The past few days have been special for me, as I got to visit the great state of Wisconsin with my mom, dad, and brother. We have strong family ties to the Green Bay area, but before heading up that way, we all met up in Milwaukee. More specifically, at Lakefront Brewery.
I feel the need here to tell you two things:
One: Lakefront brewery is hands down the best brewery tour I’ve ever been on. It was like being on a 45 minute comedy tour through a working brewery- I highly recommend it!
Two: My mom and I never plan to match, but showed up in matching outfits on Saturday and packed the same thing to wear on Sunday. The apple sure doesn’t fall far.
Ok, ok, Three things: Try the Eastside Dark (it’s delicious!) and the bratwurst sampler.
We had a ball walking the riverfront and chatting then as we sipped our last beer we took off to our hotel: The historic Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee.
The hotel opened in 1893 and is as beautiful as it is historic. My Grandma Betty (who is 96) told me she remembers the Pfister being a great hangout place when she was in college. (I sipped on a vodka for you, Grandma Betty! ;))
We bounced around that evening a bit, watching football, checking out Blu on the 23rd floor and finally closing out our evening listening to live music at the Mason Street Grill. It was a great time!
After a great breakfast the next morning, we took off for the homeland, Green Bay!
There is nothing quite like seeing Lambeau Field appear on the horizon.
…Oh, except possibly actually tailgating for a Packer game!
Packer fans know how to tailgate and we walked row to row taking in the sights of crazy outfits, sounds of a live band making the rounds and the smells of brats being cooked up at nearly every tailgate.
I couldn’t resist saying hello to the king, then Kris and I decided to relive a little of our glory days by joining a group of young whippersnappers in a game of flip cup. They were very kind, but looked sincerely into my eyes and asked if I was sure if I knew how to play.
Child, please. I invented the game. (ok, ok, I totally did not, but my bro and I still held our own while our mom took pictures- ha!)
Needless to say, tailgating was a blast, but before long we all start filing into the stadium for kickoff.
We had my Grandma Betty’s old season ticket seats and they were incredible. Mid-game I started a conversation with the man sitting next to me about his sparkly, big ring. He told me his father in law got it for being on the Packer Board of Directors when they won the Super Bowl. No kidding, I said, my grandfather was on the board of directors too! What was his name?
…Oh what’s that?
You mean my grandfather’s brother?
And just like that we realized we were sitting next to family, and the nice man let us all try on the ring with our family name on it.
We cheered as loudly as we could, but couldn’t quite get the Packers to a victory. Luckily the famous squirrel was at least encouraged by our enthusiasm!
It was a wonderful evening.
The next morning we went on a tour de Green Bay, stopping at many, many special spots to our family. I’m already getting wordy so I won’t share them all here, but they included my grandma’s old house, the house my dad grew up in
the house my Grandma Betty grew up in (her dad was the town doctor and the house is now on the National Register of Historic Places)
and the building my great grandfather had his car dealership in.
You know, the one where this picture of my Grandpa Jake was taken several years ago.
Next door, Al’s Hamburgers still remains. So at 10 am we all went in and ordered a hamburger, just like my dad did when he was growing up.
And I see how they’ve withstood the test of time.
It’s a damn good burger.
We wrapped up our Green Bay tour with an old family tradition, lunch at Mandarin Garden.
Then we were back at the airport, giving hugs and planning the next time to all get together.
There is truly nothing more important than family and I’m so grateful for mine.
Is there a certain town or place that is special to your family?
Where is it and why is it special?