  There was no way I was paying that much for jeans.  I might need new ones anyways, but that’s why god made outlet malls and second hand stores.  I walked next door into Rag Stock and tried that store on for size, no such luck there either.  There is a lot of unique stuff in there, but I wasn’t looking for unique at that point.  Just couldn’t find the right thing so we moved on.

At the next corner was a wonderful little gelato place, Paciugo.  We stopped in there and tried about 27 samples of gelato between the 6 of us and then only 2 of us got Gelato.  Women are fickle!  Amy got this rose gelato that actually tasted like rose petals.  So weird, but creamy and good none the less.  Jane got a trio of red and pink fruity gelato.

As we are walking down enjoying sharing our gelato finds and the wonderful weather, I see a hippy go free-free store and it has some cute dresses in the window.  On a whim and a last minute 90 degree turn, I go in and look at dresses.  I see one that has an open back, I like these kinds of dresses and they are hard to find.  I have a large back tattoo and it was a lot of pain and time and I’m proud of it.  I like to show it off but don’t get many chances.  I tried on the dress and with my bra it looked a little weird, but it was cute.  Amy and the store sales lady convinced me to take off my bra.  Now I really feel “free”.  No undergarments and a dress.  Yup, I’m a madisonian again.  I have the lady cut the tag off, buy it and walk out.

New dress (I sent this picture to Jason and he was on the road about 5 minutes later… makes a girl feel good)

As I was purchasing my dress, Kim and Jody were purchasing a delicious cupcake.  She told me what was all in it, but on the 4th delicious ingredient I lost count (and I was self conscious about my new dress and focusing on that).  Her and Jody split it in half and we decided that it was 4:00pm and the Icon was open and we were headed there because they have just wonderful martinis.

This is what happens when you don’t get a napkin with your cupcake and then the wind ruffles your hair. Kim was saying (screaming), “I can’t touch anything!!!”

Kim had a gift card to the Icon, however she didn’t bring it.  We went there anyways because it is truly such a yummy (but slightly pricey) place to enjoy a martini.  They also had outside seating and it was finally starting to reach it’s full 77 degrees for the day outside.  There was much contemplation on what drink everyone was going to try because they are all such fun names and have such good ingredients!

Martini Menu

Laura got a goat cheese and marinara sauce appetizer (delicious!) and Jody got a seafood appetizer (which looked equally as good, but I had already given my heart to the goat cheese).  We were all just eating and relaxing when Kim took the level of awesomeness to a whole new level and crushed her glass and send shards flying everywhere!  Well, actually her elbow slipped off the table and the glass broke when she dropped it, but still.  She could be strong like hercules!  She got a new drink, Jody got a new appetizer and we all treated Kim really nice for the rest of that stop just in case she decided to crush anymore glasses!

The group at the Icon

We decided it was time to go meet the boys at the Old Fashioned.  I met Jason on his way to the Old Fashioned and dropped off my stuff (bra and clothes that I was wearing prior to the dress purchase and my other little purchases from earlier).  Being a typical guy, he was admiring my dress by grabbing my butt and giving my lots of hugs (groping).  I was flattered, it’s nice to know that you can still get your boyfriend that excited after a few days of pms and some not-so-shining moments of girlie craziness.

Jason had never been to the Old Fashioned, but it used to be our neighbor when we worked downtown so he had heard many stories.  I think he just wanted to put a face to a name and see our old stomping grounds… and probably make sure there were no titty pictures of me by the bar.  (there aren’t).  The Old Fashioned has 100 Wisconsin beers to choose from.  It’s quite the production choosing which one you want.  After 1 beer called Saison, I ended up spending the rest of the night sipping on Jinja Ninja beer… because… well who wouldn’t with a name like that?  It had a aftertaste that tasted like fall leaves.  Sounds weird, but if you gave it a sip, you’d agree.

We had to wait about an hour and a half for a table, but it’s the Old Fashioned, Friday Night Fish Fry and downtown Madison.  This is to be expected and we all belly up to the bar and wait.  When we finally do get our table, we hunker down, place our orders and all feed ourselves some much deserved and earned dinner.  They also happen to have just about THE BEST cheese curds… ever.  They serve it with paprika sauce… mmmmmm…. it might just be the mild hangover… but I could roll myself in paprika and cheese curds this morning.  No, that’s not the hangover, it’s the pms.  Mmm…

Jody, Jane, Kim and Dan

Laura, Amy, Andy, Me and Jason
(Jason is touching Andy’s leg or something… hence the distracted/concerned look on Andy’s face… and the really happy look on Jason’s face)

Kim and Jody take off right after dinner has been concluded and we have paid for everything.  Kim has other obligations to go to and Jody has to go home to her hubby.  The rest of us belly up and I have some more jinja ninja.  Eventually Amy and Andy take off too.  We tearfully say goodbye and that we will see each other on Monday, that happens.  The last people standing end up being myself, Laura, Jane and Jason.  We decide to go to Whisky River.  This is my idea because after a day of awesomeness what would end cap the night better than a dance club of 18 yr olds with fake IDs?  Not much.

We make the trek back down state street again and go in to drink and dance.  We discover on the way that we are pretty much intoxicated-enough and end up just dancing and watching the spectacle that is other people dancing.  There is one boy and one girl that are especially breathtaking in their seizure-like renditions of dance-dance revolution on the dance floor.  They don’t know each other, but if their disturbingly similar hip thrusts and lack of fashion sense say anything… they are soul mates.  We watch as they randomly walk up to crowds of dancers and hip thrust their way through the circle and make it to 3rd base with a couple people before anyone knows what happened.  The thrusting and jirating puts people into a kind of trance and they are left to the mercy of the soul-stealing dancing machines.

Myself, Laura and Jane
Last ladies standing on our half day of awesome-ness
Photo credit: Handsome Jason

Despite spending more money than I had planned, eating less and drinking more than I planned… I had a truly awesome day of awesomeness.  Amy and I got a chance to talk and have some serious time before meeting everyone.  I got to hang out with Laura more and get to know her better.  I think she is just such a wonderful and kind person.  Her laugh is so honest and sudden sometimes… it warms my heart and makes me feel lucky to have her as a friend.  Jody and Kim were our rocks, keeping us moving and organized and sternly making sure we were keeping up on our martini-count for the day.  Jane was such a wonderful last minute addition to our day of awesome-ness and we all enjoyed each other so much that I think we have expanded the awesome-ness group once again!

I’m looking forward to the next awesome-ness opportunity!!  We are looking at a quarterly outing.  I like it.  I like us.

A special thank you to Jason who has participated in BOTH days of awesomeness and as my hero has made sure I got home safely and was there to hug me and be mine and complete my night.  He is what really makes the day of awesome-ness so wonderful… that I can share it with my friends and him?  What more could a girl ask for?

On a parting note… I would like to leave with you our theme video for the day / night.

I wear my Sunglasses at Night…

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