Friday, December 14, 2012

On the Road to the Packers Game

 Last weekend Dr. C and I traveled to Wisconsin to visit friends, and to accompany them to a Packers game in Green Bay.  A Packers game has been on my bucket list, mostly to see the tailgating, and also to visit storied Lambeau field and see the phenom that is Packers football.  Any stadium named after a guy named Curly has to be fun, right??
Having grown up in Boston with a sports fanatic for a dad, we went to games to spend time with him---I've seen the Patriots play in Fenway Park (yes, I am that old)
Ironically, I may have been in this photo--there were only 306 people at this game--the snow was up to my knees!

I've sat in the nose-bleed section in the old Boston Garden watching the likes of Bill Russel and Don Nelson play for the Celtics, and Bobby Orr and Derek Sanderson play for the Bruins.
I am a sports fanatic, and I grew up with a respect for the games, and a love for all the tradition surrounding them.

Moving to California and going to games here is a totally different experience; no one watches the games, they are too busy watching to see if they are on the Jumbo-tron, tossing beach balls in the stands, or talking to their neighbors.  Being at a Packers game brought me back to what is so great about sports---watching your team in a driving snow storm, and hoping that they would come out with a win. 
We left Mondovi, WI for the 4 hour drive to Green Bay with snow falling in the morning.  We got to the parking lots in Green Bay and people were already setting up.

Dr. C. (light coat) and our friend Tony setting up
Can you tell it's 28 degrees??
So, how about some food?  This is marinated venison wrapped in bacon---sublime!  Editor's note, you have to be a carnivore to live here---meat, and game meats are everywhere!

A bit windy
It's 2 p.m.---the game doesn't start till 7:20 and everywhere you look people are serving food
I love the cheesehead!
Everyone was so friendly (it may have been the beer!) I loved talking food with them.  Brats, sauerkraut and onions were the big hits here.
Look at those striped PJ's!
bundling up

Serious brats
These are called Juicy Lucy's----burgers stuffed with Wisconsin cheese
These came from the bar across the street where we went to thaw out---in the front---fried cheese curds, in the back fried pickle chips

When I asked if I could take photos of their brats, they also wanted me to take their photos!
More venison

As game time approached, people were marching towards the gates at Lambeau...all manner of headgear and Packers gear.  They love their team!

Some people road bikes to the stadium.

Mean Gene was actually a pussycat---but the game hadn't started yet!

This guy was a work of art!  And how about me in my orange day-glo pants---they were on loan from Penny and Tony--I think they use them for hunting--

As night began to fall (It's only 5 p.m.)  tailgates are beginning to wind down, and gear is put away.

And we head to Lambeau (about 5 blocks)  I'm dragging all this clothing with me, feeling like I weight 40 pounds more than I do on a good day.
Inside the Stadium
                                                  Still bundled up--it's cold inside, too!!!
When we took the escalators to our seats we were on the Club Level--where they had some of the best food I've seen at a stadium.

This is called a "Packer Pride"--it's a brat stuffed with a hot dog and wrapped in bacon, topped with onions, sauerkraut, mustard, and pickles

Grilling those Packer Prides

Sausage and Peppers


How about desert---there was a desert station that was about 10 yards long!

Couldn't resist this, it's a "Cheesecake"

The stadium is beautiful---what was shocking is that all the seats are aluminum benches (not seats)  I think the body heat in the stadium probably causes fog when it's as cold as it was Sunday night. 

This was an outnumbered Lions fan

I loved the fur hats--this guy sat in front of us

A sea of cheeseheads!

What struck me the most during the game was how much these fans love their team---they own the team. The Packers are the only NFL team owned by the fans---Season tickets are passed down from generation to generation.  Our friends drive 4 hours to the games, and they watch the entire game---no one leaves---no one gets bored, they pay attention---that's what I miss here in San Diego.  The true appreciation of the game, AND a winning team! 

Here are a few more snaps from our trip---it was so much fun, and I'm grateful to our friends Tony and Penny for being such great hosts---I'm not taking them to see a Chargers game, though!

It really is all about the cheese!!
Dr. C. and I above the Mighty Mississippi---me in my Michelin man coat
Our visit to the Eagle rescue center was really interesting--these are birds that have been injured, and would die in the wild. 

                                                  Beautiful view from atop the Mississippi

Wishing you a great weekend.


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