Monday, June 27, 2011

Traveling on the Twins Train to Milwaukee

The sun sets over Miller Park.
For the second time in two years, my friends and I packed our belongings to travel across the Midwest to watch the Twins compete on the road as part of the Twins Train. Last season the trip took us to the city of Detroit to face a divisional rival. This season it was time to enjoy interleague play in the city of Milwaukee.

Day 1: Friday, June 24th
Twins Train getting prepared for departure.
In the early morning on Friday, the trip departed from the Walmart in Woodbury, MN. Around 40 Twins fans loaded the charter bus that was bound for Miller Park. The bus ride to Milwaukee was an enjoyable one that was full of fun times with Twins fans from around Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.

After checking in at the hotel in Milwaukee, the Train headed for the parking lots outside of Miller Park. This is where tailgating would commence for many Twins fans that had made the trip to Milwaukee. The group spent time throwing footballs around, tossing a frisbee, and enjoying each other's company before the start of the game.
A Chicago style hot dog from Miller Park
Upon entering Miller Park, it was exciting to explore a field I had never visited before. There were many sights and sounds to absorb throughout the ballpark. After watching the Twins take batting practice, we did a lap around the stadium to find some of the best food options and to see all the stadium had to offer. My overall impressions of the stadium were that it was pretty nice for a retractable roof stadium. There are parts of the stadium that still feel like a dome but there was plenty of fresh air and green grass to counteract the dome feeling.
View from our seats on Friday night.
Our seats were in the second level between home plate and third base. A great view of all of the action and there were plenty of food options within a close walking distance. My food choice on day one was a Chicago style hot dog. With an asking price of $4.25, it seemed reasonable enough for me to give it a try. The dog had a little zip to it but it still tasted fantastic. The one item I found overpriced was their soda selection at over $6 a glass. Most beers were in the $7 range so it seemed more reasonable to pay that price versus the steep price for soda.

Following the tough defeat on Friday night, the Twins Train went downtown to explore some of the local establishments. We found a wide variety of pubs, bars, and dining establishments to entertain ourselves well into the evening. A fitting end to our first day in Milwaukee.

Day 2: Saturday, June 25th 
The next day we were allowed to sleep in before we headed to a local restaurant for a patio lunch. Brewski's Sports Club was kind enough to put up with the antics of the members of Twins Train. On a beautiful summer day, we got to sit on the 3000 square foot patio area to soak in the sun. Everyone seemed to enjoy the wide variety of food options. There were some great sandwiches, burgers, salads, and pizza to fit every appetite.
Walking up to Miller Park.
After departing the restaurant, the Twins Train headed for our second day of tailgating at Miller Park. There seemed to be many more patrons taking advantage of the gorgeous weather before this game. The tailgating area quickly filled with fans of both the Twins and the Brewers. Some members on the trip decided to venture to the opposite side of the field to get a full picture of Miller Park. The front views of Miller Park were much more attractive than the rear view.
Hank Aaron's statue outside of Miller Park.
There are a select number of statues dedicated to the greats of Milwaukee baseball history. Hank Aaron, Robin Yount, and Bud Selig are all represented for their contributions to the game of baseball in the Milwaukee area. There were also banners hung on the stadium for the current members of the team and on light poles to honor past stars.
View from our seats on Saturday night.
Our seats for the second day were still on the second level but this time they were out in the bleacher seats below Bernie's Slide in left field. The view from these seats was decent and we got a great view of the sunset. The problem was that the deepest part of left field was blocked from our view so we had no idea what happened to Delmon Young when he smashed into the wall.

My food selection for day two was a mega-nacho from one of their Mexican stands. I decided on chicken nachos with peppers, salsa, cheese, and sour cream. There was a lot of flavor but the $9.75 asking price was a little high. It was heaped very high and I was able to split the nachos with another person so that made the price a little easier to swallow.

The Twins did not perform up to par for Saturday night's game and we got sick of being in the splash zone for Bernie as he went down the water slide multiple times in the game. Following the game, we explored some different establishments in the downtown area of Milwaukee. There were sports bars, dance clubs, honky-tonks, and many other choices for the members of Twins Train. This offered another fun night on the town.

Overall, it was another great Twins Train experience. The other members of the convoy seemed to be having a great time throughout the trip. It was great to have 13 other NoDak natives along for the journey this time. It just would have been nice for the Twins to be more cooperative in the fun and excitement department.

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