Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mik’s Mini Bat Collection: Dark Wood Brewers

At the Brewer’s Mik chose the dark wood natural bat. He has some natural wood bats, but none of them are dark wood like this one. The logo on it is the Brewers logo with a baseball behind the larger Brewers name.

Mik's Food Scrapbook: Miller Park

The first thing I got at the Brewers game was some cheese fries in a helmet. They were not too bad, but they had nacho cheese, which I just do not like. Any type of shredded actual cheese would have been way better. Mik seemed to enjoy them, though, as he kept stealing them including giving me a pouty pleading face to get the last fry. He mainly like the waffle fries and not the cheese. Later he had Dad get him his own without the cheese. They were way better that way.

Mik had his traditional food of a hot dog at the game. All I could get out of him was that the ketchup was spicy, but Dad thinks the spicy part was the hot dog. Dad described it as big and broiled. It could not have been too bad, though, as Mik ate it all quite quickly.

I got a Parmesan pretzel to try at the game and Mik decided to take a bite of it as well. He found it pretty blah. The pretzel itself was pretty good, but the Parmesan really did not add much flavor to it. It might have been really great if there was also some salt, as that seemed to be what was missing from it being an really enjoyable pretzel. He did give it credit for actually being a jumbo pretzel and I do not even think they call it that. It was definitely at least twice as big as the supposed jumbo pretzel at the San Francisco Giants' AT&T Park.

Day 22: Field of Dreams

Today on the way to Denver we took about an hour and a half detour to go by the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa. It was not a long stop, but it is was worth it. Mik has been in full pill mode again and has been complaining about stopping here ever since we rescheduled it from Sunday to today. We just let him stay in the car since it was not worth his complaining to make him see it.

The field is not much, but it is kept like the movie and the house in the movie can be seen from the outside. The only real difference was the corn was currently not high due to the time of year. Mik actually noticed this from the car and thought they no longer grew corn and that ruined the whole thing, but the corn is there just not high yet. They also had a good gift shop where we were able to get a mini bat, a souvenir baseball, a postcard, and a sticker for the back of the car.

Overall a short stop, but it was worth going out of our way and finding a way to put it back in the plan. However, I think it might not have been as good if we went more out of the way to see it from St. Louis to Chicago than the way we ended up doing it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Game 11: Colorado Rockies 3 @ Milwaukee Brewers 2

We left for Milwaukee around 2:15pm and got to Miller Park around 4pm. Parking was easy and close as it as been at most places. The gates did not open until only 90 minutes before the game so we had a lot of time to kill. Even though we walked all the way around the park we still ended up waiting in line for the gates to open for over 30 minutes. At least we did get a chance to walk around the park, as they have an interesting Walk of Fame with home plate markers for the retired numbers and other key figures in Brewers history. With the amount of crowds they do get already lining up it seems odd they do not open up early for fans to see more of batting practice.

Once inside the park we hit the team shop and then found the elevator up to our seats. Our seats were kind of crappy, as this stupid Mascot Clubhouse juts out over the field perfectly blocking the scoreboard from sight. Sure, I can live with the scoreboard being blocked in cheap seats because you are right below it and such, but this added thing that could easily have been placed farther away and back is just unacceptable and annoying. At least the sight of the field only included the warning track in left field being blocked, which was not an issue in this game as nothing went there.

Mik got very excited when we got to our seats and realized the roof had been shut and it was another indoor baseball game. When we had driven up to the park the roof was still open, but rain was forecasted and it did sprinkle some while we were inside at the game. Most people think baseball should be played in outdoor stadiums and to some extent I agree, but Mik is totally the kind that thinks baseball is an indoor sport just as much as his beloved basketball since he has grown up going to the BOB/Chase Field. He would have loved the Twins game just for it being indoors if the handicap section had not turned out so horrible. It is kind of funny though that he loves indoor baseball and at the same time the Twins are counting down to outdoor baseball.

The game was not all that interesting today. Not much good pitching or good batting. Mik was rooting for the Brewers since the Rockies have been hot and helped the Dbacks end up in the bottom of their division. I was rooting for the Rockies since the Brewers are on the top of the Cubs division. The Brewers got an early lead with Counsell hitting a lead off triple in the next batter batting him in on a ground out. They also scored another run in the second with a home run by Gamel. With the help of three doubles in the top of the 7th the Rockies went ahead 3-2 and it remained scoreless for both teams after that.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 20: Nothing But Movies

Dad went to the Chicago suburbs today to get new tires on the car. Mik and I hung out at the apartment. We watched the first two Harry Potter movies. We then began watching Ducktales Volume One. Finally in the afternoon we were able to go see Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. I prefer going to the movies early, but 3:20pm was the earliest showing. I gave Mik the option of going to the regular or IMAX version since we are basically right between both theater options. He decided that it was not worth it unless it was actually being shown at a Museum IMAX like when we resaw the first one.

We both enjoyed the movie and are now back to watching Ducktales. Maybe, I can convince Mik to let me play some Rock Band guitar, which I got earlier this weekend to have a good Wii game to play at the apartment, when disc one is done. So far today, though, it has been nothing but movies for him. He has not even played his PSP, which is what he originally said he was going to do all day.

Accessibility Review: Busch Stadium

At Busch Stadium we easily found a handicap spot in the parking lot parking across the street from the centerfield entrance to Busch Stadium. Arriving early was definitely good for this game because while we did get a parking spot no trouble there definitely were already a good amount of crowds lining up to get in and it was still half an hour until the gates would open.

Getting around Busch Stadium is not too hard, as there is an elevator or two, but they seem quite far apart and you do a lot of walking sometimes the wrong direction you want to go to be able to use them. This works fine for us, but it does not much help those that need it because they cannot walk far. They do have some escalators, too, but they are not obvious to find and obviously not useful for the wheelchair. Lastly, there is ramps, but I recommend avoiding them if you are going from top to bottom or bottom to top, as it is a long way up and down and we wasted a lot of time on that and it Dad and I only made it back to our seats before the game started because we found the escalators to go up.

The handicap section is all wheelchair spots, so you get folding chairs for the rest of those in the group. There was no staff person in our section until almost game time, but it was easy to find the chair piles in each section to get them ourselves. The chairs were actually decent folding chairs even.

The line of sight from our seats in section 341 was pretty good, as we could see the whole field and the scoreboard. The only issue was that the bar got in the way if you did not get right up to it or at least that was the only way I could see the pitcher because I am short.

Overall it was a good accessible experience, however, I imagine it would have been a pain if Mik had come with Dad and I to explore the first level since it was so crowded with people. The store itself was pretty annoying since not only did people crowd it, but pretty much every path was barely big enough for the wheelchair to fit through.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Smashed Pennies: Busch Stadium

Busch Stadium has a self-serve penny smashing machine like you see most places, but they also have an attended one near the kids entertainment area (I think it is called Ford something at this park). At the attended spot we finally found the 2009 Baseball Penny Books. I had been keeping both Mik and my pennies in a 2008 one I got last season. Now we each have a 2009 one to keep all the ones from the All the Ballparks trip.

The attended machine has limited edition designs in that they tend to have new designs every year. They sell the set of 2 for $2, but the Penny Man (the guy that attends the machine) was nice enough to give us the sets for free with the purchase our the penny books, which were in themselves a good deal at only $5 each. One design says 2009 Season and has the Cardinals logo. The other is in honor of Busch Stadium being the host for the 2009 All Star Game and has the Arch logo for this year’s All Star Game.

This morning I organized the pennies from the trip so far into each of our 2009 penny books. Below is them in the book so far. Mik's has one less because he did not find a design he liked at the Mall of America and I learned too late that we could have gotten Twins pennies there if we had gone to the right place.