Neither by brother nor my dad have shaved since the Brewers got into the playoffs. I’m not sure why. Some kind of good luck charm? Yesterday they both sent me photos of their beard progress. Looks like my brother is winning in bushiness, but my dad is winning in whiteness! My dad gets bonus points for sending a photo of himself wearing a Brewers shirt, although the Badgers were playing yesterday and maybe that’s why my brother is wearing red. As a side note, yesterday the Badgers killed the Hoosiers, 59-7, and remain unbeaten.
Currently the Brewers are battling the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League Championship. The standings are 3-2 with Game 6 at Miller Park today. I do not normally cheer for the Brewers, but since the Cubs are way out of it, maybe I’ll cheer for the Brewers as a second team. The Packers play the St. Louis Rams today at Lambeau. I hope WI can win over both of the St. Louis teams! Add in the Badgers, what a great time to be a Wisconsin sports fan!
Last weekend was my 3rd annual visit to Miller Park to see the Cubs take on the Brewers. Sara, Kristin and Cousin met me at my house for the drive up to Milwaukee. Alden was at his parent’s house in the Milwaukee suburbs and was going to meet us at the game. Except, when I went out to the garage to leave, this is what I found:
Ok. Plan B. Kristin drove to my house so we took her car to my brother’s house. Then we switched cars because his fit all of us in it and he had a premium parking pass.
Note to self: Don’t place the jalapeno poppers on the grill this way. We lost a few!
My brother also bought and prepared all of our tailgating stuff and we threw in money on it. I was expecting a few brews, a few sausages, some cheese curds… but he went all out! We had fresh, homemade guacamole, brats, Italian sausages, some jalepeno poppers, three kinds of cheese curds, a ton of chips and all the condiments. We had not only one, but TWO grills! Also, not one but TWO kinds of cookies. I made a chocolate mint one and some snickerdoodles.
Also, my brother didn’t just grab a case of Miller Lite and call it a day. He brought so many different Wisconsin microbrews. I took photos of some of them. I think there were a few more that I didn’t get. A Leinies one for sure, but I can’t remember which. These are the ones I know for sure:
We mixed the Sand Creek Hard Lemonade together with the New Glarus Belgian Red and it was so delicious. It tasted like a tart juice.
Richard, Rachelle, Danny
Danny and Caroline were tailgating nearby with Caroline’s parents and they came over to visit for a while. I meant to go visit their tailgate but got caught up in our stuff. Sorry!
Sara & Alden. Check out all the Cubs fans!
The weather was perfect. A little windy, but sunny and very comfortable. My brother brought his urban horseshoes/washers game and we played that for a bit. Somebody (not me) managed to toss a washer down the sewer, but otherwise it was a fun game. I guess a sewer hazard is appropriate for urban horseshoes. Sara had never tailgated before and had never played urban horseshoes and had never been to Miller Park, so it was fun to show her the ropes!
AAA to the rescue!
After two games of urban horseshoes it was time to head in for the baseball game. We packed everything into the car and my brother was going to roll the window up… well, I mean press the button that puts the window up. Time for car problem #2! His battery was dead and we couldn’t put the window up. We tried to have the guy next to us jump our car (note to Alden’s mom, he didn’t jump ON our car), but it didn’t work. We tracked down the free AAA service at Miller Park and somehow the guy got our car started. We then had to run it between 10-20 minutes to make sure it would start later on when we wanted to leave. We ended up missing 2 innings of the game, but at least we got it sorted out.
On the walk to the stadium, we found this file folder on the ground. For some reason it was HILARIOUS. Someone had made this folder, slipped in their tickets, and filed it somewhere up until VERY recently. The 7 almost looks like a 9. Very dangerously close to going on the wrong day! We made up a lot of stories about this folder before throwing it back on the ground.
Ok. Inside the park, finally, we were headed for our seats when we ran into these degenerates:
Lycke, Trent, Biefel
And I mean degenerate! They had been drinking since about noon (it was a 6pm start for the game) and it showed! I ran into them a couple times, actually. They didn’t have seats even. Just standing room tickets.
Miller Park at Sunset
Miller Park Scoreboard
Sara had a hankering for some ballpark nachos so we asked a lady where she got hers and scoped it out. They were no ordinary ballpark nachos, though. They were piled high with meat and peppers and everything. We picked up a couple Lites and a couple Leinies Honey Weiss while we were up. Actually, that was the only beer I had all game. One beer, because I thought I was driving back to Chicago.
Miller Park Sausage Race
Miller Park Sausage Race
It was a gorgeous night in the ballpark. I brought a light long sleeved shirt but I didn’t even wear it. During the 6th inning, the sausage came running out right in front of us.
Miller Park Sausage Race
I cheered for chorizo like always, and Sara cheered for chorizo as well. Too bad he got spanked! Polish sausage smoked everyone!
Take Me Out To The Ball Game, Roll Out The Barrel
During the 7th inning stretch they played Take Me Out To the Ball Game, but the people who’d never been to a ballpark in Wisconsin were surprised with the Roll Out the Barrel follow-up song!
A few notes on the players:
1. I really wish the player called Corey Hart would play Sunglasses at Night for his at-bat song.
2. Alfonso Soriano was fielding right in front of us and gave Sara a nod when she was screaming “FOOOONNNNZIIIIEEEEE GO FOOONZIIIIIIIIEEEE!!!!” I don’t know much about Soriano, only that he wears the tightest pants in the MLB.
Miller Park Scoreboard
3. I love the scoreboard at Miller Park, which is new this year. It shows a huge photo of each player when they’re at bat and shows the stats so far for each player. Sara taught me what Strikeout Looking is when a guy’s stats said at one at bat he struck out swinging and at another turn he struck out looking. She definitely knows a lot more about baseball and the Cubs than I do, but the big board definitely helped me keep track of what was going on and helped me get to know the players better.
The Wrigley Field Road Tour
In the stadium there must have been a hundred(s?) of people wearing this same red tshirt. They’d biked to Miller Park from Wrigley Field in Chicago for The Wrigley Field Road Tour. I think I’d have been sleeping in the stands if I’d done that.
In the end, the Cubs lost 4-6. They made a rally in the 8th inning when they made 3 runs, but it wasn’t enough. The Brewers actually swept the Cubs in the series. But that’s ok. We all still had a great time.
Miller Park at Night
After the game I had to go to the bathroom so I said I’d just meet people at the car. I didn’t even make it to the car when I found that everyone I was with had made new friends and was drinking all their beer. After the game is pretty much like another big tailgate. We’d run out of beer, so how convenient that these fans were willing to share. They didn’t want to share with the Cubs fans, but they were convinced when I broke out the extra cookies I’d baked. Also, they liked that Alden and I were from Wisconsin. Also, we met a couple from Milwaukee whose daughter lives a few blocks from Alden in Chicago. Alden asked if the guy would put in the good word with his daughter, but the guy said the daughter was getting married in a matter of weeks. He said he’d let Alden know in October if it didn’t work out. He also asked that Alden please refrain from stalking his daughter now that her location had been revealed!
Sobriety isn’t an accident, but getting drunk many times is!
I drove the car back to my brother’s because he’d had a few too many. On the way Alden was texting his mom and she invited us over for more drinks, but I vetoed that plan. My brother and cousin and Alden were all for it. Of course, because they were the drunkest ones! My brother was busy typing Alden’s parent’s address into the GPS and when it was shouting out instructions it was so confusing to get back to my brother’s place! It would have been fun to visit the Almagro family, but it was getting late, especially since we still had to drive to Chicago. At my brother’s house we all made a pit stop. Alden had a special moment with Milo, the dog, and then we were off to Chicago. I thought I’d be driving but Kristin insisted. We all knocked pretty hard on wood and it worked because that car made it home without incident. I think we got home at about midnight? Long night, but so fun! Thanks to all my friends for making it a fun day and special thanks to my brother for organizing the tailgate and getting the tickets for us! A new set of washers in IN THE MAIL!!!
On Saturday my brother Richard came down from Wisconsin and we went to see the Cubs take on the Reds. This was his first time to Wrigley Field. My brother is a big Brewers fan and goes to Miller Park many times each season, so the Wrigley experience was quite different.
We took the bus to the train to get to the park and before meeting up with Brian and Jill we took a walk around the park so I could show him the statues of Harry Caray, Ernie Banks and Billy Williams. We even ran into the Cubs Dixieland Band. They were sitting just below us at the game too. Also, I just wanted him to see how different Wrigley is in that it sits right in a neighborhood. It’s not a big parking lot you drive into and tailgate. There people everywhere; streets closed; bars, restaurants, pop-up vendors; Billy Cub, the wannabe mascot; the rooftops. I think of Wrigley Field as very historic, like Lambeau Field. Wrigley is 97 years old. While Miller Park is very nice, it’s only 10 years old, so it just has a more modern feeling.
Richard & Rachelle
The Brewers are leading our division and the Cubs are so far behind that my brother didn’t really feel bad cheering for a Cubs win. And win they did! The Cubs had an 11-4 victory over the Reds. It was their 7th in a row win, which is the longest winning stretch since 2008.
Irish Car Bombs
Richard’s first Irish Car Bomb
During the game we played the dollar cup game (I don’t know what it’s called!). I think I lost more than I won. I remember Jill getting a bunch of doubles and taking out and Brian got a home run once and emptied the cup! At the end of the game there was a bunch of money left. I’ve only played this game once before and at the end we bought beer and wings. This time Brian suggested shots! We went across the street to Club 162 (the old Harry Caray’s) and were trying to figure out what to get when it was revealed that my brother never had an irish car bomb before. So, that’s what we got. And wouldn’t you know it? He finished first!
After this we walked over to Jill and Brian’s house and got Halle and headed to Retro on Roscoe. More on that later!