SHUFFLING OFF TO WHERE ? – BUFFALO , NEW YORK . GOING TO BUFFALO AT THE LAST MINUTE .

FB_IMG_1501932149964FB_IMG_1501932123603FB_IMG_1501932194760FB_IMG_1501932147398FB_IMG_1501932168995FB_IMG_1501932166429You  and  your  cousin  are  thinking  about  doing  a  quick  getaway  for  your  30  Plus  Teams  Tour .

You  both  aren’t  sure  where  you  want  to  go .

Your  cousin  is  thinking  of  a quick  weekend  trip  to  somewhere  nearby  where  you  both  can  catch  a  basketball  or  hockey  game .

You  both  live  in  Western  Pennsylvania ,  not  far  from  the  New  York  and  Canadian  border .

Neither  of  you  have  a  passport  so Toronto  is out  of  the  question .

New  York  City  might  be  an  idea ,  but  you  cousin  doesn’t  want  to  go  there .

She  has  another  idea .

What about  Buffalo ?

You  think  your  cousin  has lost  her  mind .

It’s  early  December  and  your  cousin  must  think  you’re  doing  a  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Miami ,  Orlando ,  Jacksonville ,  or Fort  Lauderdale .

Buffalo  is the  LAST  place  to be in early  November  or December .

Your

 

cousin  isn’t  worried  about  the  weather  though .

She reminds  you  about the  last  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  that you  all  did.

You know  the one  in Chicago ?

The  weather  was horrible  but you went to  that  Chicago  Bulls basketball  game  anyway .

How bad  could  it  be  in Buffalo ?

Since  the  two  of  you  live  together ,  it’s  a quick  trip  to  your  apartment  to throw  some  clothes  into  a  weekend  bag .

You  two  are  going  to  share  the  driving .

You’re  on the  road  to  the  second  largest  city  in  New  York .

As your  cousin  is beginning  to  start  the  car ,  you both  realize  that  you  haven’t  a clue  of where  you’re  going  to  stay ,  and  if  the hockey  team  in Buffalo ,  the  Sabres ,  will  even  be  in  town .

This  is  something  that  no  one  should  ever  do on a  30  Plus  Teams  Tour ,  let  alone  a trip  to  anywhere  else .

Never  go to  a  city  without  a  place  to  stay  and always  make  sure  that  the  team  that you  want  to  see  is going  to  be  playing  at  home  when you  get  to that  city .

Don’t  wait  until  the  very  last  second  to book  those  sports  tickets .

You  were  all  lucky  this  time  to get an inexpensive  hotel  and even  luckier  that  the  Sabres  have  two  games  while  you’re  in  town ,  and they’re  not  sold  out .

Remember  the  object  of  your 30  Plus  Teams  Tour  is to  see  the  sights  of  the  city  AND  most  of  all  to see  that hockey ,  football ,  baseball ,  or  basketball  game .

You’re  almost  there  and your  30 Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Buffalo  has started  off  shaky .

But not only  did  you get the  hotel ,  you all were able  to  get hockey  tickets  for Friday  night  and Saturday  night  as well .

You both are now thinking  of  Buffalo  Chicken  Wings  when  you  get  to your  hotel .

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CAPITAL JOURNEY – WASHINGTON DC – THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT .

FB_IMG_1501512167808As  you  leave  your  hostel  and  walk  towards  the  Washington  Monument ,  you  notice  something  about  the  city .

Not  only  are  people  walking   , they  jog  and  ride  their  bikes  here .

A  lot .

Now  you  can  see  why  this  city  is  considered  to  be  one  of  the  ”  fittest  cities  ”  in  the  country .

People  take  their  exercising  very  seriously .

You  might  even  see your  senator  or  congresswoman  or  congressman  out  running .

Or  maybe  not .

You  have ,  however ,  lost  count  of  how  many  helicopters  you’ve  seen  or heard  since  you’ve  been  here .

It’s  7  am  and  you  are  trying  to  beat  the  crowds  to  the  Washington  Monument .

Hardly  any  other  tourists  are  here  and  it’s  wonderful .

No  crowds  to  deal  with .

It’s  the  first  monument  you  see  as  you  enter  the  National  Mall .

You  can’t  go anywhere  on  the  National  Mall  or  in  the  city  without  seeing  it .

You  would  like  to  go  inside ,  but  it’s  a  long  walk  from  here  to  the  next  destination  on  your  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Washington  DC .

The  National  World  War  2  Memorial .

START SPREADING THE NEWS – NEW YORK CITY . SPORTS DIVA 63 SHARES SOME TRAVEL TIPS ON YOUR OWN 30 PLUS TEAMS TOUR NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY .

FB_IMG_1501337670663First of  all ,  Manhattan  is the  city ,  the other  boroughs of  Brooklyn ,  Queens ,  The  Bronx ,  and  Staten  Island  are  known  as  ”  The  Outer  Boroughs  ” .

Explore  more  than  Manhattan  while  you’re  doing  your  own  30  Plus  Teams  Tour .

The  Bronx  has  the  zoo , the  Botanical  Gardens , Arthur  Avenue  and  the  Yankees  baseball  team .

Staten  Island  has  the  ferry ,  which  is  free  and  for  a change  of  pace  in  cuisines ,  try  some  Sri  Lankan  food ,  as  this  borough  has  the  largest Sri  Lankan  population  in  New  York  City .

Brooklyn  is so big that if it were  to break  away  from  New York  City ,  it would  be  the 5 1st state .

It has the Brooklyn  Bridge ,  the  Grand  Army  Plaza ,  the  Brooklyn  Academy  of  Music  and  the  Brooklyn  Nets  basketball  team  and the  Islanders  hockey  team .

Queens  is one  of  the  most  diverse  areas  of  not  only  the  city ,  but the  country  as well .

Visit  Jackson  Heights ,  Louis  Armstrong’s  home ,  the  Museum  of the  Moving  Image ,  the site  of  the  1964 World’s  Fair , and  Flushing ,  which  has  the largest  Asian  populations  in the  city .

Queens  is  also  the  home  of  one  of  the  largest  Greek  populations ,  the  Bohemian  Beer  Garden ,  and New  York’s  other  baseball  team ,  the  Mets .

You  will  see lots  of  pigeons  in  the  city .

As much  as  you want  to ,  please  don’t  feed  them .

Contrary  to  popular  belief ,  the  pigeon  is  NOT  the  state  bird  of  New  York  City .

It just  seems  that  way .

Please  don’t  feed  the  squirrels  either .

They  may  look  all  cute  and  cuddly ,  but  these  are  rodents .

Rats  on  steroids ,  really .

Speaking  of  rats ,  yes ,  I’m  not  going  to  lie, New  York  has  a  lot  of  them  and  they  all  seem  to  be  on the  same  subway  platform  as  you  are .

They’re  on  the  tracks  as  well .

Word  of  advice ,  people .

THEY  ARE  NOT  TOURIST  ATTRACTIONS !

Just  because  you  see them  on  the  train  tracks  or  on  the  platforms ,  MOVE  OUT  THE  WAY !

Don’t  snap  pictures  and  videos  of  them  to  send  back to  the  folks  in Alabama  or Japan   and please  don’t  post  them  on  Facebook ,  Instagram  or  Snap  Chat .

Trust  me ,  people  don’t  want  to  see  that.

BACK  THE  HECK  UP !

These  rats  aren’t  here  for  you  all  to be  amused.

These are   New  York  City  Rats .

They’re  aggressive  and  they’re  all  in  a hurry  to  get  to  the  train  just  like  their  human  New  York  City  cousins .

So  do  us  and  them  a  huge  favor .

Put  down  the  cameras  and  keep  it  moving .

Don’t  block  the  doorways  of  the  subway  cars  with  your  backpacks  and  what  seems  to  be  your  big  suitcases  that  have  everything  but  the  kitchen  sink  in  them .

Trust  me ,  New Yorkers  will  give  you  more  than  dirty  looks  about  this .

Don’t  stop  in  the  middle  of  the  street  to  read  your  street  or  subway  map  either .

RESEARCH  PEOPLE  PLEASE !

Know  where  you’re  going  and  what  train  to  take  to get  to  your  destination  while  you’re  in  your  hotel  room .

Better  yet ,  map  out  that  route  whether  you’re  at  home  in  Lima ,  Ohio  or  Lima ,  Peru .

Follow  the  lead  of New  Yorkers  while  you’re  here .

Have  that  bag  of  Wise  Potato  Chips  on  the  D  train  or  number  4  train  while  heading  to  Yankee  Stadium  for  a  game .

Don’t  be  shocked  that we’re  eating .

New Yorkers  do  eat  and  drink  on  the  trains  and  nobody  is  going  to  tell  them  to  stop  doing  it .

Even  while  we’re  waiting  for  that  number  7 train  to  take  us  to  Citifield  to  see  the  Mets  or to  have some  Malaysian  food in Flushing ,  you’d  better  believe  that  we’re  going  to  bust  out  the  Dunkin  Donuts  bag  and  eat  right  in front  of  you .

Breakfast  at  home ?

You  think  New  York  City  people  have  time  for  that ?  !

NOOOO !

We’re  going  to  chug  down  that  7-Eleven  coffee  and  eat  that  bagel  with  cream  cheese  right  in  front  of  you  while  all  of  us  are  waiting  for  the  E  train  to  the  World  Trade  Center .

You  say that  it seems  like  New Yorkers  dress in  black  all the  time  like  we’re  in  mourning  or  something .

No, we just  like  to  look  hip  and  edgy .

DEAL  WITH  IT .

New  Yorkers  seem  to  be  loud  and  obnoxious ,  and  rude.

That’s  not  true  it’s  a  myth  – .

Wait  a  minute ,  no it’s  not .

It’s  what  makes  New York  City  what  it is .

Deal  with  THAT  too as you  wait  for  the  PATH  train  to  take  you  to  New  Jersey  to  watch  the  Giants  and  Jets  play  football  at  Met  Life  Stadium .

You  aren’t  in  Kansas  anymore .

Inspite  of  what  the  folks  back  in  Nebraska  told  you ,  don’t  be  afraid  to  take  a  New  York  City  subway .

If  you  happen  to  be  in  the  city ,  say  you  and  your  besties  around  11P.M ,  there  will  be  a  train  to  take  you  all  back  to  that  fancy  hotel  in  the  Meatpacking  District .

Just  remember  to  sit  in  the  conductor’s  car  so  that  he or she  can  answer  your  questions .

It seems  to  you  that  New  Yorkers  always  seem  to  be  in  a  hurry .

No, it’s  not  your  imagination .

They  are ,  ALWAYS .

Remember  to  stand  on the  right  side  of  the  escalator  so  that  people  can  pass  on  the  left .

Please  don’t  take  up  the  whole  sidewalk  when  the  four  of  you  are  walking .

You  aren’t  in  a  scene  from  Sex  in  the  city ,  so stop  it .

You  will  get  dirty  looks  and  someone  will  make  some  nasty  comment .

Trust  me ,  this  is  New York ,  it’s  a  given .

That’s  a  pet  peeve  among  New  Yorkers .

You  say  that  New  York  City  is really  expensive .

It is   but there  are  ways  around  that .

Don’t  take  cabs  everywhere .

Walk  or  take  the  subway .

No, seriously ,  take  them ,  even  though  Aunt  Martha  back  in  South  Dakota  told  you  how  scary  they  look .

They  aren’t  and  they  run  24  hours ,  seven  days  a  week .

You  want  to  be in  the  middle  of  the  action  but  you  don’t  want  to  pay those  high  city  prices .

Stay  in  one  of  the  Outer  Boroughs ,  like  Brooklyn  or  Queens .You  can  even  stay  in  New Jersey  to see a hockey  game ,  no matter  if  it’s  the Rangers  at  Madison  Square  Garden  or New Jersey’s  hockey  team ,  the  Devils ,  at  Prudential  Center  in  Newark .

You  can  get there  from  here  on  your  30  Plus  Teams  Tour .

You can  even  use that  New York  City  Metro  Card  to  pay  for  your  ride  on the  PATH  Train .

ENJOY  YOURSELVES !

NO ,  REALLY .

You’ve  never  experienced  anything  like  New  York  City  and  you  probably  never  will  again .

Don’t  be  intimidated  by  anything  about  the  city .

It may  sound  simple ,  but  please  act  like  you’ve  been  there  before .

Embrace  the  craziness  that  is  the  “city  that  never  sleeps . ”

Have  that  coffee  and  danish  while  waiting  for  the  R  or  N  train  to  take  you  to  Brooklyn to  see  some  Nets  basketball .

Act  the  way  you  would  if  you  were  back  in  Ireland  or  Wyoming .

Just  on a  much  grander  scale .

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS OR GETTING TO KNOW SPORTS DIVA 63 (THAT’S ME ! )

FB_IMG_1501244723872I’ve  had lots  of  people ,  not just friends  ask me a lot of  questions  about  the  blog and things they didn’t  know  about  me. So I’m  going  to  try to  answer  some of  them  for you. If you  have any  other  questions  that I  don’t  answer  here, feel  free  to  contact  me  by email  at Sportsdiva64 @gmail.com .

WHAT’S  UP WITH  THAT  TITLE ?

In all  four  of  the  major  professional  sports ,  that’s  hockey ,  football ,  baseball ,  and  basketball ,  there  are  at  least  30  or  more  teams .

As for the  30  Plus  Dreams  part ,  well, for some  people  who love sports  as much  as  I  do, it’s  a  dream  to  attend  a  game  in  person no  matter  which  one  of  the  sports  it is.

You  don’t  even  have  to  be  a  fan  of  the  team .

WHO IS THE  INSPIRATION  FOR  THE  BLOG ?

That  would  have  to  be  my  girlfriend ,  Mish  T ,  who  is  forever  asking  the  question  “but what’s  there  to  do  there ? ” Hopefully ,  this  blog  answers  that  question  for you  after you’ve  gone  to  that  sports  event.

HOW DID  YOU  GET  INTO  SPORTS ?

I  have  been  a  baseball  fan  since  1963, when my late  Aunt  Blecka  took  me  to  a  baseball  game  at  Yankees  Stadium .  I don’t  even  remember  what  team  was playing  against  the  Yankees  that day . Sports  was always  something  we  talked  about  in my  family ,  the  women  as well  as  the  men .

Some  things  don’t  change, although  some members  of  my family  just don’t  get my crazy  obsession  with  hockey .

I  was a  freelance  sports  writer  and  most  of  my  work  was done  with  the  Boston  Bruins  and  Los  Angeles  Kings  hockey  clubs .

WHAT  ARE  YOUR  FAVORITE  SPORTS  AND  TEAMS ?

In  this  order ,  Baseball ,  New  York  Yankees .  Hockey ,  New York  Rangers  and Boston  Bruins .  BASKETBALL .  Boston  Celtics  and football ,  New England  Patriots .

HOW  DID  YOU  GET  INTO  TRAVEL ?

I  took  my  first  plane  ride  at  age  12  from  Martha’s  Vineyard ,  Massachusetts  to New York  City .  I  worked  for  Delta  Airlines  in Boston  and  Los  Angeles ,  and for  Malaysia  Airlines  in Los  Angeles .

WHERE HAVE  YOU  LIVED?

I  have  lived in  four places. I  don’t  count  Dayton ,  Ohio, because  I  went to  college  there from August  to April  of 1971 at the  University  of  Dayton .  I have lived in Boston ,  Los Angeles ,  Las Vegas ,  and  New York  City ,  where I  am  now .

WHERE  HAVE  YOU  TRAVELLED  TO?

This is  a  very  long list and forgive  me if I  left out a few places. INTERNATIONAL  and I  do consider  Canada  as international . Kuala  Lumpur ,  Malaysia ,  London ,  England ,  Singapore ,  Brisbane ,  Australia ,  Sydney ,  Australia, Penang ,  Malaysia ,  Niagara  Falls ,  Canada ,  Toronto ,  Canada ,  Vancouver ,  Canada ,  Barrie, Canada, Calgary ,  Canada, Ottawa, Canada and Montreal ,  Canada.

In the  United  States ,  Portland . , Maine ,  Providence ,  Rhode  Island ,  Baltimore ,  Philadelphia ,  Pittsburgh ,  Washington  DC ,  Atlanta ,  Los  Angeles ,  St. Louis ,  Boston ,  New Orleans ,  Phoenix ,  Detroit ,  Nashville ,  San Francisco ,  San  Diego ,  Salt Lake  City ,  Denver, Buffalo ,  and Wheeling ,  West Virginia .

WHAT  CITIES  ARE YOUR  FAVORITE ?

International ,  it’s  a  tie between  Toronto  and Kuala  Lumpur .  In this  country ,  there’s  no contest .  It’s the  city that will  ALWAYS  be  home  to me, Boston .

DO YOU  HAVE  A  BUCKET  LIST  OF  CITIES  THAT YOU’D  LIKE  TO  SEE ?

Yes, Dublin , Belfast ,  Tel Aviv , Dubai, Winnepeg, Memphis ,  Seattle ,  Chicago ,  Miami ,  and Cleveland .

DO YOU  HAVE  A  BUCKET  LIST  OF  ARENAS THAT YOU  WANT TO  SEE ?

DEFINITELY !  Progessive Field  – Cleveland ,  Miller  Park  – Milwaukee ,  Lambeau  Field  – Green  Bay ,  United  Center  – Chicago ,  Great  American  Ballpark  -Cincinnati ,  ComericaPark-Detroit ,  Gillette  Stadium  -Foxboro ,  Massachusetts ,  Nationwide  Arena  -Columbus ,  Quicken loans  Arena  -Cleveland ,  and the new Busch Stadium  in  St. Louis .  I saw the  old one ,  but the  new one looks  amazing !

HOW DID  YOU  GET  INTO  BLOGGING?

I  had started  a blog  on blogspot .com many years  ago ,  but I  wasn’t  really  passionate  about  it ,  plus  I  was working  full time  and didn’t  have  the  time or the patience  to  keep  up with  it. Now that I’m  retired ,  I’m  blogging  about  the  two  things  that I’m  very passionate  about ,  travel  and sports .

I follow  a lot of  the blogs out there and am so amazed  at all the great  writing  about traveling  that I  see.

Shout out  to  The Shooting  Star, Oneika  the  Traveller, Fly Brother, Why Wait to  See The World, This  Battered Suitcase ,  Travels  With Adam ,  Shut Up and Go,Kesi To and Fro, and The Blog  Abroad ,  among others .

You guys really  inspire me .  THANK YOU !

I  AM  TAKING  A  TRIP TO  BOSTON  AND NEW YORK  CITY ,  WHAT SHOULD  I  SEE?

WOW!Where  do I  start?! What  can I  tell you  without  leaving  out a whole  lot  of  things  to  do ?

Of course  while  you’re  in  New York  City ,  you must take in a baseball  game  at  Yankees  Stadium  or Citifield ,  home of  the  New York  Mets. In Boston ,  visit  one of  the  oldest  baseball  parks  in  the  United  States ,  Fenway  Park ,  home of  the  Boston  Red Sox .

Even  if  you  aren’t  a fan  of  baseball  or you aren’t  a  fan of either team, just go.

If you know  NOTHING  about  baseball ,  just go for the  atmosphere ,  especially  when the Mets play against  the  Yankees  or whenever  the Yankees  play the  Red Sox .

As for visiting  the  other things that New York  City  has to  offer ,  I could  tell you about seeing  the usual  touristy  places, but I’m  not .

Visit  the other areas   like Washington  Heights  or Harlem .

Visit  New

York’s  “outer  boros”, that  would  be  Brooklyn ,  Queens ,  The  Bronx ,  and  Staten  Island .  You’d  be  surprised  at  what you  see there .

Take  a  ride on  the  Staten  Island  Ferry ,  which  is  free  and  it  runs  all night .

As for  Boston ,  it’s  all about  the  seafood  and  the  history .

Take a  picture  with that ginormous  statue of  Paul  Revere  sitting  on  his  horse ,  walk along  the  Freedom  Trail  , and say hello  to  Samuel  Adams  in front  of  Faneuil  Hall.

Don’t  neglect  the cities  of  Salem ,  Cambridge ,  Lexington  and Quincy . By the  way, we don’t  pronounce  it Quincey , we say Quin zee  .

You might  have  heard about  these cities  in  history  class, so see them  up close .Take a walk through  Harvard     Yard and  say hello  to  the  statue  of  the  guy that we’re  not  sure  really  is John Harvard .

After the  hectic  pace of  New York  City ,  Boston  is a  welcome  change .

 

 

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BLACK AND YELLOW – PITTSBURGH , PENNSYLVANIA . VISITING THE UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH .

FB_IMG_1501246433746FB_IMG_1501246437696FB_IMG_1501246445497FB_IMG_1501246453895You’ve  taken  the  public  bus just like  the  locals do, from your  downtown  hotel  in Pittsburgh  to the  Oakland  neighborhood  of  the  city.

Today ,  your 30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  the  city is bringing  you to  the  University  of  Pittsburgh .

You can’t  believe  how spread  out this campus  is .

That tall  building  that you see in the  distance  is called  ”  The  Cathedral  of Learning  ” and not  only  does it  dominate Forbes Avenue ,  but the campus  of  Pitt as well.

As you get off the  bus, the first thing that  tells  you  where you  are ,  is one of  the  many bridges that dot the city on the  Three Rivers.

This time it’s the University  of  Pittsburgh  Bridge  and unlike  the  other bridges in town, it’s  not painted  yellow . This bridge  seems  to  connect  one campus  building  to another  without  the students  having  to  cross the  busy street .

The other thing  that  let’s you  know  where you  are ,  is that  statue  of  that  snarling  Black Panther  that looks  as though it’s  about  to pounce on something  or someone .

You discover  that  all the  athletic  teams are known  as “The Pitt Panthers  “, that’s  why you see pictures  of  Panthers  all along your walk through  the  neighborhood ,  which is  affectionately  known  as  “The neighborhood  of  Learning  “.

Even  though  it’s  on campus ,  you aren’t  going  to  visit  what’s  known  as  “The Nationality Rooms.”

They’re  located  in the  Cathedral  of Learning  and they are  actual  classrooms  in the building .

They aren’t  just any classrooms  though.

All 26 of them   are named for the  nationalities  that made Pittsburgh  the melting  pot  that it is .

Before you  go  back to  your hotel ,  you  decided  to  visit  the  museum  that is the  only museum  in the country  that honors  the  men and  women  who  served in every war that our country  has fought  in  – The Soldiers  and  Sailors  Memorial .