This has been a very strange road trip. It seems that every day, you're propelled into another world almost. The cities on this journey can't be any different from one another.
It started in Dallas, Texas where the weather was warm and we ate lunch outside, just because we could. We stayed in a hotel where people were wheeling in with jaguars and porches. Everything was high-end and Texas tough. The Stars played tough too, but not tough enough to beat the Jackets.
Then we moved on to Nashville. If you can't find something entertaining to do there, you must have locked yourself in your hotel room. My favorite thing about Music City, USA was going down Broadway and stopping at all of the little venues. Every one of them featured an individual, or a band, that was hoping to be discovered and signed to a record contract. In all of these little bars and honky tonks, these artists work for tips only. After spending over a decade in the minor leagues, I can really appreciate what these people are going through. The Blue Jackets worked hard there too, getting a point in a shootout loss.
From Nashville it was on to New York. Can there be a bigger culture shock? Nashville moves along at a slow and relaxed pace, while New York City is going a hundred miles an hour, 24 hours a day. Just make your way to Time Square and you'll have a sensory overload, between all of the lights, signs to read and sounds to hear, you won't know what to do first or next. Couple that with all of the usual sights, like the Empire State Building, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and you'll find you can't even come close to seeing everything in one day. It truly is an amazing place. You can just feel the energy the city puts forth when you walk down the street at any time of the day. Unfortunately, the Rangers got energized in their beating of the Blue Jackets, in the world's most famous arena.
A day after that we're trying to figure out what to order for lunch because all of the signs are written in French. That was because we were in Montreal, Quebec. It's too bad we didn't have more time to spend there. Montreal is a beautiful place where you can see a very European influence. The way people dress is very stylish and trendy, the buildings are a mix of very old and very new, and most everyone is bilingual (thank goodness, or I'd never get anywhere). The hockey history and tradition is also very rich, which makes it fun to play there. It's also a tough place to take points out of, as the Blue Jackets witnessed.
Now we're in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. I feel very lucky to have visited the capitals of both the United States and Canada in the same season. I used to come here when I was doing minor league baseball and hated the place, in my early years because I thought the city consisted of a hotel, a mall and the baseball stadium. Those were the only things I ever saw. Then my eyes were opened by strength coach Barry Brennan. One summer day he picked me up and gave me a tour of his hometown and that's when I realized its beauty. The Parliament building is quite a site to see. The architecture of it, and the buildings that surround it is amazing.
With Thanksgiving here, I'm thankful I've visited all of these wonderful places and that I actually get to do this for a living. I'd also be thankful for a couple of points before we return home. I wish you, and your family, a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "Bobby Mac", "Davidge Dishes" and "Rimer Ramblings." The Columbus Blue Jackets radio and television analysts will try to keep you updated on all the season action through their blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets are on the road.