Amy Artisan

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Category: Sports Fan (page 2 of 3)

Meet Me in Milwaukee

This last weekend was “Part 3” of summer fun with my Wisconsin family.

Part 1 & Part 2 were on the calendar from early in the year. Of course, both of them were originally meant to be longer adventures before life & work caused the plans to change. So…as Part 2 was being shortened by work requirements we quickly decided to add a Part 3. Our plans were to meet up in Milwaukee for a long weekend of baseball, museums, frozen custard and all around fun as a bit of a back to school blast. Once the dates were confirmed, points were used to grab hotel rooms for us and we began to add possible activities to our TripIt itinerary to fill our days with fun.

Miller Park Memories

Miller Park Memories

Baseball…Our only “definite” for the weekend was a Friday night Brewers baseball game. The giveaway for the game was a Brewers t-shirt sponsored by Kwik Trip – we all chuckled at the appropriateness of that for us. We got to the stadium early & had fun checking out the kids zone activities before settling into great seats along the right foul line. While we weren’t thrilled with the outcome of the game, we cheered heartily throughout.

Museum Moments

Museum Moments

Museums…On Friday we experienced the Milwaukee Public Museum – Ry’s excitement of being at a museum was palpable as we walked up the stairs towards exhibits. We wandered through exhibits of dinosaurs and butterflies and rain forests and scientists at work and old Milwaukee and so much more. On Saturday we headed towards the foggy lakefront and the Discovery World Museum – what an incredible collection of science and technology to explore. From interactive models of the Great Lakes to an aquarium that included “petting pools” to hand powered toys and machines to the techno jungle to a Les Paul’s House of Sound – each exhibit was designed for plenty of hands on interaction. Without a doubt, I think the adults had as much fun exploring as the kids in Discovery World.

The Great Milwaukee Frozen Custard Tour

The Great Milwaukee Frozen Custard Tour

Frozen Custard…As we were starting to plan for this weekend, I came across an article about the best frozen custard places in Milwaukee. I added the details into our TripIt itinerary and we joked that we would see how much custard we could enjoy. Turns out that we managed to make it to 3 of the 6 custard stands in the article – each day we did a late lunch at a stand – first burgers and then the custard. Our approach to evaluating each stand varied among the group – some went for hot fudge sundaes, malts, flavors of the days. A few of us went with a standard baseline – vanilla frozen custard in a waffle cone. On Friday, we started with the oldest stand, Gilles. It was a tasty start to the tour. The “first time visitor” packets they handed out where a fun introduction to their history. On Saturday, as we left Discovery World we headed for our second stand. In the “serendipity way” that sometimes transpires, as we were nearing our destination, Chris comments about how he used to go to a place called Oscar’s in this area when he was a kid…and just like that we were turning into the Oscar’s parking lot. I do believe that someone was transported back to happy childhood memories with the burger & custard. On Sunday, we concluded this portion of the tour with a stop at Kopp’s on the way to the airport. The outdoor eating area of benches by a huge water wall was a nice change-up from a “traditional” sit down area.

Family Fun Times

Family Fun Times

All Around Fun…Beyond the baseball, museums and custard we had plenty of fun, no matter what we were doing. Thursday kicked off with lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings – with Ry challenging me to the lunchtime trivia game. Our hotel was a great base camp – for R&R whether it was a good nap, pool time for the kids or lounge time for the grown ups. One evening we browsed through a local mall and enjoyed dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. Another evening, we invited cousins over for an impromptu pool & pizza party at the hotel. Through it all, there were plenty of moments of fun just because we all were together.

On Sunday afternoon, it was time to say our goodbyes & “see you soon” and head back to the non-vacation life. But never fear, we are already talking about what our next “meet me in…” vacation may be – we all agree we need to do this again.

Birthdays and Baseball

This past weekend was a “quick trip” to Wisconsin for a family birthday celebration. While the time there was short we packed a whole lot of fun and more into the few days…

Friday was for an early morning flight into Milwaukee…which means a bit of a road trip to get home…When we road trip in Wisconsin, we stop at quite a few Kwik Trips – the kids roll their eyes as we pull into the parking lot – we try to explain that road trips are meant for stops like that…(and a huge thank you for the crew that came to pick me up – suggestions that I drive up there on my own were met with loud and emphatic no responses)

Ready for a Birthday Bash!

Ready for a Birthday Bash!

Saturday was for the Family Birthday Bash…since all 3 kids have birthdays within a couple of weeks of each other there is “1 big party” to celebrate them…the adults in the house were up early to get a jump start on the party prep – finishing some food prep, getting the outside area ready for the party – yard work and decorating were on tap…Grandpa arrived to setup for a Wisconsin fish boil (salmon and rainbow trout that he caught)…cakes were picked up…kids were excited…family arrived and a party was had…kids squealed with delight as gifts were opened…it was early to bed for all of us after a busy and fun day…

Take us out the T-Rats!

Take us out the T-Rats!

Sunday was for Baseball…if you do something two years in a row that must mean a tradition is forming….this year the baseball game was the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers down in Appleton…a bit of a road trip (including Kwik Trip stops)…standing in line for the gates to open and get a bobblehead…a beautiful day for a game…the fun of minor league stadium entertainment…Ry asking players for autographs on the program…meeting Bernie Brewer…just as the game was headed into extra innings, a heavy rainstorm opened up over the stadium…a mad dash to the covered concourse…then a mad dash to the van as the rain let up a bit…stopping at a local burger & custard stand for supper and sweets on the way home…a beautiful rainbow seen through the van windows as we drove through more summer storm weather to get home…

The original plan for this trip was for me to stay for another week – work for a couple of days and then a long weekend of additional summer adventures. A project at work changed those plans and so Monday was for flying back to PA…but in a couple of weeks we are meeting up in Milwaukee to “finally” enjoy the rest of the summer adventures we were planning…

Batter Up!

Another sure sign of spring – the return of baseball! I remember first getting into baseball when we moved to the Kansas City area as I started 6th grade. We arrived there in time to get caught up in the Royals frenzy of the “I-70 Show Me State World Series.” Less than a year later, we became friends with a young player on the Royals team & his wife when they started attending our church – from then on, baseball was a more engaging sport. Even when Mike was traded away & then we moved away from Kansas City, we always enjoyed going to games when his team was playing our local team.

Living in Georgia in the 90s, Braves fever was hot – although I never really became a fan. Most Braves games I saw were “chosen” because our friend Mike and team were in town. While interning in Houston, I was able to see several games at the old Houston AstroDome when Mike’s team was in town – what an odd sensation for your feet to be cold while watching the game on an extremely hot day because of the AC in there. When I moved to Chicago, I became a bit of a Cubs fan – because that’s what you do when you are in your mid 20s and live on the north side of Chicago. Games at Wrigley Field are quite an experience – no matter the outcome of the game.
In the last couple of years, as I was essentially living in Marinette, I became a Brewers fan and have enjoyed a couple of games at Miller Park with my WI family. It has been fun to see the kids run the bases after a game and of course the sausage races are a fun in game entertainment. Last summer, heavy rains moved into the area during the game but the roof was quietly & quickly closed before rain drops descended (now, getting from the stadium to the van in the parking lot was different, soggy story).
Fun times at Miller Park

Fun times at Miller Park

So, why am I rambling about baseball on the blog today? Because this year I’m charting the Milwaukee Brewers season in a scarf – the exact color sequence will be determined by their record: Home Win = Blue; Home Loss = White; Away Win = Yellow; Away Loss = Gray. I stumbled across Stacie’s Crackerjack concept just before opening day so I thought it would be fun to do. Of course, I’m hoping this scarf will be predominately blue & yellow. But, after selecting my colors and sequence I realized that the loss colors are in line with the Brewers adorable new mascot, Hank. No matter the outcome, it will be fun to see how the stripes evolve.
Current progress...

Current progress…

I have my spreadsheet setup to record the wins & losses. And I even formatted it to color code corresponding to my yarn choices. Because, yes, I’m a geek like that.  I’m not going to stress about knitting each game result on a daily basis – my goal will be to never be more than a week behind the schedule. And of course, I hope that my scarf ends up even longer than currently planned because of post season play. (Ravelry Project Details)
Keeping track of their record...er, the knit evolution...

Keeping track of their record…er, the knit evolution…

Later this summer I’ll be seeing my 3rd Brewers game at Miller Park – I’m thinking that I might need to add a metallic thread to the rows that chart that game.

What are your baseball memories? Who do you root for? What sport and craft connections do you have?

On Flights & Family Time

As another year winds down, inevitably it has us looking back on the year & determining highlights. For me, a highlight of 2013 was the fact that I wasn’t constantly on the road with work travel. In fact, I only had 4 weeks of work travel this year. With 26 flight segments taken in 2013, only 1 trip was for work. That means that the others were for fun times with family. So where did those flights take me? Here, a few highlight pics from fun times in Georgia, Wisconsin & Texas…
May - A surprise trip home to cheer Rebecca in her first super-sprint triathlon.

May – A surprise trip home to cheer Rebecca in her first super-sprint triathlon.

June - Artisan Family Great Lakes Getaway. We enjoyed a week around Lake Michigan - first at Mackinac Island and then in Door County, WI

June – Artisan Family Great Lakes Getaway. We enjoyed a week around Lake Michigan – first at Mackinac Island and then in Door County, WI

July - In Marinette to celebrate kid birthdays and take in a Brewers game!

July – In Marinette to celebrate kid birthdays and take in a Brewers game!

August - Rebecca & I go back to Mercer to see a thrilling win as Mercer returns to football for the 1st time since 1941.

August – Rebecca & I go back to Mercer to see a thrilling win as Mercer returns to football for the 1st time since 1941.

October - Fall fun in Marinette, including the pumpkin patch and haunted hayrid

October – Fall fun in Marinette, including the pumpkin patch and haunted hayride

October - Trick or treating with the girlies in Texas.

October – Trick or treating with the girlies in Texas.

December - A quick trip home to the 'Ville to enjoy a Family Christma

December – A quick trip home to the ‘Ville to enjoy a Family Christmas

As the 2014 calendars are being opened, I’m already making plans for trips  & adventures with these dear ones!

In Pictures: February 2013

Here we go…a second month of 2013 in the books… February

I flew out of Green Bay on the morning of February 1st – on my way to the airport I drove by Lambeau Field. As the temp registered “-1” there was a long line of fans that were waiting to snatch up free tickets for Donald Driver’s retirement announcement the following week.

Rebecca finished up her 5th season as a swim coach. She sent me this picture from when the school won the county swim meet for the 13th straight year. As the teams were at their state meet, I was able to follow their progress through app – a fun way to be connected to her even from so far away.

As the big blizzard struck the northeast, we only got a small taste of it. A few inches of snow fell overnite on Friday & by the time I woke up on Saturday, the maintenance crew at my apt. complex had already cleared the parking lots and sidewalks. Later that afternoon as I walked around the complex, my new snow boots were definitely overkill but at least I had a chance to break them in.

This Valentine cutie…my littlest girl in Texas ready for her preschool party. On Valentine’s evening, it was fun to FaceTime with the girls in Texas as well as the kids in Wisconsin.

I made it to the movies twice – both were excellent – and each movie yielded a dishcloth.

I ended the month starting The Whole 30 which means I’m spending some fun time in the kitchen making new things – among them, my first time making homemade mayo. I’ll be sharing more about this adventure in my next post.

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