Took in the Jays' opening game the other night - thank you, Honda Canada.
We were heading in to The Big Smoke early (by my standards) because Alicia Keys was playing next door at the Air Canada Centre, so traffic and parking were going to be even more zoo-ish than usual. My only exposure to her music had been the Hurricane Sandy TV special, so the expected full house for her was and remains a mystery to me, but never mind...
Traffic on the 401 eastbound from Kenzie World Headquarters in Rural Ontario was already at a standstill by Mister-and-Mississauga Road, so Lady Leadfoot and I decided - "Hey! Let's get on the GO!"
So we turned down Erin Mills Parkway and stumbled into the Clarkson GO Station.
$26 and change for two return tickets - probably a bit more than parking would have been, but we figured probably faster and less hassle.
We just missed one train - a slight navigational error by the vice-president - but the next one would get us to Union Station around 6:30. Plenty of time for the scheduled 7:07 first pitch, although there would be the usual Opening Day hoopla beforehand.
Lots of seats in the upper deck on the train.
Sadly, they had also been found by a gaggle of what appeared to be teenaged young men who had not waited to get to the game to enjoy a few Buds with their buds, but had brought what looked to be a bottle of vodka on the train.
Vodka and Coke?
Judging from the noise level and the language, it wasn't the first they had consumed that afternoon either.
The GO Security Police were only heading to discuss the situation with these chaps as we pulled into Union Station. A bit late, guys.
That's certainly one problem with public transit - you can't choose your fellow passengers.
I'm pretty sure there used to be a covered walkway from Union Station to the SkyDome/Rogers Centre and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. I couldn't find it during the Auto Show last February, and it doesn't appear to be there now. Not sure if the massive and seemingly permanent construction project at Bay and Front has something to do with that or not.
We mostly followed the crowd, wandering in and out of doors. I say 'mostly' because we made the mistake of also following the signs that read, "Pedestrian Detour to Rogers Centre." Er, no - we had to go back whence we had come. Why are those signs even there?
Note to self - stick with local knowledge...
It took about 20 minutes to finally get to Gate Three.
The game of course was a disappointment. R. A. Dickey couldn't get his knuckleball down in the strike zone, J. P. Arencibia couldn't catch it no matter where it was thrown, and when your vaunted offence consists of hitting into a double play with the bases loaded - well, I'm glad I have Game Six of the 1993 World Series on my PVR...
And who says Toronto doesn't have championship-winning teams? How soon we forget the Argos (two Grey Cups in the past ten years) and The Rock (three titles and multiple playoff and finalist appearances). Hmm-mm - professonal sports teams not owned by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment or Rogers...
At least the foot-long hot dog was good.
On the way home, we took the easy route back to Union Station - just walked along Front Street. Saved about five minutes compared to the earlier route. Live and learn.
Jammed our way onto the platform and caught the "22:27" - a train that wasn't even listed on the GO timetable we had picked up at Clarkson on the way in. Maybe they added extra trains for the Jays game?
No seats of course, so we stood until two stops from our destination.
But at least no drunks on the train this time.
Then another five minute walk to the car.
We're not sure - no 'control group' - but we figure it took at least half an hour longer to get home that driving would have taken.
More expensive, less comfortable, less convenient, noisier, and it takes longer?
Um, thanks - but I think I'll stick with my car...