23rd August, 2004 // USA
My tour group in the atrium at Lambeau Field-
A view of Lambeau Field from the $10,000 luxury box-
Walking thru the player's tunnel-
Green Bay, WI
When Lambeau Field was renovated last year, some of...
......and the concrete-
Green Bay, WI
Day 86, August 17th
on a scale of 1 to 10, last night's rest was about a 5. so it could have been worse.......enough said.
i was at the tourist info office across the street from the stadium by 9:15. i grabbed a map of downtown and asked about the Lambeau Field tours. not believing in planning ahead, i got lucky that the tours were 1st come 1st serve, no reservations taken. but they usually sold out fast so she suggested i go right away; which i did.
i got the last spot on the 10:15 tour, so i had some coffee and did some writing in the atrium while i waited. the atrium was added during the renovation completed last year; it houses the Packers Hall of Fame, Curly's Pub, restaurants, gift shops, and a large seating area. the tour started here, went outside to the main entrance plaza, then back inside and upstairs to a luxury box. we hung out there for awhile; i don't have dreams of being filthy rich, but this would be an incomprehendable amount of fun to rent out and watch a game with all my friends.
next, we went down near the locker room. we couldn't go in because there were players inside(which if you ask me is even more reason to go in ;). and then the highlight of the tour- thru the tunnel the Packers run thru on gamedays. we walked along side the field and ended in the south endzone.
the tour took about an hour and it was jammed full of stats, facts, and history. some highlights: The Packers hold 12 championship titles, more than any other team; for only $25,000 you and 47 of your closest friends can watch the game from a luxury box(food & beverage included); and season tickets have been sold out since 1960. but if you're willing to wait 50 or 60 years, you can add your name to the waiting list of over 60,000 names! now that's a great fan base......
my favorite story of the tour; the team practices across the street from the stadium. so the players come from the stadium locker room and out a tunnel. when they get to street level, kids are waiting to offer up their bicycles. the players hop on and the lucky bike owner runs along side, carrying the players helmet. its a tradition that's been going on for years. how can you not love that :)
after the tour i thought i'd walk around downtown some, then head north to Iron Mountain, Michigan. Iron Mountain was just across the state line about 2 hours north(a reasonable distance to make by tonight) and had a wal-mart( a place to sleep for the night). but by the time i spent a couple of hours at the library, walked down Main Street to the Cock&Bull Publick Hause for the free pizza happy hour, it was 6:00 and i felt like staying another night.
i stopped in at The Attice Used Bookstore and picked up a copy of the Celestine Prophecy, a Matt and Aleasha recommendation. i drove thru the park overlooking the bay. i had already done alot of walking, so i didn't get out and explore. i had been in my own little world all day, so i was ready for a little company. i hoped to meet a local, or maybe just a conversation with a stranger, but i tried a couple of cafes/pubs listed on my downtonw map with no luck. they were either empty(it was a Tuesday night), had already closed, or just not the right atmosphere.
i finally found Karvana, a vegetarian cafe/coffeeshop. it was in a restored old building with big windows overlooking the street. i peeked inside as i drove by and it seemed almost every table was full. i figured this must be the place. once i got inside, i soon realized that most of the customers, if not all, were what appeared to be students from the nearby university.
i got lucky and grabbed a comfy over-stuffed chair near the window. the young man sitting at the table in front of me looked very engrossed in his laptop, but the even younger man sitting in the chair beside me seemed to be there to socialize rather than work or read. i was intending to strike up a conversation, but changed my mind once i overheard his conversation with two freshman girls on their way out. with all the talk about texting, shopping, who's broke up and who's back together, and how many parties they're already planning on going to only a week into the semester, i decided it was all a little too high school for me. i left shortly afterwards.
my overall impression of Green Bay is i like it enough to visit again, but not enough to live here. with a population of around 100,000, its too much of a small town to offer what a big city would, and too much of a big city to have any small town charm. with a professional football team as magical as the Packers, a satelite university campus, a waterfront by the bay, and a newly restored downtown with lots of shops and restaurants, it seemed it wasn't living up to its potential. i think the thing that was missing was the people- it had no buzz or energy. everyone was polite and friendly, just not open and enthusiastic.
the worst part of all this is i'm not sure if its me or them. i hope i'm giving out the "tell me your story, i'll tell you mine" vibe. i felt happy and smiley all day. so i don't know if no one was interested or if maybe i just wasn't putting enough of myself out there.
Lesson of the Day: keep smiling and they will come.
Total Miles: 20(around town)
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