Monday, July 31, 2006

Swass, Swits, and other weekend fun!

This weekend took me from a Sheboygan brat fry ("fry-out") to 4 blocks off Michigan Ave. falling asleep with a view of the Sears Tower.

Friday Night was the Sheboygan Alumni football game - guys 10 -20 years out of high school reliving their Glory Days (Sing, or at least hum, a little Bruce Springsteen here - it makes the story so much better.) We're talking 2 hours of full pads, full contact football. Even graduation years versus odd because the rivalry between the two schools is so intense even a decade or two out of school. Before it was gametime though, the night called for a real Sheboygan fry-out. (Or cookout/BBQ for anyone not from Sheboygan or Manitowoc counties). Brats and burgers on the grill - the only thing that would have made it better would have been if there were Sheboygan hardrolls to have the classic double brat on.

*A side note on brats and other sausage type meats. A spicy, mexican pork sausage - chorizo - is the new addition to the Sausage Race at Miller Park? It signed a "contract"? And it wears a sombrero? Granted the Sausage Race is one of the more entertaining parts of the game, the buzz this thing has gotten, including a press release quoting the GM might be a little much.

Back to the Fry-out and high school football. Despite the lack of hardrolls, the grilling was fantastic - nice job Andy. I was impressed. But, some of the best entertainment of the night was still to come. Off to North High School for the alumni game where T.F. and T.B. played for the evens, and were just beaten by the odds. A few of the highlights - some tripping over the chains when running on and off the field, even it was just to bring a tee on the field, and K.F. dancing in her swimming suit while she cheered for her dad from the stands. Nicely played guys - there's always next year guys - another chance to "Obliterate the Odds"- and I'll be at the game cheering again!

Saturday started with a haircut and pedicure - a little being girly never hurts.

Then it was on to Chicago to meet up with the Great America gang for the first time in four years. Starting the summer after high school graduation, we went to Six Flags together every summer for three years. When we got busy doing the college thing, the tradition fell apart for three years, only to be revived again this past weekend. The trip was typically a day trip, including some good stories surrounding the road trip part of the day, but with Ryan living in Chicago now, we were able to spend a little more time just chatting and catching up. We all met in Skokie for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory (there's the obligatory chain restaurant name drop!) and a little swimsuit shopping - Ryan and Jas even helped. The dinner, conversation, and night spent at Ryan's condo in downtown Chicago were great. Floor to ceiling windows staring straight at the skyline aren't a bad thing to fall asleep to!

Sunday morning brought the Great America Subway run - this time done by Ryan and Jas - normally a Kate and Linds job - thanks guys! On the way to Gurnee, we ran into a little storm and a guy in green, velvety spandex pants... nothing too out of the ordinary!

Besides being as hot as death, and me not being able to handle rollercoasters without getting sick anymore, it was a great time. Records for number of rollercoasters ridden were not to be broken on this trip, and there were more than enough cases of swass and swits to go around, but it was a great time nonetheless. I knew some of the charm of the place had worn off since the last time I was there, but Andy probably put it best with the comment about there being sweaty, white trash in the rollercoaster seat right before you, and you sit down without really thinking about it (until the day after when you start regretting things like that!). Who knows if there will be another trip, but hopefully the reunion of four friends who grew up no more than two miles from each other but now live in four different cities (three states) will continue.

One last side story about the trip (Sorry Linds, it just wouldn't be a complete recap of the day without it!). Tradition says we eat subs together in the car with the best air conditioning at some point in the afternoon. With the cooler in Ryan's car, but Linds' new Rav 4 having the best AC, we decided to eat in hers The problem comes when you unlock the car, start it, turn on the air conditioner, lock the door, and then shut it. That situation requires talks with three different police/security officers, and a little Macgyver action. A little thing to remember - if it's 100 degrees out, and you lock your keys in your car at Great America, you're in a better situation if you have started the car before you shut the door. If it's running, the park security will open your door for you for free. If it's not, they'll hand you the number for a locksmith and wish you luck.

Overall, I'd have to say it was definitely a quality weekend. Thanks for all the fun guys!

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