City Blogger: From Southampton to Toronto
- 10 December 2013 10:51
- Posted by @vic_bird
In her next City Blogger piece, Victoria chronicles a City trip to Toronto...
My mum told me never to get into cars with strange men, yet last Friday I clambered into a Toyota sedan on a cold Chicago morning at 7am, to drive to Toronto, with these two:
In my defence I think my mum meant ‘strangers’, and I’ve had the good fortune to know these two gentlemen for a few years now. Andrew was one of the first City fans I met at The Globe Pub in Chicago, he’s also attended a match at Maine Road. When I first met Mark, he was wearing a Dunne shirt. So, yeah, both of these chaps were supporting City “before we got good”.
Mark is originally from St. Catharines, Ontario and is a member of the MCFC Toronto branch at Opera Bob’s Pub (a fellow Heart of the City recipient), as well as a member of our Chicago branch.
After Darryl Webster, fellow City Blogger and MCFC Toronto Supporters Group member, visited Chicago as part of his Pride in Travel research tour, Mark suggested we should have an outing to watch a City game in Toronto. We quickly agreed on December 7th for the away match at Southampton and set about making our plans. Well, we let Mark make the plans and Andrew and I turned up and went along for the ride, literally.
After a nine hour car drive we arrived in Toronto, had a quick freshen up and headed out to meet Darryl at Opera Bob’s. We got firmly stuck into the local ales, then Mark pulled out the bottle of Malört he’d brought along as a “gift” for his fellow Canadians. Malört is only sold in Chicago and is considered a staple in Chicagoland pubs. Some call it a “niche liquor”. It’s also known as “the worst drink in existence”. It’s difficult to pin down an accurate description of its taste, but Andrew’s “it’s like gasoline and mildew” comes close. After more Malört and Mill Street beers the frivolity ensued which included a splendid air guitar show from Mr Webster - which I did promise not to post the photos of….
Saturday morning arrived like a hard slap in the face, but we were buoyed with excitement to head back to Opera Bob’s to meet the rest of the City crew and come away with a much needed three points. Unfortunately, our boys in Blue didn’t get the last part of that memo and despite starting the game well it ended with a lacklustre performance where we succumbed to the battering ram of Southampton’s attack, one point, and left St. Mary’s Stadium with our tails between our legs. Luckily the other results over the weekend saved our bacon, but this little piggy wants to start winning away as well as at home.
Whilst it wasn’t the result we wanted, it was a fantastic trip to meet the Toronto Blues and new friendships have most definitely been forged. You may accuse me of being biased but we truly do have the best fans in the land and all the world. If you find yourself in Toronto, get yourself to Opera Bob’s for a (proper sized) pint and some of Hoss’ exquisite curry chip butty.
It may take me the rest of the week to recover, but it was worth it.