I started early on day 4. I was still in Chicago and could not for the life of me stop singing “Go Cubs Go” (don’t you hate when that happens?). Before leaving Chicago and heading North I had one more stop….the United Center (United Center, Wiki) home of the Chicago Bulls. Not that I’m a big Bulls fan but I had to see the place where the greatest player of all time (NC born and bread 🙂 played for many years….
After that I hit I-94. Next stop, Brew Town USA….Milwaukee. I arrived in Milwaukee around noon which gave me some time to look around before the Brewers game in the evening. After driving around downtown and checking out the waterfront areas, beaches and the North Point Lighthouse (North Point Lighthouse, Wiki) I toured the Pabst Mansion (Pabst Mansion, Wiki). This was the mansion built by Captain Frederick Pabst (1836-1904), founder of the Pabst Brewing Company. It was nice for sure but I will admit I am quite jaded when it comes to opulent homes having grown up 18 miles from the Biltmore Estate (Biltmore Estate, Wiki, Images) and having toured it many times. But the Pabst Mansion was very nice and I took advantage of the 360 camera to get some good pictures of the inside (check out the pictures at the link below).
When I finished the Pabst Mansion tour I had about 2 hours before the game. So I searched on Google for things I could see close to the ballpark and I’ll give you 3 guesses what come up close to Miller Field….you guessed it, the Miller Brewery Tour! 🙂 It was only 5 minutes from the ballpark, which was good, but the best thing (for me) was that it was FREE! Yeah baby! (ha ha). I have to say, like beer / don’t like beer, whatever, it was very interesting to hear the history of Miller Brewing, the Frederick Miller family and to see the beer making process on such a massive scale (see the pic below). It started with a short video on the history, then a brief tour of the manufacturing process, then on the distribution warehouse (wow!) and then a tour of one of the historic “caves” where they used to keep the beer cool. At the last stop, where we were given three free samples, I had a great conversation with two guys and a girl. The girl, who was from Milwaukee, was married to one of the guys, who was from Spain. The other guy, also from Milwaukee, was a lifelong friend of the girl. We sat there and talked like we were all life long friends….it was great. They were also going to the game that evening. So we said our goodbyes and said maybe we’d see each other later.
Remember that I was only 5 minutes from the field? Well, that was 5 minutes from the parking lot for the field. The walk from the parking lot to the field was another 10 minutes :-0, so I made it to my seat during the 1 inning. About the only thing that this field and game had in common with last nights field/game was grass and uniforms. Pretty much everything else was different. The fields are very different and the atmosphere was very different (my apologies to Milwaukeeans but Cubs fans are hard to beat for passion and intensity. All that aside, the Brewers do have a beautiful field, a descent team and fans that love and support them. Unfortunately my string of home team wins ended at 2 as the Brewers got pounded by the Cardinals 10-2. And here I thought I was good luck for the home team after the Indians and Cubs wins…oh well, I guess you can’t win them all.
Note: I apologize for the huge picture insert. I’m still trying to figure out how to size them as 360 is new to WordPress.
And no trip to Miller Park would be complete without 2 things….Bernie Brewer sliding down the slide after a home run (unfortunately I didn’t get to see this so I included someone else’s video from Youtube) and the world famous :-)….RACING SAUSAGES!!! (Racing Sausages, Wiki)
After the game I was still pretty jazzed up so I decided to drive on up to Green Bay…why not?
The next morning I was excited to pay homage to the man who is arguably the greatest football coach ever and the field where it all happened….Vince Lombardi (Wiki) and Lambeau Field (Wiki) The history of the Green Bay Packers (Green Bay Packers) is pretty amazing and it is also very amazing that a city with only 100,000 people has supported this team since 1919! Another amazing thing about the Packers, that many do not know, is that it is the only publicly owned team in the NFL. The Packers organization has been owned by common citizens since August 18, 1923. It’s a really cool story and most likely the reason why the Packers have been able to survive all these years.
The I arrived early and was able to get into the next tour (it was packed by the time I left). I have to say the tour was really good. They recently completed a renovation adding many new seats and suites but keeping the original field (of course). Our guides (Dan & Dave) were great and very knowledgeable. Here’s a couple of interesting things I learned….there is more than 30 miles of radiant heating pipe under the field. This is how they keep it from freezing on the very, very cold Green Bay Sundays. If you’re familiar with the Ice Bowl (1967 NFL Championship Game between Dallas and Green Bay where it was -13 at game time) it was the only time the field has ever frozen as the piping failed. The other thing I learned is that the field has synthetic fibers woven into the grass and they use giant growing lights above it 24 hours a day in the winter to keep the grass green and health year round. Modern technology in a 60 year old field….pretty amazing.
For some reason we were told that we could take any pictures we wanted but no panoramics. Now, if you follow me on Facebook you know how much I like panoramics. But I was a good boy and followed the rules….until we stepped on the field, then I could not resist. But “technically speaking” I didn’t actually break the panoramic rule as I took a 360 picture instead….tomato, tomoto. ha ha
To view ALL pictures related to this blog click here: Milwaukee & Green Bay – US & BC Trip 2017
To view ALL videos related to this blog click here: Milwaukee & Green Bay – US & BC Trip 2017