So when I used to work in NY, co-workers would (good natured-ly) comment on the type of food I eat: a lot of pizza, burgers, various fried foods, my once-a-week chipotle, etc. People in NY make a conscious effort to eat well and eat responsibly; hell the city now mandates calorie counts to be printed on fast food restaurant menus.

Not so in the Midwest. The people here like to eat heartily and plentifully. And they DRINK. A lot. (And I love it.) You’ll soon see what I mean.

We got to Milwaukee pretty early in the day (it was only a 90 minute drive from Chicago). Having quite a bit of time to waste before the Brewer’s game, we naturally headed over to the first brewery tour we could find. Turned out to be the Miller brewery.

The complex where they brew Miller is called Miller Valley. Yes, I’m wearing the same shirt as Day 5. It’s a road trip, damn it. These things happen.

A few scenes from the rest of the tour. Not much to report there, the tour was free and we got to sample a decent amount of beer at the end. The tour guides were mostly undergrad students reading from scripts though and weren’t very funny. We only learned later that some of the microbreweries around Milwaukee offer paid tours that are far more fun than the free Miller tour.

Miller Park, home of the Brewers. The anti-Wrigley. Instead of plopped in a city neighborhood, it’s between two major interstate highways. It’s roughly twice as large from the outside as Wrigley. In addition to having an actual digital scoreboard, Miller Park has a huge retractable roof. The atmosphere inside the stadium features just as much booze as Wrigley, but is decidedly family-oriented, in contrast to Wrigley’s Frat-boy bleachers. The stadium has its charms, it’s definitely a great place to just watch some ball.

This is where we parked, next to “Hank Aaron trail” or somesuch. Free parking in walking distance from a major league stadium is no longer an urban legend.

Logan demonstrates how huge the stadium is, or something.

We got pretty close to the field and were able to watch warm-ups and batting practice. I liked watching Zito get in between-start work in. He was just tossing fastballs, until he finally relented to the shouts from fans and threw a few wicked curveballs.

The place was more packed than it appears in picture (most of the fans are refilling on beer). The Brewers have pretty solid local support despite being an underachieving team.

Being on a road trip means less food, less sleep, and more activity than you’re accustomed. So it’s always nice to be able to sneak a few zzz’s before a baseball game.

Remember what I said about Midwesterners and their food/boozing? I felt about taking these pictures, but hell here’s the downside of that. This is just a sample, by the way. It’s fairly prevalent.

We were sitting in the very upper sections of the stadium (being on a budget and all), which means you have to climb a fair amount of stairs to reach your seats. This woman’s face was just broadcasting pain and agony as she slumped against the stair railings and tried to haul herself up. At one point, just mere rows from her seat, she decided to sit in the middle of the staircase and recover for a minute. I kinda feel bad for picking on her, actually. Lets move on.

After the game, we stopped a tiny diner to eat some dinner. Four pieces of fried chicken, mash potatoes, stuffing, corn, cream of chicken soup, and a tall mug of beer cost me about $10 (tip included). Again, the culture of eating and drinking here is AWESOME. If you can work it off after the meal, I suppose.

$8.99 all you can eat meatloaf Tuesdays (with soup or salad and a complementary beer) sounds like the best thing ever. If it was for an uncomfortable lack of minorities, I’d move to the Midwest right now.

Big thanks to our couch surfing guest of the day, Jacqueline. Gave us more beer, took us to see fireworks, and then cooked a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs and buttered toast the next morning to see us off.

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