Every year we are drawn. There isn't anything wrong with Omaha but there comes a time when the legs must stretch and wander. In the fall we load down a rental with more books than clothes and drive across the rolling hills of Iowa to Madison, Wisconsin for the annual book festival. This is not to say we attend every event every year. Sometimes the coffee shops are more appealing, sometimes the weather just too windswept and freezing. But this year the stars aligned to make for a perfectly perfect vacation.
We walked the UW arboretum. Jaye was perfectly delighted to walk through these woods with brilliant yellow leaves falling down around her like snowflakes. The picture above isn't the greatest. There are more but I can't figure out how to get them off the smart phone. Apparently they aren't as smart as advertized. Or it could be me.
This is the nameless little place Jaye's husband hung out while we attended book fest events. It was a bar but also a hang out and also had a pool table but was somehow the quietest place downtown Friday and Saturday night. Sadly, it probably doesn't do enough business to stay open and we'll be missing it next year. The Writer thought it looked like a movie set of a bar, like something out of Alias and any minute Sarah McLaughlin will start singing.
Another not so great picture but Jaye wanted me to include it, our shared entree at the Essen Hause Bavarian place we've been meaning to eat at for three years and finally got around to it. Strangely, the highlight was the mustard. We all agreed it was beyond glorious in a sweet and spicy and mustard tang that we couldn't resist scooping it in with every bite.
As far as book people and such go, we had another unanimous vote for Jon Ronson being our favorite author. Besides being delightfully British, he told remarkable, funny, even horrific stories from his book research.
We also saw Emma Straub of Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures.