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brewery

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Dodge County Farmer’s Market + Madison Brewery Adventures

Dodge County Farmers Market • Madison, WI

This summer has been such a whirlwind, and between all of my fun design projects and planning a wedding, things have been a bit crazy! The time is really flying, and while I absolutely love fall, I’m trying to enjoy every last minute of summer that remains. Luckily Aaron and I had some much needed down time this weekend and escaped to the North for a mini getaway.

I busted out my camera for the first time ages to snag a few photos (since I’ve admittedly been neglecting it for some time now). I often forget how much fun it can be to just put life on pause for a moment and simply capture once around me. Perhaps I’ll get back to shooting more photos in the near future :)

Dodge County Farmers Market • Madison, WI

Anyway, Aaron spent the weekend in Madison, Wisconsin (along with a few other destinations) with our dear friends Emily and Kevin who just the most wonderful hosts. On Saturday, we headed to the Dodge County Farmer’s Market—a favorite activity of mine that I’ve missed dearly since moving to Illinois. Sure, we have farmer’s markets here, but there’s nothing quite like this one! If you’re fortunate enough to live in the midwest (or you just happen to be passing through), but sure to carve out some time to check it out—you won’t be disappointed!

Dodge County Farmers Market • Madison, WI

There’s just nothing quite like the smell of fresh produce and flowers, the quiet buzz of the people, and the warm summer vibes on Madison’s square during the farmer’s market. We took our time exploring each booth and oogling over all of the delicious food and beautiful flowers. We collectively bought tons of goodies like sweet corn, hot peppers, donut peaches from Door County, and Stella’s spicy cheesy bread amongst other treats.

Dodge County Farmers Market • Madison, WI

It was so hard not to give in to my impulse to buy every carton of berries I came across. They looked so good, but I  knew we’d have to drive several hours home and would risk spoiling all those sweet, sweet berries.

Afterward, we headed to Wisconsin Brewing Company to cool down from the hot August heat with some delicious beers. There are few things better than catching up with old friends over ice cold beers. Afterward, we headed to the farm house for some good ol’ fashioned BBQ and corn on the cob. The simple pleasures in life really are the best…especially when they involved food. Food is my favorite :P

One Barrel Brewing Company • Madison, WI

Before heading home on Sunday, Aaron and I headed to One Barrel Brewing Company to sample some of their beers, shown in the photo above. Having previous read that they have a beer-drinking penguin as a mascot, I knew we had to stop (especially after Aaron’s adorable proposal). We even grabbed a growler to go with that cute little penguin on it, and I’m hoping to sneak that sucker into the wedding decor somehow (which shouldn’t be hard considering the beer-themed nature of the event—more on this later, I promise!).

What more could a girl ask for in a single weekend?

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My St. Louis Engagement!

This weekend, Aaron and I took a (seemingly spontaneous) trip down to St. Louis! I even took my own advice on what to pack for such an occasion!

The Trip

We had both been eagerly waiting for the new St. Louis Zoo penguin exhibit to open for quite some time since many of the penguins from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago were relocated to the St. Louis Zoo. During our first year of dating (7 years ago!), Aaron “adopted” one of the penguins in my name, so we knew visiting STL was in the cards for us at some point. When I asked Aaron what he wanted for his birthday, he suggested a weekend trip to St. Louis rather than a physical present. I happily agreed and off we went!

Rooster

We stopped for breakfast at Rooster which has some really amazing food! Though I’m not one for bloody mary’s, Aaron said his was phenomenal (though it didn’t come with the shorty chaser beer that we Illinois/Wisconsin folks are accustomed too).

The Proposal

After breakfast, we headed to the zoo and wandered around a bit. After arriving at the penguin exhibit, Aaron reminded me of the fact that male penguins will give a female penguin a pebble as way of choosing her as his mate for life. If the female penguin adds the pebble to her nest, the two become life-long partners. I nodded as I snapped a few shots of the swimming penguins with my camera. Then Aaron said that he thought he saw a penguin with a pebble. I start looking around I couldn’t see anything like that. Aaron kept insisting that I keep looking , and so I do for a minute. When I turn around to announce that I still couldn’t find anything, I realized he was down on one knee and proposing! I excitedly screamed yes (so excitedly, in fact, I interrupted his sweet words by screaming yes before he could finish—typical Kristy!) and starting jumping up and down :)

Since we were out of town, we opted to only tell our parents until we were home so that we could enjoy our weekend together without any distractions. The photo below was taken shortly after he proposed so we both look overly excited and dazed.

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The Celebration

Afterwards we celebrated in the most logical way—we headed to a brewery! We’ve been visiting breweries both near and far for several years now, and it’s definitely become one of our favorite must-do’s on every one of our trips. We stopped at Urban Chestnut Brewery and were happy to discover that they not only had delicious beer but also landjaeger! My Switzerland-born-and-raised grandma owned a school house in New Glarus, Wisconsin when I was get kid, and I remember getting landjaeger from there with my family. However, I rarely see it anywhere else, so it was a wonderful surprise.

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We continued our celebration over at Schafly Brewery and picked up tickets for their brewery tour. Since we had several hours to kill, we explored a few shops in St. Louis including a really cute record store where we bought Caribou’s newest record, aptly named “Our Love”. We then headed over to Firecracker Press to check out their beautiful space and collection of incredible prints.

Firecracker Press, I love you 💕

I made my purchases (two small prints, perhaps I’ll share photos once I get them framed), and it was back to Schafly!

On our way home, we stopped at a greasy spoon diner off the highway where we relished the remaining few hours of our incredible weekend together and talked about our adventures—past, present, and future. We laughed over the thought of our former selves being best friends while dating other people. We laughed at all of the silly stages of relationships that everyone goes through and the many memories that we already share with one another. And for the first time on the trip, I cried tears of joys. Salty tears of joy splashing into my greasy hashbrowns, and it was perfect.

After finishing our meal (and grabbing some slices of pie to-go, obviously), we jumped back in the car and listened to songs from a hilarious mix CD that Aaron had given me when we first met. We spent the remainder of the ride home dancing, laughing, singing and rapping.

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