If you follow me on Instagram, you probably
were annoyed by noticed that we took a trip to Toronto a few weeks ago to see my brother make his MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT. Finally, after attending approximately 398273759 baseball games in my life, I got a free trip out of this thing. (and also got to watch my brother pitch like a badass in front of 45,000 people).
A little back story – The Blue Jays had actually flown my family out to Houston the weekend before because they thought they were going to need him to pitch during that series against the Astros. It turned out that they didn’t and we basically flew to Houston to have dinner and then flew home the next day.
Now, of course, Christopher has to be difficult and play for the ONLY team outside the US. So, my parents were proactive as he kept getting promoted and sent in their paperwork to renew their passports just in case he got called up while the team was in Toronto. Unfortunately, my Dad forgot to SIGN THE FORM, so while all this was happening, he didn’t have a valid passport.
I gave him so much shit all weekend in Houston because he was SO lucky that they were on the road when the Jays wanted to fly us out there. When we left Houston, Christopher kind of had a feeling that he would be starting in Toronto the next Saturday (the same day that Dad’s passport was supposed to arrive).
So all week, we were tentatively planning on heading to Toronto on Friday and just kind of waiting until the Jays made it official (and waiting for Dad’s passport to come in the mail).
When I got home on Monday, I decided to just double-check my passport – I was SURE it was valid. Which it was… it just had the wrong name on it (whoops – forgot to change it after the divorce). So, off I was to drive 5 hours to Atlanta for my appointment to get a same-day passport renewal at the Passport Agency. I totally had it coming to me after being so mean to Dad all weekend. Luckily his passport came in the mail the same day – because he was seriously looking into how he could fly/drive/rent a boat and sneak across the border to get to the game.
With all of that settled, we were just waiting on a call which came Thursday night and we all got on planes Friday morning to head north of the border.
Our hotel was amazing. It was right in the heart of downtown Toronto, had amazing views, and was walking distance to the stadium. Oh, did I mention the views? The rooms were gorgeous and came stocked with wine glasses – my kind of hotel – which came in handy for the post-game celebration. The rooms did NOT, however, have refrigerators (and apparently Canada doesn’t believe in selling cold beers) so we had to get a little creative.
We didn’t get a chance to try the restaurants, but everyone we talked to was raving about them!
EAT: THE KEG
Guys. This was some of the best steak I’ve ever had and I don’t say that lightly. I think this is a chain (or at least there are several locations), but it had a great, masculine, swanky steakhouse feel. You know what I mean?
Christopher’s agent booked a private room in the back for us after his game and we had a great time celebrating, drinking wine, and trying to keep Christopher’s ego from taking over the whole restaurant. A situation that was NOT helped when someone recognized him and came to ask if they could take a picture with him. Not kidding, my jaw was on the floor. I kept trying to figure out if Dad or Phil (agent) had paid them to do it.
PRO TIP: Get the brie appetizer. Thank me later.
SEE: VIEWS FROM CN TOWER
Toronto is so cool because it’s right on the water so you get really great city and lake views. Take advantage of the best of both of them by going up in the CN Tower. We had dinner in the revolving restaurant, so we got the full experience right around sunset which was beautiful.
Guys. Christopher got recognized again. It was actually really cute – a German family had just flown in and his game was their first baseball game ever. Their kids were so excited to take a picture with him. I guess you could say he’s an international star… just don’t tell him.
To be perfectly honest, the rest of the CN tower experience is a bit of a cluster. I definitely recommend making a reservation at the restaurant if you’re going to do it – otherwise you’re talking HOURS of standing in line.
CHEER: ROGERS CENTRE
You guys knew this was coming. But seriously, Blue Jays games are so much fun (even if my brother isn’t pitching). I was so impressed earlier this summer with Boston fans but Toronto gave them a run for their money! First of all, the stadium is the coolest. The roof opens if it’s nice outside, they serve wine, and there is A HOTEL in the outfield. Seriously, there’s a hotel attached and you can get rooms that look out over the field. So crazy.
We had so much fun watching Christopher’s game – I think. May have blacked out from anxiety for the entire time he was out there. The last thing I remember is Jamie being high maintenance and trying on 38 hats while I just wanted to go sit in my seat and panic before the game. Then, it was over, there was a standing ovation, and I got to go get a hot dog and a big ‘ol glass of wine. I was starving but refused to be caught on TV while he was pitching shoving a hot dog in my mouth.
I can’t say enough about Blue Jays fans and they will always have a little place in my heart for giving my brother such a warm welcome (at least until they start bashing him on Twitter – which I will not handle well).
Highly recommend the foam fingers and the wine. Not so much the hot dogs. American hot dogs are better. Yet this didn’t stop me from eating one at all three games.
My only regret is that I didn’t get caught on TV with the foam finger on one hand and wine in the other. I feel like that would be SO on brand.
DRINK: AMSTERDAM BREWHOUSE
SUCH a cool little brewery right on the water. We went to celebrate Christopher’s birthday Monday night and it was the perfect little spot. Beer flights are usually my go-to at any brewery since I’m what Jamie lovingly (I think) calls “indecisive” and they had 4 or 5 different flights to choose from.
STROLL: ALONG THE HARBORFRONT
Enjoy some of Toronto’s gorgeous summer weather and walk down by the water. There are boat tours, shops, and even a little beach. You can also watch planes come in and out of the little airport that’s on the island across the harbor.
So I know this has been an abnormally long travel post, but I’ve had so many questions about our trip and am so appreciative of everyone texting, calling, posting, and giving congratulations. As crazy a weekend as it was for me, I couldn’t be happier or prouder for someone who has worked hard his entire life to get here.