After leaving Munising, the northernmost city on our Midwest tour, we began working our way South. We’ve never been to Green Bay, and it was on the way, so we planned for a short stay in the area. We picked a campground in Two Rivers, about 45 minutes south of Green Bay.
One of our first activities was touring Lambeau Stadium. Now, I’m not a big sports/football fan, but even I was fascinated by the tour’s exploration of the stadium history and construction. Originally built in the 50’s with only 60 rows of seating, the facility has been expanded several times into the state of the art stadium it is today. Even the natural grass surface is high-tech, with in-ground heat and plastic strands woven through it for stability. With seating for over 80,000 fans, the stadium includes a conference center and enormous atrium that is home to a number of shops and restaurants. It is truly a year-round destination, not just a football stadium used 10 days per year. I think the Miami Dolphins should take note!
Another unusual aspect is that all of the team’s training facilities are located on the same property. As the team is in pre-season training camp, we were able to observe some of their exercises. The locals really come out to watch and support their team! These Green Bay Packers are a Big Deal to the local community.
On another evening, we caught a live show called “Hodag and Scooby Dude”. Written by a local theater group (Let Me Be Frank Productions), it was a goofy, rather loose original plot about Scooby Dude and the gang solving a mystery at the Hodag festival (a country music festival set in northern Wisconsin). Mostly, it gave an excuse to play some really good country music. Entertaining, but with lots of local humor. It was set in the beautiful historic Meyer Theater in downtown Green Bay. The interior reminded me of the Paramount Theater, another historic theater in my Anderson Indiana hometown.
While in the area, we biked the 7 mile paved Mariners trail that extends from Two Rivers to Manitowoc. The entire length runs along the lakeshore providing some beautiful views. We also rode the motorcycle to explore the peninsula next to Green Bay. We saw lots of beautiful farmland (the corn is almost ready!), small harbor towns, and a few wineries.
Before we left, we stopped in at the Washington House Museum in Two Rivers, touted as the birthplace of the ice cream sundae. There’s some controversy over that claim, however tradition states that a vacationing tourist requested that soda fountain owner Ed Berners pour chocolate syrup over ice cream. Ed doubted it would taste good, but was proved wrong. He began serving the concoction every Sunday for a nickel, hence the name. The Museum also serves up room after room of displays of household items from the era.
That put a cherry on the top of our visit to this area – now on to Milwaukee!