I’ve had friends ask if it’s easy to fly from across the country to catch a Blue Jays game or two. The answer is yes. Over Mother’s Day weekend, my wife and I decided to test it out. We flew from Calgary to Toronto to watch the Blue Jays play Friday night and Saturday, before heading home Sunday. We also managed to sneak in time to see friends and family before heading home. Here’s a play-by-play showing just how easy it is to fly WestJet, an official partner of the Toronto Blue Jays™, and catch a game.
4:30 a.m. MST, Calgary – The alarm goes off and all I can hear are the birds outside. Appropriate because on this early Friday, I’ve packed my jersey and a couple of hats; as my wife and I are about to make our way to Toronto to watch the Blue Jays take on the Seattle Mariners at Rogers Centre™.
We grab our boarding passes from the kiosk at YYC Airport, only to see one of the founders of WestJet – Clive Beddoe – right beside us. Like any good Canadian when spotting a celebrity, I don’t approach. I don’t want to be a bother, after all. After my wife and I exit security, we hop on the fancy, new airport electric-powered shuttle: YYC LINK. It’s fun and fast. You should try it.
Game time is a little over 10 hours from now and we are simply buzzing at this rare weekend getaway to watch our favourite team play at home. As we wait in line to board, WestJet Customer Service Agent Dean does not fail to impress as he takes guests out of line to move them to more desirable seats. A few guests are pleasantly surprised. Owners truly care. Once onboard, I quickly spot about 10 Blue Jays caps in the sold-out aircraft.
Then, take off. As Blue Jays long-time radio play-by-play announcer Jerry Howarth might say: “This bird is in flight.” Next stop: Toronto.
We’re almost halfway to our destination and after watching a few shows on WestJet Connect, I connect to the Internet, thanks to the Flight pass I purchased just after we took off. There’s no shortage of Blue Jays stories – all speculating about the team’s Post-season chances. The Blue Jays have opened the first half of May with a winning record, so I’m positive they’ll make it. I then send out a few emails telling some friends that we’ll be landing shortly.
12:44 p.m. EST, Toronto – Hello, Toronto. A smooth flight, that lands about 10 minutes early. We make our way to baggage claim, and within 10 minutes we are checking into the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport. Talk about convenient. We don our Blue Jays gear, and make our way to the free monorail, which takes us to terminal 1 where we catch the UP Express. The new train system connects to downtown Toronto. A quick 23-minute ride, including an up-close view at Rogers Centre, and we are at Union station.
With time to spare before the first pitch, we meet up with friends at one of the many restaurants along Front Street.
6:15 p.m. EST – After filling up our bellies, we head over to Rogers Centre, to experience a sporting feast for the eyes. The short 10-minute walk includes a stop at Jays Shop to pick up some gifts for our daughter and friends back home. If it’s Blue Jays selection you’re looking for, this flagship store has it all, and more.
We head to our seats up high, but behind the first base dugout with a great view.
The roof is closed, but the atmosphere is electric with close to 40,000 fans on hand. We watched slugger Jose Bautista belt a 2-run home run in the third, and be there for pitcher Joe Biagini’s first win of the season – and first since becoming a starting pitcher. The Blue Jays were well on their way to sweeping the Mariners
10:30 p.m. EST – We hop on the UP Express, which gets us back to our hotel at the airport effortlessly – and stress free.
Then we do it all again the next day; before flying home on Sunday, May 14 – Mother’s Day. It was truly a memorable weekend trip to Toronto and back to Calgary, which we can’t wait to do it again.
Our only regret: Not taking in that third straight game. There’s always next time.
Let’s Go Blue Jays!
™TORONTO BLUE JAYS and all related marks and designs are trademarks and/or copyright of Rogers Blue Jays Baseball Partnership, used under licence. ™ROGERS CENTRE is a trademark of Rogers Communications Inc., used under licence.