Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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Northern Exposure

CC and I journeyed to the Northern Wastes last week, also known as Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I use that phrase ‘Northern Wastes’ entirely in jest. Fact is, there is plenty to see and do there and we had a great time, as usual.

The centerpiece of our trip was a baseball game at Miller Park. The Milwaukee Brewers were playing the Pittsburgh Pirates, and while in baseball terms, that may not have seemed like a marquee matchup, it turned out to be a heck of an exciting game. It ended with all-star Corey Hart of the Brewers hitting a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 9th to give the home team a one-run victory, so all in all, it was quite a satisfying experience.

CC and I had attended a couple of games at Milwaukee’s old County Stadium, but this was her first trip (my second) to glitzy new Miller Park. The contrast between the two stadia could hardly be greater. County Stadium was a tired, unglamorous place that nevertheless retained some old-fashioned charm, including sections that still utilized the original wooden seats. Miller Park, on the other hand, displays a muscular, post-modern architectural style and all the comfort and amenities one expects from a modern facility, including terrific sightlines, comfortable seats, and a delightful profusion of cuisine options.

Though the venue may have changed completely, the vibe of the Milwaukee baseball crowd remains unchanged. It is the most tailgating crowd I’ve ever seen for a baseball game. A trip through the vast parking lot before the game takes one through cookout after cookout, frolic after frolic, camper after camper, tent after tent. You would be forgiven if you thought you’d wandered into the parking lot for a Wisconsin Badgers football game. On a day such as the day of our visit, it made no logical sense for so many people to be having such a good time on this endless, treeless, shadeless asphalt plane, yet it was a perfectly pleasant, friendly place to be. That parking lot vibe has become one of the things I always look forward to when heading to a Brewers home game.

This was the view from our seats:

This is Miller Park’s most striking design feature: a retractable roof, which was left open for our visit, resulting in moderately sunburned arms, face, and thighs for yours truly. I blame myself.

No Brewers game is complete without the always-gripping sausage race.

After the game, children by the dozens were allowed to run the bases. On the day of our visit, we were treated to an appearance by an unannounced celebrity: Timmy from South Park.

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