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Mom Mondays: It’s summer and that means hitting the road

The ultimate hockey road trip  

 

Now that the Stanley Cup Finals have wrapped up there hasn’t been much hockey talk at our dinner table, save for speculation in the NHL draft. With the Blue Jays back in swing and Jordan Speith exciting win at the US Open golf championship, our dinner table conversion is less about pucks and more about balls – well - baseballs and golf balls! We’re officially on hiatus from hockey for now. It’s summer time and it’s time to hit the road.  

I’ve been a big fan of road trips ever since I got my driver’s license at the age of 16. The last 14 years we’ve seen our fair share of hockey road trips and now that my two boys are off to university (one requiring an annual Ottawa-Halifax ride) we continue to log those kilometres on our cars; as well as many opportunities for me to belt out bad versions of Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” despite my family’s discouragement and eye-rolling. It got me to thinking about an ultimate hockey road trip. 

Imagine this: a road trip consisting of a visit to all the original-six NHL hockey team towns! Toronto-Detroit-Chicago-New York-Boston-Montreal. Could it get any more “hockey” than that? 

My fantasy family road trip starts in Toronto. Visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame and a visit to old Maple Leaf Gardens which, while no longer home to the Toronto Maple Leafs, is still a tourist destination offering tours and now hosting the Ryerson Rams hockey team. I would spend a couple of days in Toronto visiting its amazing array of non-hockey touristy things to do and then head off to Windsor to cross the bridge to Detroit.  

I don’t have a lot of things on my bucket list that include Detroit. In fact, I can’t think of any. Maybe a nice family picture in front of Joe Louis Arena? Sorry Detroitians, but I am picking up my t-shirt and quickly rolling out to Chicago where I just might get lucky and see a Hawks player with the Stanley Cup. Though none of the top ten tourist activities in Chicago include hockey (unless you include the ESPN Zone as a cultural experience; which it is, right?), Chicago is still an exciting and vibrant city to visit (think food, music, architecture, theatre, shopping). 

The road from Chicago to the next Original Six destination isn’t pretty. In fact, it’s a 12-hour car ride (or nine-hours by train, or a two-hour flight). But I would not be daunted (because I started this fantasy tour!). Madison Square Garden is a star attraction for sure but the NHL store is one on my bucket list. It wasn’t there last time I visited New York and now hosts NHL-related radio and TV broadcasts. And I’m sure a t-shirt or two! 

Once I tear myself away from all the city that never sleeps has to offer, I’m on to Boston to see the home of the Bruins. Here I would grab a picture of myself with a bronze statue of Bobby Orr celebrating his iconic winning goal in the 1970 Stanley Cup playoffs against St. Louis (and probably get a t-shirt bearing the same celebration).

After Bean Town, I head even farther north back into Canada, La Belle Province, and the beautiful city of Montreal. Though the new home of the Canadiens is the Bell Centre, the old Montreal Forum has been remodelled into an entertainment centre with movie theatres and restaurants. There is a spot – perhaps sacred to many Habs fans – that commemorates the Forum’s centre ice. 

I am a fan of driving, but if you’re not, you can also do this entire trip by train. VIA Rail Canada services the Toronto-Windsor route where in Windsor you can easily take a cab across the border to Detroit. From there, Amtrak will take you to Chicago, and on to Penn Station in New York City, then to Boston and even on to Montreal’s Central Station where you can meander your way back to our starting point in Toronto on VIA Rail once again.  

Imagine this collection of t-shirts? I’d be guaranteed to be my kids’ favourite hockey mom for – well – at least a week! 

Three cheers for road trips – and the t-shirts that come with them!

Now that the Stanley Cup Finals have wrapped up there hasn’t been much hockey talk at our dinner table, save for speculation in the NHL draft. With the Blue Jays back in swing and Jordan Speith exciting win at the US Open golf championship, our dinner table conversion is less about pucks and more about balls – well - baseballs and golf balls! We’re officially on hiatus from hockey for now. It’s summer time and it’s time to hit the road.  

I’ve been a big fan of road trips ever since I got my driver’s license at the age of 16. The last 14 years we’ve seen our fair share of hockey road trips and now that my two boys are off to university (one requiring an annual Ottawa-Halifax ride) we continue to log those kilometres on our cars; as well as many opportunities for me to belt out bad versions of Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” despite my family’s discouragement and eye-rolling. It got me to thinking about an ultimate hockey road trip.

Imagine this: a road trip consisting of a visit to all the original-six NHL hockey team towns! Toronto-Detroit-Chicago-New York-Boston-Montreal. Could it get any more “hockey” than that? 

My fantasy family road trip starts in Toronto. Visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame and a visit to old Maple Leaf Gardens which, while no longer home to the Toronto Maple Leafs, is still a tourist destination offering tours and now hosting the Ryerson Rams hockey team. I would spend a couple of days in Toronto visiting its amazing array of non-hockey touristy things to do and then head off to Windsor to cross the bridge to Detroit.  

I don’t have a lot of things on my bucket list that include Detroit. In fact, I can’t think of any. Maybe a nice family picture in front of Joe Louis Arena? Sorry Detroitians, but I am picking up my t-shirt and quickly rolling out to Chicago where I just might get lucky and see a Hawks player with the Stanley Cup. Though none of the top ten tourist activities in Chicago include hockey (unless you include the ESPN Zone as a cultural experience; which it is, right?), Chicago is still an exciting and vibrant city to visit (think food, music, architecture, theatre, shopping). 

The road from Chicago to the next Original Six destination isn’t pretty. In fact, it’s a 12-hour car ride (or nine-hours by train, or a two-hour flight). But I would not be daunted (because I started this fantasy tour!). Madison Square Garden is a star attraction for sure but the NHL store is one on my bucket list. It wasn’t there last time I visited New York and now hosts NHL-related radio and TV broadcasts. And I’m sure a t-shirt or two! 

Once I tear myself away from all the city that never sleeps has to offer, I’m on to Boston to see the home of the Bruins. Here I would grab a picture of myself with a bronze statue of Bobby Orr celebrating his iconic winning goal in the 1970 Stanley Cup playoffs against St. Louis (and probably get a t-shirt bearing the same celebration). 

After Bean Town, I head even farther north back into Canada, La Belle Province, and the beautiful city of Montreal. Though the new home of the Canadiens is the Bell Centre, the old Montreal Forum has been remodelled into an entertainment centre with movie theatres and restaurants. There is a spot – perhaps sacred to many Habs fans – that commemorates the Forum’s centre ice. 

I am a fan of driving, but if you’re not, you can also do this entire trip by train. VIA Rail Canada services the Toronto-Windsor route where in Windsor you can easily take a cab across the border to Detroit. From there, Amtrak will take you to Chicago, and on to Penn Station in New York City, then to Boston and even on to Montreal’s Central Station where you can meander your way back to our starting point in Toronto on VIA Rail once again.  

Imagine this collection of t-shirts? I’d be guaranteed to be my kids’ favourite hockey mom for – well – at least a week! 

Three cheers for road trips – and the t-shirts that come with them!

Tags: minor hockey

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