Thursday, August 9, 2012
Day two in Milwaukee
I’d never been to Milwaukee, Wisc., before. And I’d forgotten it was home to one of my favorite shows from my younger years, “Happy Days.”
I was reminded shortly after our arrival, when we decided to do some sightseeing prior to the baseball game.
As Don (Brooks), Terry (Hoffman) and I started the Riverwalk, there was a bronze statue of “The Fonz,” one of the well-known characters from the TV sitcom that aired from 1974 to 1984.
As typical of the character, the life-size statue of Arthur Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler) is giving two thumbs up.
“Laverne and Shirley,” a spinoff of “Happy Days,” was filmed there, too.
The clouds were threatening as we walked in downtown Milwaukee. I stopped to take a photo, with my iPhone, along the Milwaukee River with tall buildings in the background. I sent it to Pam, via text. “Beautiful” was her reply.
We got caught out in the rain – with no umbrellas. We walked fast at times and took cover under some awnings and even inside one interesting business – a ping-pong bar. Located in the Historic Third Ward, it’s called “SPiN Milwaukee” and features ping-pong tables, a restaurant, bar and more. We just stayed in the front until the downpour changed to sprinkles.
We made it to our eating destination a little before its opening – Ryan Braun’s Graffito. In case you’re not a baseball fan, Braun is the most popular of the Milwaukee Brewers and last year’s league MVP.
We were the first customers of the evening. The menu was interesting to say the least. We asked the waiter for his recommendations.
I decided to go with a pasta called Pappardelle. Its ingredients were duck ragu, duck prosciutto, cremini mushrooms, parmigiano and fresh herbs. I could barely pronounce the dish or some of the ingredients but I like new experiences when dining. It was very good. And the bread was even better.
After the early dinner, we walked back to the block where our hotel was located and caught the second available shuttle from downtown to the baseball stadium.
We were glad blue skies had returned. We wanted Miller Park’s retractable roof to remain open.
Once inside, I was in awe. I have not been to a lot of major league baseball parks but this one has to be one of the best. Our seats were great – a few rows up from the field, to the right of home plate, with an excellent view.
The matchup itself, between the Brewers and the Washington Nationals, wasn’t great. The Nats, one of the top teams in baseball this year, dominated. We stayed until the end, hoping for a dramatic comeback. The final was 8-2.
Attendance was 33,176 – amazing considering the Brewers were in a losing streak – seven straight. Obviously, Milwaukee loves its Brewers.
Our wait for the return shuttle was a bit longer. We were in no rush and enjoyed talking to complete strangers, including a group wearing San Francisco Giant caps. They seemed out of place, but like us, they just loved baseball and visiting different parks.
Day two of our Major League Baseball tour, from downtown Milwaukee to the ball park, was definitely a thumbs up.
(Editor’s Note: The trip to Wrigley Field in Chicago will be featured next week.)
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