Trip to the US - part 3

A beautiful evening for a ball game

Ok. I am finally doing the last entry for our US trip this summer. I know that I am way late, but I have had terrible computer problems the last two weeks. Right now I have switched to my old PC to do this blog while my regular computer is sitting disconnected in the corner. My misadventures will be in another blog post.

The last week that I was in the US, we had arranged for Mickey to come out to visit Wisconsin at the same time. I did get a chance to see him while we were in Boise, but we had the same problem that came up this spring around Tim's graduation. Mickey couldn't have us over to his house. And we just had a hotel room. So there was really nowhere to get together and just hang out. We did go to lunch and dinner several times while in Boise. But the solution was similar to the one with Tim. Meet somewhere else. We got Mickey a ticket on Southwest Airlines and he flew out to Chicago. HP was nice enough to rent us a car for a few days (this was our official home leave) so I drove down to Midway Airport to pick him up. Not the nicest neighborhood around there. But I guess I lived really close by when I was born. My dad told me that he used to walk with me to the end of the runway and we would watch the planes land. I was only a year old then. He said they would fly right overhead and were really loud.

Hard Core Brew Crew


Since Mickey had never even seen downtown Chicago we drove east and took the freeway back through downtown. We got to see the Sears Tower and the Hancock Building. We had quite nice views actually, as the traffic was completely jammed up and stopped frequently so we could admire the scenery. But we finally made it out and up to Milwaukee and my parents house.

My dad had gotten tickets way ahead of time for the Brewer game the next day. Mom, Dad, Mickey and I all went to watch them play the Mets. Tom Glavine was going for his 300th win and pitched really well. He left the game with a 2-1 lead. But the Brewers tied it in the eighth inning on a double by Bill Hall, and Geoff Jenkins hit a home run to win 4-2 in the bottom of the thirteenth inning. A well played and really exciting game. My second time at Miller Park and the first time I saw the Brewers win.

Mickey challenges one of the sausages to a race

Mickey was ready to go back the very next day, but I wanted to take a night off. We went out to dinner at Barbierie's, an Italian restaurant that was one of my main hangouts when I was going to college. I played softball several nights a week and I would go there with my friends after the games. So Mickey and I went with my parents and my sister Lorri and her husband Keith. The place hasn't changed and the food was still delicious. They have the best garlic bread with probably the most butter of any place I have ever eaten. Not exactly health food, but really good. Mickey also got to enjoy other Milwaukee delicacies on this trip, like Ned's pizza and my parent's World Famous Polish Spaghetti (if you don't know what that is, you probably don't want to know). But Mickey was hooked and requested Polish Spaghetti when he had an extra night in Milwaukee on his way home.

Then it was back to baseball. We went down to Miller Park the next day and bought tickets for the next two games, a Thursday afternoon and a Friday night game. While we were there we ate lunch at Friday's Front Row Grill, a restaurant that actually has its seating in left field. We got to watch some of the players practicing. It would be a cool way to watch a game. The only bad news was that while we were there I could feel my throat getting scratchy. The cold that Mickey had when he got to Milwaukee he had been kind enough to share with me. I ended up being on heavy decongestants and antihistamines for the rest of the trip. I was pretty much ok by the time I got home to Singapore though.

Mickey watching batting practice

Thursday afternoon was another beautiful day to be at the ballpark, but it wasn't such a good game. The Brewers got clobbered 12-4 by the Mets. I guess they were mad about the Brewers coming from behind the other night. Oh well, you can't win them all.

On our way into the stadium we ran into the sausages running through the parking lot. Mickey was able to get a picture with one of them after a brief mascot-to-mascot discussion. The costumes for the sausages seemed tough to run in. They were even more awkward than Mickey's Humphrey the Hawk costume that he wears at Boise Hawks games. Mickey was sure that Humphrey could beat all of them easily in a race. If he had brought his costume, I wonder if they would have let him join the sausage race? Probably only if he didn't let them know that the Hawks are a Cubs farm team.

Mickey gives Bernie Brewer some tips

Friday was a better game. We came early for autograph night. We got there just as the park opened, but that wasn't good enough. You had to get there early and be lined up so you could be one of the first ones in the park. Then you could dash for one of the autograph stations. We tried waiting in line for over half an hour and were getting close to where Ned Yost was signing autographs, but he quit while we were still over ten people from the head of the line. Gallardo pitched a great game that night and the Brewers beat the Phillies 2-1. For this game we tried sitting on the third base side on the mezzanine level. All the other games we had been in the middle deck on the first base side. It was a different perspective, and it took us a couple of innings to get used to it. It's embarassing when you start cheering for a home run and the shortstop ends up catching a pop up. During the game we ran into Bernie Brewer. Mickey gave him a few professional pointers on how to be a better mascot.

And that was about it. It was good to catch a few Brewer games, especially since they won a couple. They have an exciting team this year. Since I set up a Sling Box at my parents house, I was able to watch some of their games from Singapore when I got home. It's too bad that they didn't quite make it to the playoffs, but at least they had a winning season for the first time in many years. And since their players are young, they should still get better (if they can afford to keep them.) So it will be fun to watch them over the next couple of seasons.