Thursday, June 28, 2012
Game Day in Beer City - Milwaukee, Part 2
We've been eating a drinking in Milwaukee for a little while now. Let’s turn to something else the city does very well…sports!
Baseball is our sport. One of our travel goals is to see each Major League stadium. There are 30 of them altogether. Our main reason…but not the only one…to visit Milwaukee is to notch our 22nd stadium, Miller Park.
Watch the Video!
Before that, we spend a little time seeing the city along the fantastic Riverwalk that winds through downtown. We do a bit of pub crawling…which you can see in more detail in this week’s Cocktail Hour, TheMilwaukee Pub Crawl. Go ahead, click on that link and check it out. We’ll be here when you get back…
One of our rules for stadium trips is that Tim makes all the arrangements for tickets. At Miller Park, there is no good public transit, so Tim also buys a parking pass which you can buy in advance for $9 if you’re handicapped…normally $15 on weekend games at the gate.
Turns out we could have gone on our hotel’s shuttle for free but that’s one to grow on. Maybe next time.
Being an idiot, I had left our handicapped parking placard back on our car’s rearview mirror which was now sitting in the parking lot of the airport in Ontario, California. Luckily, at the gate, I was able to show the parking attendant the wheelchair in the back and explain what a moron I was and he let us in.
We were directed to park in the tailgating area. Here in Milwaukee, that means something. Approximately 6 – 7,000 people surrounded us, barbecuing, drinking, playing games, and generally having a good time. It’s said to be the largest tailgate party anywhere in baseball. I believe it.
We spend a little time exploring the stadium and visiting the gift shop where Tim and I buy t-shirts to wear for the game. You might notice that my shirt does not say “Brewers” on it. Instead, it says “Cerveceros.” More on that in a bit.
Come game time, we find our seats up above third base in the upper deck. We’re up pretty high but the views are still fantastic. A friend of mine from high school meets us at the game and we spend the next three hours catching up on the thirty plus years since we’ve seen each other. It was a great time.
As far as the game went, tonight was Cerveceros Night where the team celebrates Hispanic heritage by changing the team name for a day (the visitors were the Piratas from Pittsburgh), playing mariachi and Latin music, and bringing out a special jalapaño mascot for the evening.
The Brewers…er, Cerveceros…handily beat the Piratas 5-1 during this evening’s game, putting a win in the middle of a losing streak.
You can see more of our thoughts on the stadium at our Field of Dreams report on Miller Park (click on either of those links).
The next morning, after another delicious breakfast at the wonderful Ambassador Hotel, we jump on the freeway and head north a little more than 100 miles.
In a spot where I see nothing but endless trees and very little evidence of civilization, there’s a sign that says “Lambeau Field Next Exit.” We have ended up in the pretty town of Green Bay.
Not very well signed from the exit, nevertheless we finally do see the stadium lights (it’s pretty much the highest point in town) and make our way over.
Home of the Green Bay Packers, there are stadium tours given almost everyday. In the Atrium connected to the side of the stadium, there is also an extensive gift shop and a restaurant.
We’re here for the tour and to meet my friend afterward for lunch. We find out the history of the team, founder Curly Lambeau, and legendary coach Vince Lombardi. The team has won more championships than any other in the NFL. The gift shop sells more items than any other gift shop, in any sport, in the world.
The guide then tells us that NFL rules prohibit us from videotaping in the stadium itself, so we must rely on our still camera to tell the rest of the story.
The grass is embedded with plastic strands to keep it from getting worn out and having to be constantly replaced. 90% of the seats are just plain flat bleachers. After the current renovation is complete, it will have the second highest capacity after Dallas.
It’s a fun tour and lunch at Curly’s Pub is delicious. Now, it’s time to pack it up, head back to Milwaukee, and move on to our next destination.
Copyright 2012 – Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved
Photos by Letty Musick
Copyright 2012 – Letty Musick
All Rights Reserved