This past week I was on vacation in sunny and beautiful Sauble Beach, Ontario. For my American friends, that’s about a four-hour drive from Toronto. So I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the Blue Jays and their week that was (or wasn’t). This post is also a vacation journal of sorts, as I document my downtime.

The Beach

The beach at Sauble is immaculate. Seven kilometers of gorgeous sandy beach, crystal clear waters stretching for miles, it’s truly a sight to see. We were lucky enough to have an Airbnb cottage mere minutes from the hot spot. I’m happy to say that we were on the beach every day!

The first day was very busy. It was difficult to find a decent spot. Again, we got lucky and settled into our books and the sun. Three young women walked by us, considered setting up, but then decided to keep walking. A few minutes later they were back.

They set up an acceptable distance from us. They applied sunscreen and sat on their towels. There was a wasp buzzing around and it wouldn’t leave them alone. A few minutes later I heard one of them say “we’re the only lit ones here. Those people are READING!” (it was barely noon) Oh, the shame!

After the pesky wasp persisted, the women moved to another spot, still visible to us. Well, didn’t the wasp travel with them! “I don’t understand what is with this wasp?!” one of them exclaimed. Just guessing here but maybe it’s the extremely sugary, alcoholic beverages you’re consuming that’s attracting the bees, ladies.

The Baseball

Unfortunately, the baseball played by the Blue Jays was mostly lousy. We arrived on Saturday evening. The main takeaway from that nights’ game was George Springer crashing into the centerfield fence. I was feeling a little road-weary and turned in with the Jays nursing a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning. That ended up turning into a 9-3 Mariners victory.

The Jays were able to salvage the last game of the series and Teoscar Hernández seemingly hit every pitch he saw into orbit. The 8-3 win was the only time Toronto was on the winning side the entire time I was gone. It was a good week to get away, as the team had off days on Monday and Thursday. Sandwiched in between was a forgettable two-game set against the Washington Nationals.

Alek Manoah became unraveled in the third inning of Tuesday’s game. He appeared to strike Juan Soto out, twice. He didn’t get the call on either pitch, walked Soto, then surrendered a homer to Yadiel Hernández. Turns out Manoah was playing with a heavy heart as he was placed on bereavement leave the following day.

There were many unfortunate things about the Nationals series. Washington had lost seven straight. Tuesday’s game was Youtube’s Game of the Week, so the Jays didn’t represent themselves well in front of some new fans. Worst of all, Riley Adams, the former Jays’ catcher traded to the Nats last month, had the best two-game stretch of his career. 

To top it off, the Blue Jays wasted a gem by Robbie Ray and lost 4-1 in extra innings to Detroit on Friday.

The Food

I enjoyed some great grub over the past week. Last Saturday, we stopped at a charming burger place in Hariston fashioned out of an old tram car, The Red Caboose. My partner and I each had a burger and shared an order of fries. Thank goodness we did because the portions were large!

The next day we ventured over to DNL’s restaurant (I have no idea what it stands for) for breakfast. It’s only a small diner and we had to wait a little while but it was worth it. There wasn’t a ton on the menu so I just went eggs and bacon but it hit the spot. There was only one waitress working and she did a great job staying calm and made sure everyone was taken care of. 

When we were leaving the lunch specials were being written on a chalkboard in the window. Hot roast beef sandwich, $9.80, Fish N Chips, $12.50, Prime Rib Dinner, $16.50. What year is it?

Food, Pt. 2

As the week unfolded we became increasingly interested in a local pizza joint, Fire N’ Dough. They cook their pizzas in a 900 degree Fahrenheit oven for 90 seconds. They also feature a vegan pizza (I’m lactose-intolerant) with pesto sauce, artichoke hearts, vegan cheese, peppers, and cherry tomatoes. We were in and out of the establishment in under five minutes. Rapid-fire pizza making, what a concept. It was delicious and even re-heated well. 

Our fine dining experience culminated with a trip to Sola’s Grill, one of the area’s trendiest hot spots. There was a lineup forming when we arrived and we weren’t sure whether or not to stick it out. Just over 20 minutes later, we were contemplating our order with a perfect view of the sunset. Really good wings (40 Creek Whiskey BBQ, Medium) and seashore fries, which feature a sea salt, black pepper, and garlic seasoning blend.

The Drinks

We made sure to stock up on our way. Stopped in at Collective Arts to grab some of their yummy mimosa beers (orange juice & grapefruit juice) and some rainbow sherbet sours. Also, I picked up a few spiked teas. Our next stop was Wellington Brewery in Guelph. We got Mix Pack #10. It includes a Helles Lager, Kveik IPA, Pineapple Gose, and an American Pale Ale. 

Halfway through our trip, we drove down to Southampton, the nearest town. We stopped in at Outlaw Brew Co. We bought 2 Moon Junction, a blueberry wheat beer. Also got Summer Fever, a light hoppy offering, and Pink Lemmy, a beer that tastes like, you guessed it, pink lemonade.

We frequented a local cafe, Amicis, throughout the week. My favorite was their salted caramel oat milk latte. Also enjoyed this drink on our way home at Rabbit Dash, a cafe in Port Elgin.

The Reading

I got quite a bit of reading done on vacation. I brought three books with me. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama, “If I Knew Then” by Jann Arden, and “Educated” memoirs by Tara Westover. 

I only had the end of the epilogue of “Becoming” to finish. It was interesting to learn Michelle Obama’s story in her own words. She’s funnier than I realized and isn’t really a political person, which can be challenging as a first lady. Reading about her husband’s rise to prominence through her perspective was illuminating.

“If I Knew Then” is more of a self-help, journey type-of book. Arden is a singer-songwriter from Alberta, who has also become a writer and actor. Arden chronicles her path from a self-loathing teenager to her accepting, self-caring current form. My main takeaway? Don’t be so hard on yourself. 

“Educated” has been a fascinating read. Tara Westover tells the story of her rural Idaho, deep Mormon roots. The destructive nature of her family and their devout beliefs combine to isolate and shelter the young woman. Her passage from home school to Cambridge is an inspiring and emotional one.

The Swimming

I’m pleased to say that I went swimming every day. Even when we first got there, Saturday evening, I went for a quick dip despite wearing shorts. I’d go in at least twice every day afterward. It was cool at first but my getting submerged seemed to get easier each time. 

My favorite had to be on Friday night. We came out to see the sunset. Swimming in the pink-yellow-blue water afterward was just awesome and felt otherworldly.

The Blanket

By the end of the week, I was feeling like I always do after a good getaway. Feeling refreshed, relaxed, re-energized. More connected to nature, more connected to my partner. Ready for a few sober nights and some sleep in my own bed.

Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed it! Check out more of my articles here and other Belly Up content here. Follow me on Twitter here.
About Author

Graeme Wallace

My name is Graeme Wallace and I love sports I grew up with the Blue Jays World Series Championship teams in '92 and '93. There were some lean years in between but some good ones too, all leading up to Jose Bautista's epic bat flip in 2015. I'm so excited to be a part of Belly Up Sports!

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