From Minor League Baseball to a Major Road Trip: Part 1

One of Many Today Around Quebec City

Why is there a photo of a CBC bus in my blog post? Maybe because the whole world was watching...

The Tornadoes are on their longest road trip of the season, which also happens to cover the most mileage of any other trip. After ending Friday’s home win against the Rockland Boulders, there were about seven hours separating us from an eight-hour bus trip to Quebec City, Quebec. After the three-game set with the Capitales, we’ll head home on Tuesday before leaving early Wednesday morning for Rockland County to take on the Boulders for a four-gamer.

There are plenty of teams (and broadcasters for that matter) that take much longer road trips than this, in days, mileage and time actually traveling as well. However, I doubt there are too many who experienced what we did earlier today.

For those of you who know me, you realize I think paying more than a tiny bit of attention to the (U.K.’s) Royal Family is going overboard, if you’re American anyway. Here in Canada, things are a little different, even though there’s nothing more than ceremonial power for them on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. That doesn’t mean they can’t have a huge all-important ceremony here though.

Prince William was in town to give a speech earlier this afternoon, which is fine with me. I have no beef with the guy personally, but some of the Tornadoes players and coaches might now after what he did to us.

Don’t be mistaken. We didn’t come anywhere near him or his posse. He didn’t pull a Justin Bieber-esque prank on us (like throwing water balloons at security guards). He didn’t take our lunch money, and he didn’t use one of those buzzers that hurts the other person when they shake your hand. It was the accommodations made for him that inconvenienced us.

Because of his public talk happening in Old Quebec, many streets in that area of the city were blocked off. The team’s hotel happened to be one of those “Rues,” as they call them around here. That meant that no automobile traffic was allowed in or out from the only escape for us.

This photo is one I shot in haste as we walked away from the Hotel Clarendon. I didn’t want to seem like a terrorist, so I shot it from a distance, only took once picture, and left. I could have taken a much closer shot of the officers putting on their armor and other riot gear, but I figured being up in the face of a bunch of jacked armed men with a camera I may or may not be allowed to use in their presence was a good enough reason to chill until I got a head start leaving.

Police Officers Gearing Up for Prince William's Arrival in Quebec City

Le Stade Municipal, the home of the Quebec Capitales, is about a mile and a half or so from here, with most of the way there a downhill trip. It’s a good thing that today’s game was the middle one in the series and not the first or last. Had either of those been the case, we would have had to carry all of our luggage and equipment the whole way to the park. We all walked over at various times during the morning for the 1:05pm game, but there was no heavy lifting involved.

I can’t say the walk was tough, and you won’t hear me complaining about it. I could use some more exercise. However, I certainly won’t forget how much of a capital city (for a province anyway) shut down just for a brief statement from a dude that has no political power 2,000 miles from his own country (where he may not be the ruler for a long time).

If nothing else, I got an interesting story out of it. As someone who tells stories for a living, I can’t ask for much more. So, Prince William, thanks for screwing me over. Seriously (about the former, not so much the latter). Bon voyage to your next destination.

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