We headed west from Indiana – transited Illinois west of Chicago – stopping just for lunch north of Rockford. We will return to that area some day for a visit. Our first stop was north of Madison, Wisconsin – where we spent Memorial Day weekend in a small KOA campground actually in Deforest right off interstate. We had a 60 mph wind storm with rain the first night and learned why they called winged seeds from maple trees – helicopters. The car and coach as well s the ground were covered with them.
We toured Madison a bit, but focused on seeing some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designed private homes as well as his personal home “Taliesin” out in Spring Green. We love his eye for environmentally sympathetic design and use of natural materials. He and his families offer us a fascinating story and his artistry is without rival. We did not tour the personal home – it’s quite pricey and is rigorously scheduled, but we did enjoy a delightful lunch in the cafe & visitor center he designed. We took lots of photos of the buildings – below is the home surrounded by 800 acres of lush vegetation – and we enjoyed soaking in the sweet pastoral atmosphere of Spring Green.
Apparently he was delighted by the big beautiful red barns prevalent throughout Wisconsin so he built on on his property – along with a working farm, homes for relatives, architecture school and church.
His family life was complicated – three wives , lots of kids, at least one mistress who was murdered in his home mysteriously. But there is no doubting his important influence on American art.
Who wouldn’t love a home with great open views and interior space, stone fireplaces and decks to view sunrise and sunsets! We took photos of several private homes and one church – I’m sure they are used to that.
Madison is an attractive youthful university surrounded state Capitol with two big lakes – it’s quite beautiful and seems to be a family friendly city. We saw the big crowds who were enjoying Saturday Farmers Market in the city center.
And no visit is complete without a cheese stop – we came away with four or five new cheeses to enjoy thanks to this amazing dairy state with more cows than people and beautiful barns to add to my barn photo collection.
It was a great way to spend the first warm sunny weekend of the season.