|New Video Board at Wrigley Field|
After we returned the car, we took the courtesy shuttle bus to LaGuardia airport which is right nearby. We got dropped off at the Central terminal where Air Tran Airways is located. We arrived there with plenty of time to catch our 7:25AM flight to Milwaukee.
You may be asking why did we fly into Milwaukee instead of Chicago since we were going to Wrigley Field first. Well when cost cutting is top priority you need to look at all your options to make them work out so it can be affordable, effective and efficient. Since I have so much experience from all the traveling I've done over the years I know driving an extra 80 miles or so each way won't hurt me especially when I can save some money in the process.
We usually fly into Chicago O'Hare airport but this time I decided that when I saw the additional cost of the flights coupled with renting of a car in Chicago compared to Milwaukee it was a no brainer to do it the royal way. We did this once before a few years back so I knew exactly when I needed to do to make it happen without a hassle.
As Chuck Booth, travel expert and Guinness Book of World Records holder of seeing all 30 current MLB ballparks in 23 days says and I quote "Milwaukee is the cheapest city to rent a car in." I remember that being the case the few times I've had to rent there in the past. I know when he reads this he's going to be proud of me. He does extensive research like me and he knows many tricks of the trade.
As for the King and I, we landed in Milwaukee nice and early thanks to Air Tran Airways for making sure we got our money's worth and then some. We saved some money flying there and we even got in early too. We landed at 8:35AM Central Time which was ten minutes before our expected arrival time. In addition, the airport in Milwaukee is nice and relaxing compared to Chicago O'Hare which is gigantic and very crowded all the time.
After we got ourselves together we walked over to Hertz to pick up the car I reserved. As a Club Gold member I had my name in lights on the board which was pretty cool. I wound up getting a small car, an Chevy Aveo which was perfect for this getaway since it was just the King and I. It looked like a matchbox car but it served it's purpose and that's all that matters.
We left the airport and we headed towards Chicago to go to Wrigley Field. Since we had a lot of time to kill we decided to avoid the tolls and the construction on I-94 so we stayed on US 41 when it split up with I-94 right near Six Flags in Gurnee, Illinois which is about halfway to Chicago from Milwaukee.
We stopped off at The Point Pancake House which is a great place to have breakfast and/or lunch since they only stay open from 6AM-3PM everyday. It should be noted that the sign outside said that they're excited to now offer gluten free pancakes. Being able to go there was an added bonus of flying into Milwaukee to start the journey.
As for me, I had my usual pork chops and made to order eggs breakfast along with pancakes and a cup of fruit. It was excellent.
After we finished eating we got back into the car and off to Wrigley Field aka baseball heaven we went. We arrived in Wrigleyville as they affectionately call it just before Noon Central Time. With the game starting at 1:20PM there we had plenty of time to get ready. We walked around the outside of the ballpark as well as the inside. The ballpark is one of a kind. This was my 75th game there. I've seen at least one there every year since 1988. I can't wait to go back next year again.
As for the game we saw, the Cubs played the San Francisco Giants who are battling for first place in the West division. As for the Cubs aka the lovable losers it's been a lost season. They started poorly and they never recovered.
The Cubs quite amazingly jumped out to a fast start as they lit up Giants starter Madison Bumgarner for five runs in four innings as they built up a 6-1 lead. The Giants made a comeback but they fell short as the Cubs held on for the victory, 6-4. Alfonso Soriano lead the way with a few hits including a home run and he drove in three runs to pace the baby bears on this day.
After the game, we went back to the car which was parked in the neighborhood on the street. We drove on the local streets as we angled towards US 41 and I-94 so we could go back to Milwaukee to see the Pittsburgh Pirates play the Brewers at Miller Park at 7:10PM.
We arrived at 6:52PM on the street which was within walking distance from Miller Park. We once again avoided paying to park.
The King and I walked over to hopefully get to the game on time. Since we didn't have tickets the challenge was really on. Upon arrival, I found someone who had an extra ticket he wanted $10 so I told him I'll give him $5 and thankfully he took it. A few minutes later, another guy had a sheet of paper and he wanted a beer inside. I called the King over. The guy told him just give me $5 so he did and we raced in just in time for the 7:10PM first pitch. We watched it from downstairs then we went up to the upper deck to our usual perch right behind home plate.
As for the game we saw, the Pirates who have been reeling lately continued their slide as the Brewers turned up the offense on them. In the bottom of the first inning, Corey Hart hit a two run home run to cap off a four run inning to set the tone for the rest of the evening as the Brewers cruised to an easy 9-3 decision. It should be noted that Pirates' starter and former Yankee Jeff Karstens left the game due to an injury.
When he got hurt it gave the King and I some time to get ourselves some brats which are a tradition in Milwaukee. They were so good.
Despite the lack of a competitive game on the field, the Brewer game experience can't be beat. Between the famous Sausage race they have, Bernie Brewer and roll out the barrel they entertain people of all ages.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Chicago/Milwaukee as well as the rest of this classic weekend getaway.
Thank you for reading and following along.