What do you mean, No cheese!
Yesterday was our longest day so far as we gained an hour crossing into the Central time zone. We didn't get to our hotel until after midnight local time (past 1 a.m. back home) by time we drove from Indianapolis past Chicago, toured a museum, went to the game, and drove to Madison, Wisconsin. Wayne fell asleep in the back, while Ron and I struggled in the front seat to stay focused on the drive. This was the first time that we tacked on a bit of a drive after the game in an attempt to shorten today's trip to Minneapolis. I hope it is worth it, because I am exhausted this morning.
We learned that people take their driving seriously in this part of the USA. The speed limit in parts of Indiana was 70 mph and we were doing close to 80 as all kinds of vehicles zoomed past us. When we bypassed Chicago, the limit dropped down to 55, but we had to drive 70 to stay with the flow of traffic. Even then, we were regularly passed by cars on both sides of us (and we thought Quebec drivers went fast). Motorcyclists don't even need to wear helmets in some of these states. Imagine the damage a high-speed crash would do to your head.
Our first stop in Milwaukee was at the Harley-Davidson Museum. Not being a motorcycle enthusiast, I wasn't sold on the place, but it was very cool. It's a state-of-the-art museum and there was a lot to see. We only had time for an hour and a half tour. It was interesting to see how motorcycles have changed since the early 1990s. We took the self-guided audio tour and it was easily worth the extra four dollars. I was most interested in the company's years as part of AMF. It was a mixed blessing for Harley-Davidson. The company had money for research and development, but the product was often rushed out and of poor quality. Not to mention AMF was more known for making sporting goods. "Nobody wanted to buy a motorcycle made by a company more associated with bowling," was something I heard several times on the tour. At the time Harley also tried it's hand at snowmobiles, boats and other vehicles with no success. Wayne was in hog heaven!
Our next stop was Miller Park, home of the Brewers. For some reason, I thought this was going to be the stadium I liked the best on the tour. Although it is an impressive structure, it lacks the charm of Cleveland's, Cincinnati's, and Pittsburgh's parks. First of all, it isn't open like the others, and that has nothing to do with fact that it has a retractable roof. In the other parks when you are walking around the concourse, it's open to the outside of the park as well as the field. It's also not really in the downtown core and it lacks a beautiful skyline view through center field. Still as retractable roof stadium it puts the Rogers Centre to shame. At least it is open to the elements in center field, has big windows to let in natural light, takes a mere 10 minutes to close, and has natural grass.
The other difference was the crowd. There was a constant buzz in the stadium. Of course a pennant race and 42,000 people will do that. Perhaps the most amazing thing about Wednesday is that we were out of the parking lot and cruising on the highway within 15 minutes of getting in the car (the Senators and Ontario government could learn something here). Another great feature of the park was the kids section. There was a lot to do: a batting cage, a place to see how fast you pitch, another that allowed you to race to first against a digital player, a playground, and a sausage race where kids power the racers by pedaling.
Milwaukee is famous for its Racing Sausages, an in-game entertainment, where five people dressed up as sausages race while the crowd goes wild. It's also known for Berrnie the Brewer, a mustachioed mascot, who slides down a ramp into a fake pool when a Brewer hits a home run. He didn't get a chance to take the plunge yesterday except to signal the start of the game. It was another great pitching performance, as Zach Greinke improved to 12-4 with a perfect record at home. Our Canadian content was fulfilled when Brewer closer John Axford came out to slam the door emphatically in the ninth.
Now I did get into a little trouble when I decided to try the local food fare, The Bomber. It is a hamburger patty and Italian sausage patty on a pretzel bun topped with mushrooms, onions and cheese. I of course asked for it sans cheese, which is apparently unheard of. ("Are you sure you don't want cheese?") Wisconsin is known for its cheese, so much so that residents are affectionately called Cheeseheads. Oh well, we can't leave this state without offending people too. The Bomber, which I assume gets its name from the Brewers of the late 1970s (Bambi's Bombers) was absolutely delicious. It put my Fritos Chili Pie to shame. I had that concoction in Indianapolis. It was basically chili poured onto top of corn chips. It was better than it sounds. Trust me!