Wednesday, May 20, 2015

2015 Game #2 - Toronto Blue Jays/Renaissance Hotel

This blog is being written live on-board the Via Rail - Jeremy and I are traveling from Toronto to Windsor, Ontario by train where we will then cab across the border into Detroit.  Yesterday's Blue Jays game was not until 7:07 PM so that gave a full day to explore some of Toronto's other sights and sounds.  Started with lunch at the CN Tower which is about a block from the stadium - the CN Tower is similar to the Space Needle; however, the CN Tower is 3-times taller than the Space Needle.  The restaurant featured a revolving restaurant and in about an hour's time we made a full revolution of the structure.  Here is a photo looking up at the tower as well as a couple of shots from our window table as we dined:




Following lunch, we walked down a couple of levels to the the observation deck (the wind was blowing!).  Also on that level was a glass floor that looked down the 553 meters to the ground floor (about 1,800-feet).  This was basically a view directly above the Rogers Centre.


After the elevator ride back down the tower, we headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame which was a few blocks away in the heart of downtown Toronto.  There were some very interested exhibits, but hands-down the best part of the museum is the Great Hall - this is what houses all of the of NHL trophies including the Stanley Cup.  I spent some time, but was able to track down Sharks' players etched on some of the trophies - Thornton on the MVP, Nabokov on the Calder Trophy, and, of course, Jonathan Cheechoo on the Rocket Richard Trophy.  In that area, they also had a vault which housed the original Stanley Cup trophy as well.






Following our time at the Hockey Hall of Fame, we signed up for a brewery tour of a local Toronto Brewery - they are in an old train depot building and only brew one beer, a Pilsner.  Our tour guide was great and they beer was pretty damn refreshing.





We headed back to our hotel - Renaissance Hotel - to watch the Blue Jays from a very unique, and honestly quiet comfortable, seating spot.....our hotel room!  At Rogers Centre, there is a hotel built into Center Field and you can book a room with a stadium view.  Our room was above right field - circled in red on this photo:


As you walked into the room, the ground level had a very similar set-up to a typical luxury suite at any sports arena - we opened the windows, rearranged the couch and arm chairs for optimal viewing, set the TV to watch the broadcast, and cracked open some bottles of the Steam Whistle Pilsner we bought after the tour.  Upstairs was the bedroom which also had windows should you have the desire to watch the game while laying in bed or working at the desk up there.  





The Blue Jays could not rally a comeback for this game and fell to the Angels.  After the baseball game, we headed back to Gretzky's bar to get our fill of Bay Area sports - watched both the Warriors win and the Giants beat the Dodgers!!!  Oh, and we got a little Sports "Centre"...




All in all, Toronto was a great stop and exceeded my expectations for the stadium and fan-base.  Looking forward to the end of this train ride and getting back to the good ol' USA (though I don't know if I can survive without everything having it's French translations).  Will be back after the Detroit Tigers game later this week......

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