Golf, Miller and Baseball

Trip Start Apr 02, 2011
Trip End Sep 29, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Monday, May 23, 2011

I stayed in a Summerfield Suites in Franklin, WI. Not sure whether it was just this hotel, but I was very impressed with the newness and layout of the rooms/suites. However, I was extremely disappointed in the workmanship which went into building the facility. I heard people upstairs walking aound as the floors literally creeked. It was particularly disturbing at 6:00 am. Then the door slams began. Not the fault of the guests, it's a design flaw in the doors that meant they all slammed...not concucive to good sleep. Oh well, get up and get moving.

Looked outside and the ground was wet...and the sky overcast. I decided to wear jeans. I headed to a course I had read about called Tuckaway Country Club...looked beautiful. I decided to call the clubhouse from the parking lot to see if they were open, although there were lots of cars in the parking lot. I spoke to a nice lady who informed me that Tuckaway CC is a private facility and they had an outing today anyway. Oh well, she suggested Muskego Lakes about five miles away. I understand a better alternative might have been Deer Park, but I headed to Muskego Lakes. Course reminded me of Pontiac Elks, but not quite as nice. No cart path only despite last night's torrential downpour. I paired up with a guy named Jim. Nice local guy who helped me navigate the course, which is helpful if you've never played it before. Very wet. Later I learned the wetness was the only knock against this course...people say it's wet all the time. I played OK, but not great...89. By the time I got done, I wish I had worn shorts...turned out to be a beautiful day.

Nice folks in the clubhouse. They suggested the Miller Brewery Tour...are you kidding me???? I'm just mad I didn't think of it. Perfect. Got to Miller Brewing about 1:00 pm and joined their 1:00 o'clock tour. About 25 of us. Great tour. Interesting historical tour (by Andy) that included a trip to Frederick Miller's original caves where he kept his beers cold. I forgot that Miller bought Coors a few years ago. They brew a lot of beers here. And I always wondered why I couldn't drink them out of their I know why. They can fill 1500 cans a minute...even a drinker like me can't begin to keep up...and you can't either Jeff Samp, or Mike Petrinec much as we try! It's just demoralizing!

During the tour I noticed (and took a picture of a six-pointed star on one of the buildings)...I asked the tour guide, "Was Frederick Miller Jewish?" He laughed and said, no, "Staunch Catholic." The six-sided star represents the six ingredients going into beer...water, hops, grain (either corn, wheat or rice usually), malt (which is actually processed barley), yeast and the brew meister! Only got that question one other time he said...I notice the strangest things!

They give you three free beers at the end of the tour. Oh, yea! They're small beers, but good enough...and the price is right! Had a good conversation with a couple who were going to be married soon. She just got her MS in some medical field at Marquette...he was following her here from their hometown in New Jersey.

Then I headed to downtown Milwaukee. Passed by Miller Park...very impressive even from the outside. But my goal was a Milwaukee standard; Mader's Restaurant. What a cool old world German restaurant which has been there more than a hundred years. It was 2:30 or so, so the place was almost empty. They serve the absolute best German food by waitresses in old-world German clothing. Great atmosphere. Everybody and his dog has their picture on the wall if you're headed toward the restroom. Bill Clinton, Frank Sinatra, Red Skelton Muhammed Ali, you name them and they have all eaten there. The bartender suggested the Ruben Rolls...(only had an room for more)...and with their special mustard...outstanding!!! If you go to Milwaukee, you must go there! Awesome place...I like the Bayern Stube in Gibson City, IL, but this is even better...if for atmosphere alone (sorry Kate)!

Then it was off the Miller Park. I changed into shorts for the game. Very pleasant evening. Parking was effortless and pretty cheap $15. I was in a tailgate lot. Apparently they like to tailgate a lot up here! Everyone had fires going, drinking and playing bags (or do you call it corn hole like they do at Purdue?). It was a very festive atmosphere. I got a great seat for $50 - 11 rows behind the Washington National's batters box. And no one around me for three innings. Absolutely beautiful ballpark with the largest scoreboard in the Majors. The crowd was small...22,000. The place holds 43K...but it was a Monday night and it was the Nationals. Got to see the kid from Springfield, Jason Werth again and ex-Cub Tom Gorezlany was pitching. The Brewers jumped on top in the first and never looked back. Corey Hart (the baseball player, not the guy who sang, "I Wear My Sunglasses At Night") hit three home runs for the Brew Crew. And I got to see (from a distance), one of the best baseball announcers in the buiness; Bob Ueker. Just the guys now, "Juuuust a bit outside....Ball 8...Ball12...How are these guys laying off these pitches?" (In the vernacular of the youth of today...LMAO!) Final, Brewers 11 - Nationals 3. I am now 9-5 for the home team.

Caught up with a kid about 8-years old on the way to my car...had his glove, Brewers jersey and hat...and I asked him if he got a ball tonight...he turned and said,"No, sir." He actually said, "No, sir." "Well, catch this one!" I said. And he did. I thought his Mom was going to cry as she thanked me. I told her, "It's about the kids." Very cool.

Then it was, as Willie Nelson says, "On The Road Again." One thing about these new ballparks. They have put most of them very near Interstates and Miller Park was no less than10 minutes, I was on I-94 West heading toward Minneapolis. I got out of the park between 10:00 and 10:30 and figured I'd try to make it to Eau Claire...about 3 to 3 and a half hours away. Great drive. Let me tell you, you know you are in Wisconsin when you are driving and surfing the radio for something interesting to listen to and come across a station that plays polka music...All Polka, All the Time! It was fun to listen to for a while, but polka music is like castor oil...a little bit goes a long way. It was good for 10-15 minutes of distraction. Sure is dark driving up here! Not as bad as Canada, but dark!

Made it to Eau Claire about 2:00 am and found a Holiday Inn...nice guy behind the counter gave me the State Farm Discount, and I was in my room and out like a light. This is an old-time Holiday Inn. Big. They have updated the carpeting, wallpaper, bathrooms, beds and bed spreads. Old, but well run..very clean. (Sorry, but once in the hotel business, always in the hotel business.) Drove Sandy nuts sometimes when I did a room inspection on a hotel room in which we were staying. It's an instinct now. You never get it out of your blood.

Only about 90 minutes from Minneapolis, so an easy drive tomorrow. Looking forward to visiting Target Field. And as the business phrase goes, "at the end of the day" golf, a brewery tour (from my brand even) and baseball...not sure it gets any better than this!

Have I told you that I enjoy retirement? Well, I do!!!
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