Sunday, December 27, 2020

A Day Trip to Madison: Bolz Conservatory, at Olbrich Gardens, Green Own Cafe, and Green Life Trading Co

Like a lot of people, Craig and I are enjoying a long holiday weekend and we wanted to do something more than sit around the house. Given that we are still in the middle of a pandemic, we also needed to choose somewhere safe to visit. We decided to head to Madison for a little road trip on Saturday.

We started at the Bolz Conservatory at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. We had been to the gardens in Spring a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it. The conservatory also did not disappoint. 

Due to staffing for the pandemic, we had to pay $6 each to enter the conservatory. It is normally free. The gardens are always free. 

Upon entering, I was pleasantly surprised to hear lots of birds singing. Check out this black and white beauty on the top right of the photo. 

The bird above wasn't listed on the sign below naming all of the various species found in the conservatory. We saw all of the birds listed on the sign and they were so adorable. My favorite was the Orange-Cheeked Waxbill, which was singing and flying low to the ground. It was so fast and hard to capture on camera.
Doesn't it look like someone painted on these stripes? Nature is amazing.
We only encountered two other families the whole time we were there and it felt really easy to socially distance. 
Craig and I both liked this unique plant. 
I wish we had better luck growing orchids at home as we both think they're beautiful. 
While at the conservatory, we ordered our lunch for pickup from a local vegetarian and vegan restaurant. We had some time to kill before picking up our food, so we headed across the street to check out the ice formations along Lake Monona. 
Pickup was super safe and easy at The Green Owl Cafe
I ordered the vegan bahn mi sandwich with seasonal greens on the side (squash and brussels sprouts, yum). Craig got the vegan steak bomb. 
After eating lunch in our car, we drove down the street to find the new zero waste store that opened earlier this year. 

I always enjoy walking past the houses in Madison. I liked these two windows that we saw on our walk to Williamson Street. 
Yep. Hope we don't hear about him in a month. 
I checked out Green Life Trading Co alone while Craig went across the street to St. Vincent DePaul (which had an excellent used books section). I had the store to myself and there were so many great products to check out. The owner Sasha was so nice to talk to. It's so gratifying seeing people like her pursuing their dreams and spreading the message about zero waste living to others! 
Look at this gorgeous mural and the amazing ceiling. 
If you don't bring your own containers to fill, the store has some to use. 
I am definitely going to head back here with some empty jars post pandemic and when I need more refills of products. 
I purchased this dish soap! I will keep you posted on if it works well. Actually, I think I am going to write a whole post on zero waste living and products one of these days. 
The last stop on our road trip was to Willy Street Co-Op East and I think that might have been my first time in the store. I loved it and so did Craig. It was seriously heaven for me and reminded me a lot of Outpost. I think Willy Street had a lot more vegan baked goods and items, but that is also could be because there are probably more vegans in Madison than the Milwaukee area. 

Yes you are. This is a good reminder. 
We had a great day getting away for a couple of hours! Can't wait to go back again sometime, especially once the pandemic is over. 

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