The first official day off = Madison and Janesville, Wisconsin, USA with my four friends (Abby who studies in Madison and who is from Janesville and Ave, Aleksander and Elias who are my Finnish friends. We all are lifeguards in Noah’s). It takes a little more than an hour to drive there so it’s a nice place to visit even if you have only one day off. 🙂
Madison is the capital of state of Wisconsin. The population of it is about 240,000 people, so it’s the second largest city in Wisconsin (Milwaukee is the largest one).
So, what to do in Madison? It’s a nice little city where people are actually living and studying (whereas Wisconsin Dells is just a punch of tourist attractions). There are nice parks and real American houses, cosy downtown area with nice small shops and restaurants, moreover there are two big shopping malls (east and west side of city have both their own malls).
We had a little tour by car because it was quite windy and cold when we arrived. After driving for a while we took a look of the downtown by roaming around and visiting nice shops (btw in here you can taste all candies, cheeses and everything before buying anything – that’s crazy. We visited one candyshop and it was just superb to test every kind of American sweets before buying them! 🙂 I’m still kind of happy that you can’t do so in Finland, haha). After downtown walk we went to the eastern one of the shopping malls and visited Dick’s sportstore. After Tanger Outlet everything felt super expensive but it was nice to see a “normal” shopping center. I would like to go to Madison again and visit the other mall, West Towne Mall, though.
In Madison we visited two restaurants in downtown. One was Parthenon Gyros Restaurant. I was so happy that we found that restaurant were salad really means salad, tomatoes, grilled low fat chicken and everything fresh (in Noah’s I ate taco “salad” in which was more meat and deep fried stuff than anything fresh, huh). We all ate Chicken Caesar Gyros so I don’t know about other dishes but at least that one was super delicious, a bit too salty but still awesome and they were only 7USD! I definitely recommend that dish.
Other place that we tried was a smoothie bar that Abby likes, Jamba Juice. We all take different kind of smoothies. Again: quite healthy, delicious and fresh. There were a lot of different options from carrot juice and yoghurt to berries – something for everyone who likes smoothies. 🙂
In Janesville we visited Abby’s mom and dad (because it was American father’s day). We went eat with her family and just hanged out. Ave and I wanted to eat fish so, we tested Applebee’s at the 3024 Milton Ave, Janesville. It’s a place where you can eat almost everything – like healthy chicken and fish, deep fried cheese, soups, pasta, brownies. Prices where okay (13.49USD for Cedar Salmon and 1.99 for Strawberry Cheesecake) but the food wasn’t a big experience. At least my salmon was okay but a bit burned. On the other hand my dessert, strawberry cheesecake, was delicious. You can find their menu on their website.
Abby has super awesome family – so friendly and wonderful people. After eating and hanging out like five hours we went to eat local icecreams in Frostie Freeze and visited supermarket called Woodman’s Food Market (2631 Liverty Lane, Janesville) it was amazing! I mean in Wisconsin Dells we have only Walmart where you can find everything unhealthy with quite okay price but in Woodman’s I found salmon, tofu, cheap fruits, unsalted nutmixes and everything healthy that I love.
The frostie place was superpopular place with lots of different ice and cheap prices (about 1-3USD per portion, mine was medium sized (in Europe it would have been at least extra large) and it was 1.60USD). I ate something called blue moon. I’m not sure what it includes but it’s delicious though. 😀
I think that Janesville is just nice neighborhoods and stuff for locals but if you’re like driving nearby you can visit it and have a great ice.
West Towne Mall: http://www.shopwesttowne-mall.com
East Town Mall: http://www.shopeasttowne-mall.com
Parthenon Gyros: http://www.parthenongyros.com
Jamba Juice: http://www.jambajuice.com
City of Madison: http://www.cityofmadison.com
Frostie Freeze: https://www.facebook.com/janesvillefrostiefreeze
City of Janesville: http://www.ci.janesville.wi.us