Christopher and I kicked off the second day of our little getaway with brunch at Café Benelux in the historic Third Ward; we wanted to sit on the rooftop, but we opted for an immediately-available seat at the bar and lucked out because we had a great bartender/server.
We started with cocktails appropriate for drinking before noon—Christopher got the Muddy Larry, Hirsch Kentucky corn whiskey, house-made bloody mary mix with a pimento-stuffed olive; and I got the Beer Mosa, High Speed Wit (brewed exclusively for the restaurant) beer and fresh-squeezed orange juice.
We then chowed down on our main dishes:
a Dutch pancake topped with asparagus, fried eggs, pancetta, parmesan and Belgian beer-cheese sauce
two fried eggs, smoked ham and Belgian beer-cheese sauce on a croissant with hashbrowns
Café Benelux, which opened within the last year or so, is one of several restaurants in a local restaurant group that is known for their incredible European beer selection, delicious food and fun atmosphere. The restaurant offers a fabulous brunch menu, complete with unique cocktails, in a casual, European-inspired environment. We both devoured our dishes and especially loved the beer-cheese sauce. We enjoyed chatting with our bartender, too; he even offered to snap a picture of us to commemorate our anniversary.
We then headed to Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers. Our beloved Brew Crew was playing the San Diego Padres and looking to take the series and come out on top of a nine-game homestand.
We cracked a beer—an extra-large Hoppin’ Frog Turbo Shandy summer ale—and shared it on the walk from the car to the stadium. We waited in a snaking line, got our Nyjer Morgan bobblehead and made it to our section just in time for opening pitch.
We took our seats—14 rows behind freakin’ home plate—and settled in for the first four and a half innings. We then took a walk to get margaritas and BBQ brisket baked potatoes; we even met a few friends who were at the game, including my best friend, Valerie, and her husband, who were sitting just one row behind us.
We watched our new, young catcher, Martin Maldonado, blast a three-run home run to center to give the Brewers a 4-2, a shot in the arm they so desperately needed in the sixth inning. We saw Ryan Braun crank a two-run homer to left if the seventh inning, runs they ended up needing by the ninth.
We watched set-up man Francisco Rodriguez pitch a mediocre inning then watched closer John Axford give up a run-scoring single and walk in another run before striking out a guy with the bases loaded and securing the win, 6-5. We cheered so loud for our boys in
blue white and felt so happy to witness a win, complete with a couple home runs and a heart-stopping final three outs.
We walked back to the parking lot and cracked open a couple more beers—a Central Waters Belgian-style Blonde ale and a Lakefront Brewery Wisconsinite weiss beer—to celebrate the victory and wait for traffic to clear.
We made the two-plus-hour drive home, then curled up on the couch to catch our Sunday-night shows and dig into the cupcakes from our wedding, which made the trek to Milwaukee, melted in the hot car and made the trip back to Dixon. (Thankfully, they still tasted good, even if they didn’t look pretty.)
Christopher and I had such a wonderful weekend just being together and being out and about in our city, eating, drinking and doing things we truly enjoy together.
It’s been a really special year for us: We’ve weathered the storms to find the rainbows. We’ve learned a lot about one another and about our marriage. And we’re as in love, if not more in love than we were on our wedding day.
What’s on the horizon for us? We’re not sure, but we can’t wait to find out!