View from our seats in Philadelphia, photo by Carm.
Long ago I wrote about the first half of my trip to Toronto and Philadelphia. Every time I think I'm going to write about the Philly half, something comes up. Anyway....
After the Thursday game in Toronto, straight to bed, up at 6 to get the rental car for the drive to Philadelphia. We took a car from our hotel to the rental place. It was a strange drive, rush hour on a Friday morning and there was almost no one on the streets. It was like the first act of a bad horror movie. You want to add to the economic loss caused by the G10, our cab driver was happy to get our fare. He was saying how, on a normal day, he'd be running bankers around all morning, that morning nothing.
Got the car and started sailing to Philadelphia before 8:00. A very long drive, made possible by GPS, and even with that I was able to make the odd wrong turn. The Gamin's favorite word, with me driving, was 'recalculating'. I'm sure it was all my imagination that it was sounding more and more irritated each time.
I enjoyed the drive, it is a part of the world I haven't been through before. We were very lucky that we didn't hit any traffic problems. A little ways outside of Philadelphia there as a bad tie-up going the other way, I'm not sure if there was an accident or what, but traffic was stopped dead and lined up a long way back, we drove for half an hour before we got to the end of the stopped cars.
We got to our hotel just in time to throw suitcases into rooms and head to the game. Picked up a cheese steak at the ballpark and settled in to watch Roy Halladay shut us down completely, while Jesse Litsch got beat up by the Phillies. David Purcey and Brian Tallet had as much success as Litsch did, none. Among the very few interesting parts of the game was getting to see Adam Lind play a few innings at first base, just a couple of days after a saw him working out there in Toronto a couple of days before. How bad was the game? I never leave games early but this time I made an acception, we left when Doc left. Straight back to the hotel and to bed, which wasn't hard since there wasn't a bar in the hotel.
Watching Doc pitch against the Jays? Painful. Bittersweet? No no sweet, just bitter really. Most of the Philly fans wore their team colors and it seemed life half of those had Halladay on the back. I'm glad they appreciate him, I suppose.
Slept in the next morning, which almost ruined our plan to drive out and meet Hugo and Mrs. Hugo, but we still did. Couldn't be that close and not. It made for a quick visit as the game was a 4:00 start that afternoon. We had a very nice visit, if short. Very cute baby and little girl they have. Enjoy them, they get big quick.
Got back to the ball park in the second inning and sat in my seat just in time to see John Buck hit a home run.Shaun Marcum, Scott Downs and Shawn Camp shut down the Phillies offense. Aaron Hill and Alex Gonzalez hit home runs too. A much better game then the night before. A better day to be a Jay's fan.
After the game we took Hugo's advise and went for cheese steak. Well, actually it was a mistake on my part, we wanted a sit down meal, since we had been eating on the run or in ballparks for the last few days. So I looked on here and Hugo suggested 'Jim Steaks'. Now being from Alberta, I didn't get that the word cheese is dropped in Philadelphia. So I was looking forward to a steak. But it was good anyway. I had mine with wiz. It was good. Walking up and down South Street was great fun too.
Next morning, I had to go to IHOP. There are things I have to do when I'm on that side of the border and IHOP is one of them. Biscuits and white gravy is something that you can't get around here. It is just as well, if I could eat white gravy every morning I would, and I'd be 300 pounds. Unfortunately this IHOP didn't have biscuits, so I had english muffins and gravy. Still good.
The game? The less said about it the better. The Jays made a dozen or so errors and lost 11-2. John McDonald played (for lack of a better word) LF. In the first inning there were three balls hit in his direction. Two that should have been easy catches. Watching him make throws from left is as bad as watching him try to catch flies. I was talking to a nice lady Jay's fan sitting in front of me, who was scoring the game and she said 'I'm charging all those runs to Cito. I should be manager, I know McDonald isn't an outfielder.' We talked for a bit and I told her about the site, I hope she found her way to it. We really should have business cards. We left in the 7th inning after the Jays made 3 errors that inning and started our way back to Toronto. We got as far as Syracuse that night. The next morning we stopped to see Niagara Falls on the way back to the airport. That was cool, I'd never seen it before.
I did like Citizen's Bank Park. Lots of good choices for food, we had pretty decent seats. And the Philly fans I met were pretty nice. Not one threw up on me. The first game there was a nice family behind us that shared peanuts with us. They said they were trying to change the image of Philly fans one person at a time.
The bad thing about the park? I couldn't find a decent beer in the place. I made a mistake once getting a Michelob Ultra, not knowing it was a ‘lite beer'. Ick. And we ready didn't have any time to look around Philadelphia. It seems a bit silly to go to a place and not look around at all, but there wasn't time.
Wore my Jay's cap each game and never had a problem. I had a much worse time wearing a Stampeders' cap at an Eskimo game. I could have done without the 'Dancing Mounties'. Note to baseball teams, don't try to be funny.
Our hotel was ok, not the dive that Bob Elliot told me it was going to be. But no bar and no restaurant. The important thing was it was right across the parking lot from the ballpark.
Enjoyed the trip a lot, even if Jays didn't play great. And glad we when to Philly. I had visions of being in Toronto when all the fun was going on. I'm a believer in protesting. I think people can make a difference. But when you break things, it loses all value. I think a serious protester should denounce violence. You lose the moral high ground when you allow the crazies stand among you. Yeah it might only be a small percentage of the protesters that want to destroy things, but the others lose their chance to make a point when they turn a blind eye to the idiots.