Wow, I don’t even know where to start here. This weekend was such an amazing experience and I seriously recommend going to a game at Lambeau to anyone who enjoys football (especially if you’re a Packers fan, but even if you’re not). This trip has been something my husband and I have talked about for 4 years now because 5 years ago (before we started dating) he did this trip with his Dad and had an amazing experience. He is a Giants fan and said that the people and Packers fans out there were all so great, even when the Giants won in 2012 they were just so nice.
We went to our first Giants/Packers game in 2012 at MetLife Stadium and then another in 2013. Then they didn’t play each other for a few years and we said if the Giants ever played in Green Bay, we would go. Well the schedule came out last summer and there was a game in Green Bay for October 2016. We were trying to go but with our wedding and everything else going on we just couldn’t make it work. I was bummed, but knew there would be other opportunities in the future. In December, Reenie invited us to the Giants/Lions game with her and we had a blast. When the Lions lost it became a real possibility that there could be a Giants/Packers playoff game this year. So we followed the last few games of the regular season with bated breath and it happened! The Giants were going to Lambeau and because my father-in-law is a great spontaneous trip planner and a Giants fan who loves Lambeau Field, we all went! Last Monday he and my brother-in-law came over to watch the Rose Bowl and he booked everything right then and there — hotel, flights, game tickets, rental car — and the five of us were all set!
All last week I was looking forward to the trip and just so so excited that when Friday night rolled around I was all ready for some football!! We spent Friday night at my in-laws’ since we needed to get up at the crack of dawn to go to the airport and it was easier.
We got to the airport super early (especially since my in-laws are TSA Pre-Checked and it took us a minute to go through security) because we needed seat numbers so we had to see the gate agent. After waiting for the gate agent to help us, we found out she had already gone through and assigned all the seats (there was a HUGE line of people “unassigned”) and since we were at the top alphabetically we go on the plane pretty quickly! Now that we were settled on the plane, it was time for the trip to begin!! —Or not…
The plane was undergoing some maintenance and we sat for about 45 min to an hour while they worked on it. THEN, it had started snowing so we needed to go through plane de-icing where they basically spray the plane with like an antifreeze or something. Then, finally, we were on our way! Taking off through the beautiful clouds heavy with precipitation — it was so beautiful. When I wasn’t looking out the window I was reading one of the four books I had downloaded to my kindle before we left. It was a good flight and we ended up only landing an hour behind schedule even though we took off an hour and a half behind schedule so they made up some time.
We flew into Chicago so we had a bit of a hike ahead of us. After picking up the rental car, we started the drive toward Green Bay with a scheduled stop near Cedarburg to see my uncle and aunt! We went to the Water Street Brewery in Grafton for a late lunch and it was great! Dom and I shared a flight of beer where we got to try EIGHT beers.
I liked about half of them and so did Dom. So together we finished them all 😉
It was so great to get to spend time with my uncle and we had a long leisurely lunch before getting back on the road.
While we were eating, it came up that the company my uncle works for (Acuity) has the nation’s largest flag pole and that it was on our way so if we had time we should stop and see it. Of course, my mother-in-law and I were all about that so we made that stop as well!
We went out to Anduzzi’s to watch the Saturday games and enjoy beer and appetizers while surrounded by Packers fans! It was amazing! For a Packer fan who has been in the minority her whole life, it was a shock to look around and see a Packer fan here, a Packer fan there, Packers merch EVERYWHERE – like in the food store and just everywhere. People stopped us constantly to talk to us (well, my husband and his dad and brother since they were decked out in Giants gear) to ask where we were from and talk to us about the one random person they know who’s a Giants fan or lives in New Jersey or that we should check out their neighbor’s friend’s tailgate tomorrow… yeah, they were all so freaking nice. There is nothing like it.
We got back tired from travel and the early flight and just crashed in our hotel rooms. We slept late the next morning, had breakfast, got ready to go, and left for the stadium!
My father-in-law wanted me to see all the tailgates going on in the surrounding neighborhoods and how everyone just puts out signs for people to pay to park on their lawns since the stadium is just in the middle of the neighborhood. I knew all about this but seeing it in person was just so cool. So we drove around a bit before choosing a house to park at. We then got out and started toward the stadium to take a bunch of pictures!
My mother-in-law, who is on her way to becoming a Packer fan, bought a Packers scarf and then we went to see all of the snow/ice sculptures, the statues of Lombardi and Lambeau, the Lambeau Leap statue, and just the stadium in general!
Then, when my toes couldn’t take it any more, we found the Tundra Tailgate Zone. It was like a mirage, popping up out of nowhere, a haven for cold Packers fans. We were able to enter a temporary bar basically that was in a huge tent type structure. There were drinks and food to purchase but no cover and an awesome band. It was so much fun and we were much warmer than we would have been at any other tailgate! We ended up partying there until the tailgate ended and it was time to enter the stadium. I was so excited as we ascended the stairs into Lambeau. when we got inside, we went first to the Packers Pro Shop. All I wanted was a hat that also kept my ears warm and I also found a few other things, including a seat pad that kept my butt from freezing on the bleachers during the game!
Finally, it was time for kick-off! And what a game it was!!! During the first quarter we got brats and hot chocolate (mine with Bailey’s in it) and it really wasn’t terribly cold in the stadium. We had the hand and foot warmers and kept moving but I didn’t have to pull out my blanket to wrap around myself until the fourth quarter. I was in the bathroom for the first Packers touchdown of the game which was such a hilarious experience. They play the game over the speakers so you know what’s happening so while we were in line everyone was getting excited and then I was in the stall when the actual touchdown happened and you could just hear all the shouts from the other ladies — it was ridiculous and hilarious and actually I’m glad I got to experience it in a weird way lol. I was at my seat for the rest of the scoring during the game and it was just so much fun! Everyone high-fiving and jumping up and down (that was just me? okay) was awesome. There were so many Packers fans, obviously, but I still couldn’t get over seeing them all in person. We had such a blast and it was an unforgettable experience!!
We did have to leave first thing in the morning Monday so we just went back to the hotel and ordered pizza and watched tv until we were falling asleep. Monday morning we took the long trip back to O’Hare with only one stop at a rest stop to use the bathroom (I still can’t get over seeing wine next to like road trip snacks and car supplies – lol). We were early to the airport (much better to be early than late) so we had time to eat a sit-down lunch at Chili’s and then spend some time waiting for the flight. We boarded the plane but then there were mechanical things that needed to be checked out and a few dents on the back of the plane that the pilot wanted to confirm were already there and wouldn’t effect our flight (they were, and they didn’t, but we then had to wait for the paperwork to prove it) so again, we were delayed quite a bit. We got in to Newark an hour behind schedule but the good news was that we missed rush hour and got back to the house in record time.
And, that was the trip. It was exciting and fun and I would love to do it again!
Go Pack Go!