The interactive map listing Madison coffee shops I have visited is finally here. Each location has a price point, rating and location information. 

I have yet to visit several coffee shops but I have many on my list that I will be going to after work these next few weeks. The options are endless and when I think about all of the espressos and chai tea lattes I will be drinking excitement boils up and my hand goes directly to my new coffee cup filled with earl grey tea. 

Growing up, coffee disgusted me. My parents drank one pot a morning - and consumed more at work. I remember spitting out my first taste of coffee and vowing I'd never drink it - that didn't last in college. Now, I can't live without it in the mornings. Coffee or tea has to be in my hand at least 30 minutes after I wake up if I'm to be productive. It's not an addiction. Well, maybe it is. 

No matter what you call it, it has lead me to experience more things in Madison or my European travels and dare I say, matured my palate

So here's the spiel: black coffee; no cream; no sugar; hold the to-go cup - I'm a snob that way. Cheers! 

A hectic schedule and exploring Madison are getting the best of me but I have many things scheduled to come! 

In the works right now:
  • Interactive map biking and running trails - if you have any suggestions on mapping applications please let me. I don't like how Google Maps doesn't allow you to follow a bike trail and forces you to highlight roads, ZeeMaps doesn't have a start and end point function. 

Things to be experienced and reported on: 
  • Ladies weekend out: a weekend with Laura, Brittany and Mari in Madison cooking meals, visiting bars and exploring Madison
  • Parents weekend: Elin, LeRoy and Moose take Madison
  • Dane County Fair
  • And yes, a campus tour of UW-Madison, I can pull of being 18 again... 
Tuesday was the day. 

I was going to embark on a journey to get to know more Madison residents while doing the most enjoyable act possible - eating. However the first Meet and Eat and the Villager Mall on Madison's South Side was cancelled due to projected storms

At each Meet and Eat, there three locations in total throughout the summer, Madison food carts and vendors congregate Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 - 7:30 p.m. The event began last year in the Meadowood neighborhood on the Southwest Side and this year the city of Madison and Madison Parks, the sponsors of the events, decided to expand to Villager Mall and St. Paul Lutheran Church on the North Side. 

On summer nights there is nothing like going out for a cheap meal and getting to know people in your community. All it takes is some guts and $5. 

If you go: 
             Meadowood Shopping Center
              5800 Raymond Rd.
              Thursdays: July 11, 18, 25;  Thursdays Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
              5:00 - 7:30 p.m. 

          Villager Mall
             2234 S. Park St. 
             Tuesdays: July 16, 23, 30
              5:00 - 7:30 p.m. 

             St. Paul Lutheran Church
             2126 N. Sherman Ave.              
             Tuesdays: Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27
              5:00 - 7:30 p.m. 
A1 centerpiece story for Saturday paper
I realize I just posted a blog entry regarding  my internship experience but this one goes out to my Verona Road (U.S. 18/151) construction story that the A1 Saturday centerpiece a week ago. 

The construction began July 1 and will revamp the Verona Road and Beltline interchange. If you are a Madison resident the news of the construction is not necessarily new news since it has been spoken about and tossed around by officials for more than a decade – the new news is that it finally began.

Wrapping my head around construction jargon was not easy, but it happened. 

Making orange traffic cones appear “sexy” as my editors wanted was nearly impossible, but it happened.

Read more about the construction if you are coming to the city or passing through. It’s not likely to affect your commute terribly, until next year, but I have noticed about 10 minutes delays when using the roads that are currently undergoing construction. 

For more information and updates on the Verona Road project visit  the Verona Road Project website managed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Thus far this summer I have been able to cover an array of topics including, but not limited to,  surgical operations, nature research, education, fitness and local government. The Wisconsin State Journal has really been a place for me to expand my reporting and interact with a variety of different sources. 

The State Journal has a staff smaller than that of other newsrooms I have worked in, but no matter the size the main goal of a newsroom is to inform and that is what the State Journal does. It knows its audience is intellectual, desires to be informed and is interested in changes the city and surrounding suburbs are facing.

Each day as an intern, no matter where you're located, you learn something new. Whether it's from a mistake, success or  something just clicks, there is always room for growth - even for full-time journalists. With each piece I write, I learn and that feeling never gets old.

So far all of my work has been print-based, but I hope to publish at least a few multimedia pieces this summer as well as that is a very big passion of mine. Below are a few articles I have written since the beginning of my internship at the Wisconsin State Journal.  For a complete list visit my portfolio or

It's an exciting time to be a journalist and I am excited to see where this field takes me. 

Spoiler: A fun piece on a Madison group that plays with fire - in a safe, controlled manner of course - is coming this weekend! Great photos, by John Hart, will accompany the piece. 

Now, read on and give me some page views. Please! 

UW Health participates in largest kidney swap ever performed in less than 40 days

Anna Kottke always had a deep admiration for her aunt, Susie Walters.

In 1993, Walters donated a kidney to Kottke’s mother, Bonnie Thoreson, after lupus began affecting her kidneys. In 2010, Thoreson began dialysis after the kidney failed a year earlier. Immediately, Kottke knew she needed to be tested to see if she was a match.

Verona Road construction to begin Monday

The daily commute may get longer with the $175 million, six-year Verona Road project beginning Monday.

While Madison-area residents are preparing to add time to their daily commutes, local businesses are bracing for the economic impact of limited access, route changes and frustrated drivers.

Madison Circus Space open, to hold open house

Local circus professionals and hobbyists balance inside German wheels, juggle clubs and could soon be twirling and shifting in the air from silks hanging from the ceiling.

After a rainy start, the curtain goes up on Make Music Madison

Make Music Madison, the city’s first summer solstice music festival, had a rough start Friday, with gusty winds and heavy rains. But by afternoon, the weather changed its tune for scores of musicians and hundreds of audience members.

Middleton's National Mustard Museum shrinking

The 21-year-old National Mustard Museum is on the move again. The museum, which moved from Mount Horeb to Middleton in 2009, is being condensed from two floors into one as soon as early August.

Permanent ban of alcohol at Olbrich Park and Reindahl Park is a possibility

The Madison City Council referred an ordinance to be reviewed by the Board of Park Commissioners that could permanently ban the consumption of alcohol at Olbrich and Reindahl parks.