Off The Beaten Football Path – Trip to Toronto, Canada……..Canada you say???

Exactly! What business do I have going up to Canada on a college football weekend and the first NFL Sunday you ask??? RIOTFEST!!! That’s right, I took my old sorry ass up to RiotFest not to watch the new, up and coming bands, but to see an older favorite, The Cure!! Really it is my wife’s favorite, not mine. A little too depressing for me and weird, but I was there none the less. Pleasantly surprised with how well they sounded; new and old material. Good concert!! We saw a few other bands; Flaming Lips, Brand New, and Rage Against, and were pleasantly surprised enough to decide to buy their albums once we return home! Anyway, let’s review the trip….

A 9AM flight out of my favorite LaGuardia terminal (American C) and you are already off on a bad foot before you even start. Good to see the college football fans out in full force thought sporting their shirts and hats and bags. Not quite the previous record of 9 sightings, but 6 was quite respectable. Why this terminal, not sure. American Airlines flight was uneventful as no one travels to Toronto so the plane was empty and the route was clear for an early arrival. We cut the corner around the Finger Lakes (yes I asked the captain on a potty break) because he needed that for the 1 hour flight. Must have had some bad Au Bon Pain…

Arrival in Toronto uneventful; nice clean empty, yet cold, airport. Why do you have the air conditioning on at 64 degrees when it is 50 outside? So this is my first experience with stupid. Moving on, because we hope this is a one and done scenario, we walk off the plane and wait for our bags. There we hear some more “unbelievable” conversation that just made my head spin around. First, someone asks “do they take credit cards in Canada” and I have to ask myself, “What? Seriously?” Which is then followed up by a conversation about the flight attendants future visit to New York to come and see a Devils hockey game. I’ll spare you the boredom of the conversation and load you up on the goodies halfway thru. When asked where to stay and how to get to the game, the other flight attendant first suggests staying in Times Square because it is “more convenient”. To this statement I almost trip over myself and fell. Really, most convenient? Ok. But better yet was that it is easy to get to the Devil game from there via …..wait for it……FERRY. Ok, so you’re laughing like me if you are a sports fan from NYC right now cause you know not only is it impossible to get to a Devil gave in New Jersey via ferry, but if the game is being played at the new arena in Brooklyn, it is also impossible to get there by ferry. Blind leading the blind in Canada. Same person asked if it rained last night; the airport grounds had 3 inch puddles. Apparently they water the runways in Toronto.

Every building in downtown Toronto is a bank building or bank branch. Occasionally there is a Tim Horton’s sprinkled in, and they all have two ATM’s each. Friendly people up in Canada, and come safe driving going on. The traffic lights change every 15 seconds no matter what. Gives the drivers no time to get going!! Someone told me “you know, we play a lot of hockey up here in Canada.” I replied by saying “aye!”

The city has the most statues of anywhere one area I have ever seen, and I mean the cool funny ones you’d like to take pictures with and post to Instagram. Note that if you are ever in a contest to take selfies with statues, fly directly to Toronto and the contest is in the bag. Speaking of the bag, through the metric system in it and bury it deep. Everything there wants American dollars, but still wants you to purchase gas in liters. Why? There actually is Canadian money although no one there admits it.

Best concept from Toronto….the flowering ads along the highway. Some cities put these flower beds outside of airports showing the name of the airport, maybe the college campus we visit has a flower bed with their name spelled out at the entrance….but no, Toronto has actually sold these beds along the major highways as advertising space. Good job Toronto!! Truly loved this idea. New York has the most mileage of highway most often occupied by cars in traffic….

All in all, and seriously, Toronto was a pretty cool town. No issues with food or drinks after midnight. No issues finding cabs. Subway system that runs until 2AM. Good stuff!  If you are ever in the area, don’t hesitate to visit. Two thumbs up.

As for Riot Fest…well…the music was great, very good collection of bands leading up to The Cure….but get your VIP crap straight. Us older people with jobs don’t like standing the mud which is why you sold the VIPs…isnt it????


College Football Quest Information…

The 2014 schedule has us visiting Florida, Michigan, LSU, Rice, and Houston (in that order).

Want to participate? How do you find us (or how do we find you)? We are always on and around campus during our trip weekends, clearly accessible, spending lots of time wandering around. We spend as much time walking, touring, and speaking with people as we can since each campus is visited only once. We’re on twitter, Facebook, email at , and our website . Find us!! We’d love to meet you and talk football!

Enjoy the season, and good luck to your team!