Not many campuses are situated on an isthmus and not many people can even pronounce the word “isthmus.” I like to consider myself lucky because my campus at the University of Wisconsin is located on the isthmus between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, and I have finally figured out how to pronounce “isthmus.” After months of experimenting and hours spent in the lab, I was able to come up with the perfect formula of how to pronounce the word. Say the words “is” and “miss” with a lisp. It works. Trust me, I’m a FIB.
Although the lakes are thawed out for only a couple months at the beginning and tail end of the school year, they provide some of the most memorable days OF YOUR FREAKING LIFE. A lot of these memories are thanks to the Memorial Union Terrace. It is one of the coolest places to kick it lakeside this side of the Mississippi.
Located on Langdon Street on the lakefront of Mendota you will find Memorial Union in all its glory. Walking through the doors of the Union, you take a left. Woah, look! It’s the Daily Scoop, an ice cream shop! Cool beans! You get blue moon ice cream just because it tastes like Froot Loops and keep walking. On your right is Der Rathskeller for all of your burger and brat needs. And for those of you who don’t habla German, Der Rathskeller is German for… The Rathskeller. Crazy language. Moving on, you purchase a brat or two – or seven – and you continue through Der Rathskeller until you reach an automatic door. You say, “Open sesame.” The door slides open, not thanks to technology, but thanks to the magic of the Terrace. You take a step out and cannot believe your eyes.
What are these colorful metal chairs? And all of these pitchers on everyone’s tables, could it be beer? Nahhh…yeahhh! Welcome to the beautiful Terrace! With three tiers of seating in colorful chairs that provide a great lakefront view, what is not to love about this place?
The view is magnificent, but that is not all the Terrace brings to the table. Starting from the top tier, the Union’s back porch has abundant seating and includes a giant version of one the Terrace’s brightly colored “starburst” chairs. It is usually reserved for the largest offensive lineman on the football squad or tourists taking pictures of themselves throwing up peace signs.
On the second tier, you will find more seating and a stage, where you can hear live music during open mic and the Terrace After Dark series in the summer. It is a treat for the ears that goes well with beers, beers you can find along with more brats at stands set up outside at either end of the Terrace.
Continuing to the third level, you can post up at a picnic table right on the edge of the water or even let your feet dangle from the white docks jutting out into Mendota. Part of this third level also constitutes a small portion of Lakeshore Path where many babes like to go jogging on hot sunny days, so it’s not a bad spot for people watching. In the event you get too hot, no worries. You can cool your jets in the lake at the swimming area set up on the side of one of the docks.
With so much to offer, it is no wonder the Terrace is number one in your programs and number one in your hearts. It is the perfect combination of water, beer and brats, although I wouldn’t recommend actually mixing those because it would taste pretty bad. So, come on out to the Terrace while it is still warm as balls rather than cold as balls. The ball’s in your court.
Hayes Cascia ([email protected]) is a junior with an undeclared major.