20th August, 2004 // USA
Me and Aleasha on the campus of The University of Wisconsin
Aleasha took me out to lunch at the famous State Street...
PBR signs were EVERYWHERE in Wisconsin- if i had been...
Day 85, Aug 16th
Aleasha had a 9:00 appointment in Madison(about an hour south of Baraboo) this morning. so i slept in then drove up and met her for lunch. we had a "white one" and a PBR at State Street Brats. it has the "if you say you've been to Madison, people ask you if you ate at State Street Brats" kind of reputation.
the air had a fall chill to it, but it was still sunny and warm enough that we could sit on the sidewalk patio and watch all the students who were getting ready for the fall semester. the college town atmosphere is probably Madison's most prominent characteristic. the University of Wisconsin campus is right downtown and sits on Lake Mendota. so after lunch, we walked over to the student union building. the best part was the outdoor patio that sits on the water. you can literally step off the pathway into the lake....its that close. and in the winter it freezes over and turns into an ice-skating rink. it was the kind of campus that makes you want to be away at college again.
we had stopped at a bookstore along the shops on State Street on our way to the union- i needed to try and find a replacemnt copy of Hostels USA, one of the books that got stolen out of my car. we had no luck though, so i followed Aleasha over to a Border's a few miles north of town. the good news is not only did they have one copy left, it was a revised June 2004 edition. maybe i won't run into the problem of listed hostels being closed from now on :)
from here we said our good-byes. it was 2:30 and i was headed to Green Bay, about 130 miles northeast. a little over halfway there, i turned up the local radio station when i realized they were talking about the Packers having their pre-season home opener later that night. everyone who knows me knows i'm a long time, devoted broncos fan. but the Packers are also a favorite. i quickly did the math in my head and figured i could make it to Green Bay in plenty of time. i assumed i probably wouldn't be able to get a ticket, but i had hoped to at least tailgate with all the cheeseheads and listen to the game on the radio.
i had a moment of unspontaneity and decided to call ahead and find out the ticket and parking situation. i looked up the number of the Wisconsin Tourism office listed in my Rand McNally, who then gave me the number to the Packers Info line. i must have put on my smarty pants this morning cause what a great idea that turned out to be.
not only were there no tickets available, but you had to have a ticket just to park in the stadium lot. i wouldn't even be able to tailgate! Plan B? well, i considered stopping for the day and camping at High Cliffs S.P. on Lake Winnebago near Sherwood. but 1) it was $20/night and 2) it was raining.
so onto 'the city by the bay' i went. if i couldn't be at Lambeau Field, and i couldn't be in the parking lot, i could at least watch the game at a local sports bar. i had no idea where i would sleep for the night- i couldn't afford a hotel, no hostels in the area, and no truck stops. but i decided to worry about that once i got there.
i exited off Hwy 41 onto Lombardi Ave right before kickoff- it was a 7:00 kickoff, not 8:00 as i had assumed. the jets flew overhead right as i was driving by the stadium. i quickly realized that each of the 72,512 fans that filled Lambeau to capacity must have all driven separate cars- the streets were lined with parked cars for blocks and blocks. and blocks. so you not only have to have a ticket, but some sort of vip status to be able to park in the very, very, small lot around the stadium.
i finally found a spot, then walked the 10 blocks back to Sidelines, the sports bar across the street from the stadium. i had hoped that it would be full of green and yellow, but instead there were only a few people at the bar and the rest of the place was empty. well, it was only a pre-season game i guess.
i stayed for a beer and the first half- the packers lost to the seahawks. but the good news is that i had passed a Wal-Mart on my way, about 5 minutes from the stadium exit. so i got back on the highway and headed "home for the night".
Lesson of the Day: apparently all the area bars in Green Bay stop selling draft beer the day of Packers games- they can make more money on bottles and mixers. Greedy!
Total Miles: 190
© Copyright 2000-2013