Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Stadium Junkies-Day 2 Toronto

Three stadiums in three cities in three days. Day #2:

We woke up in Cleveland at the crack of dawn and checked out of the Airbnb house at 5:30am to drop Halina off at the airport. From there, Val and I made a quick stop at Starbucks and drove over to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for our 5k race.
 Our 2nd baseball game was still a 5hour drive away in Toronto and we found out too late that the 5K started at 8:30, which would make us late to the game.

The race coordinators were SUPER nice, gave us our bibs and let us start our own race an entire hour early. So, technically, it was just another 3.1 mile run for us, but the starting line had flamingos:
 And a lioness at the half mile mark.
 There were killer hills at this zoo. Without the adrenaline that comes from the energy of an actual race, I ended up walking most of the hills.
 Sloths....ha, I'm faster than YOU
 The ELEPHANTS: It was right about here that I started to feel really really really guilty about being in the zoo. I don't agree with the imprisonment of animals for the sake of exhibition/entertainment.  I don't take my kid to the zoo or the circus.
I didn't know when I signed up for the 5K that it was going to be at a zoo. As I started to run that morning, and because I hadn't been in a zoo in years, I was enthralled by seeing the animals so Up Close and Personal. Wow. 

We were running through the zoo before it opened to the public and before the race started. Tt was just the two of us and the animals, and it was actually quite peaceful. 

Until we came to the cheetahs. Their enclosure was no more than 50 yards in length. The ridiculous irony of my stupid slow ass shuffle alongside their CAGE hit me pretty hard. 
These creatures, the fastest animals on earth, are never allowed to "open it up" and run like they were meant to, it was heartbreaking. But me and my two skinny legs and corpulent body--I could run anywhere I wanted to, any time I wanted to and for as long as I wanted to. And I had just contributed my dollars to further the imprisonment of these poor cheetahs. UGH. 

After that, I couldn't even be excited that i was the first person to cross the finish line. 
It was a small comfort that Val had the time of his life running past all the animals. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to be burdened with thinking about the bigger picture when it comes to stuff like this. My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Tulum in July. She's looking forward to swimming with dolphins while I've had to break it to my kid that we would not be doing that. 

Val and I each picked up a banana from the finish line spread and rushed off to start our drive to Canada. We took turns driving and changing in the car on the drive to Toronto. I changed in the US. 
 Val changed in Canada.
Stadium #2 Rogers Centre Theater

Our entire weekend was planned around Pantone294 (a Dodger fan club) 's road trip. When we finally got into Toronto and to the stadium, we had no trouble finding our group. Dodger fans 300 deep in Canada are quite a sight: 
photo credit: Pantone 294
We made a pact: We are ALL moving to Canada together after Trump is elected president. #Dodgernation

After the baseball game (DODGERS WON!) Val and I walked over to the CN Tower and toured all the floors. And shared a sky-high apple pie. 
After a couple of hours in the CN Tower, we headed out to find our next Airbnb and check in. 

 On the walk over to the Airbnb, Val spotted Wahlburgher's restaurant and he could not be dissuaded from making us eat here. I didn't mind too much, but I really was tired of not-so-healthy food choices by now.
 I don't watch the Wahlburger's show on A&E--one of the few shows I don't watch, ha ha. But I might have to binge it one of these weekends. Val really likes it.
After Wahlburger's we (again) went with Val's choice and found a movie theatre to watch Captain America: Civil War near our Airbnb. No spoilers, but it was REALLY GOOD.
After the movie, a little past midnight, we walked back to our Airbnb. We stopped by a hot dog cart and split a hot dog like the locals. This made me very happy.
Even though we were not in bed until close to 2 am, we planned on being up early and out the door by 6:30am. It was rough, and once again I was reminded that I ain't no spring chicken.

There was a night club across the street from our Airbnb and around 3:45am (California CANADA knows how to party!) the club got crazy and it seemed like a riot was about to break out. We watched the entire thing unfold from our 2nd story window.
That whole scene really took me back, and for a second I wished I had rallied to stay out a bit longer to party in Canada. This was my first ever trip into Canada and I had had an EPIC day. OH CANADA, I <3 YOU! 


  1. You are having such a fun trip!! I am so jealous!

    Oh my god! I'm right there with you on the Zoo and circus issues. Your emotional journey was very touching.

    I think that at some point, kids need to be exposed to seeing the animals at the zoo, because otherwise, they would never see them. But I am just opposed to the circus, which makes me sad. Growing up, my parents took us to the circus and it was such an amazing experience, we had so much fun! But I have not taken my son to the circus, and have no intentions to.

    Those are some pretty awesome Airbnb places!

    1. I couldn't agree more! How do we reconcile exposing our kids to these experiences without having to force animals into unnatural habitats?

    2. I couldn't agree more! How do we reconcile exposing our kids to these experiences without having to force animals into unnatural habitats?