You probably know that Wisconsin is the Badger State due to our University Athletics mascot, Bucky Badger. However, you may not know why it is called the Badger State. Believe it or not, we have very few badgers in the state. Wisconsin is called the Badger State because in the early days mining was the largest industry here, and the miners were called “badgers” because they burrowed into the ground like their animal namesake. In the harsh Wisconsin winters the miners would actually live in the mines to escape the cold.
When the miners went to work, they brought with them a type of food called a cornish pasty, because it would stay hot in their lunch pail until they were ready to eat. A pasty is basically a small loaf of bread stuffed with meat and vegetables.
Why am I telling you this? Because you can still try out a pasty not far from the YAPC::NA 2012 campus. About 7 blocks from the campus you can have a Teddywedger, which is the modern form of the old-style cornish pasty. In the morning you can get them filled with eggs and cheese, or eggs and vegetables. In the afternoon and evening you can get them filled with the traditional meat and potatoes, or you can go with non-traditional fillings like chicken-pot-pie, pizza, steak and onions, and more.
On the bottom floor they have an archive of the history of mustard. You’ll be amazed by all the things you didn’t know about mustard. In addition, they even have jars of actual mustard dating back to over 100 years.
On the top floor they have the most amazing selection of mustards for purchase you have ever seen, literally hundreds of types of mustards. And best of all, you can sample any mustard in the store whether you intend to buy or not.
You will have to take a bus, a cab, or drive though, because the National Mustard Museum is about 6 miles from the YAPC facilities. It’s worth the effort. This is a possible destination for the Spouses Program.
A number of people have expressed interest in a family or kids program similar to our Spouses Program. Unfortunately, after consulting with an attorney, this cannot happen due to liability issues. Likewise, for both logistics and legal reasons we really cannot have children at any YAPC sponsored activities. Therefore, we cannot have a family/kids program at YAPC.
However, we realize that some of you still would like to make a vacation out of your trip to Madison. So while we cannot directly support a family program, we can provide you with copious amounts of information about the family-friendly things you can do in and around Madison before, during, and after YAPC. So we’ve decided to add a family fun page to the web site that we’re building with links to tourist information, activities like The Madison Children’s Museum and the Vilas Zoo, and more.