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 .

START SPREADING THE NEWS – NEW YORK CITY – A VISIT TO THE SEPTEMBER ELEVENTH MEMORIAL ON STATEN ISLAND .

FB_IMG_1501932764278FB_IMG_1501932752093FB_IMG_1501932754926FB_IMG_1501932757645FB_IMG_1501932760843You  all  have  left  the  Staten  Island  Ferry  at

 

Saint  George  Terminal .

You’re  going  to  stay  pretty  close  to  the  terminal  since  you  all  don’t  know  your  way  around  this  borough .

Not  far  from  the  terminal  is the  ballpark  where  the  Staten  Island  Yankees  baseball  team  play   their  games .

That’s  right ,  they’re  the  minor  league  team  of those  Yankees  who play  in  that  big ballpark  in the  Bronx .

As you  all  walk  along  the  waterfront  even  your  cousin  can’t  help  but  notice  how  calm  the  water  looks .

Finally  you  all  seem  what  you’ve  come  to  see  on Staten  Island .

The  September  11th  Memorial .

It’s  not  as  big  as  the  one  in the  city ,  but  just  as  sobering .

Especially  that  sculpture  that’s  supposed  to  represent  the  wings  of  an airplane.

This  memorial  honors  the  first  responders  who did  on that  day .

You  can  imagine  the National  September  11th  Memorial  in  Manhattan  will  be  even  more  sobering .

You all  say  nothing  but just  walk  back  to  the  Saint  George  Ferry  Terminal  for  the  trip  into  the  city .

START SPREADING THE NEWS – NEW YORK CITY – A RIDE ON THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY.

It had been  raining  most  of  the  day,  but  that  isn’t  stopping  you  and  your  cousins  from  your  next  destination  on  your  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  New  York  City  –  the  Staten  Island  Ferry .

Wouldn’t  you  know  it ?

The  weather  has  cleared  up  for  the  three  of  you  to  go to  Lower  Manhattan  and  take  the  ferry ,  which  is  the  cheapest  way for  Staten  Islanders  to get into  the  city .

There are express  buses  that can  take  you  from  Manhattan  into  Staten  Island ,  but  nothing  beats  free  no matter  how  slow  it may  be .

Once  again    you all  can’t  believe  how  many  people  there are  even  at the  Staten  Island  Ferry  Terminal .

A lot  of  them  are  commuters ,  travelling  to their  jobs in Lower  Manhattan  or other  parts  of  the  city  as well .

Most  of  them ,  though ,  are  like  the  three  of  you ,  tourists .

You  notice  all the  security  here too.

Including  all those  bomb  sniffing  dogs.

As one boat  pulls  into  the  dock ,  you notice  that  there  are  cars  coming  on to  the  ferry  too .

Is it  free for  them  too ?

You’re  guessing  no.

One  of  your  cousins  is actually  afraid  of  water  crossings ,  but once  the  ferry  pulls  out  of  the  terminal  at Whitehall  Street ,  the  ride  is very  smooth ,  much  to her  surprise .

As for  the  view  of  New  York  City  – .

Is THAT  the Statue  of  Liberty  sitting  out  there  by  herself  in   the harbor ?

It is  but later  on  in your  tour ,  the three  of  you  are  going  to  get  up close  and  personal  with  Lady  Liberty .

It  seemed  like  a  long  time ,  but  you  all  have  landed  i

n  Staten  Island .

At  one  time ,  you  could  stay  on  the  ferry  and  wait  until  it was  it  was ready  to  go  back  to  Manhattan .

Not  anymore ,  everyone  has  to  get  off  and wait  for  the  next  ferry .

You  all  decide  that  since  you all want  to  see  some  of  this  borough ,  this  is  a  good  time  to  explore .

START SPREADING THE NEWS – NEW YORK CITY – HAMILTON GRANGE .

The  next  stop  on  your  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  New  York  City  is bringing  you  to  the  summer  home  of  Alexander  Hamilton ,  called  Hamilton  Grange  or  ”  The  Grange .  “

You  all  got  off  at  Broadway  and  137th Street  and  began  walking .

The  streets  are  very  hilly  and  the  three  of  you  have  to  stop  many  times  just  to  catch  your  breath .

You  see  a  sign  that  reads  ”  Alexander  Hamilton  Park  ”  and  think  you’re  getting  closer .

Actually ,  the  three  of  you  are  only  on  138th  Street .

When  you  all  finally  reach  14 1st  Street  and  Saint  Nicholas  Avenue ,  you  see  a  familiar  sight .

It’s  a  yellow  and  white  house  standing  off  by  itself .

The  house  is  surrounded  by  a  park .

This  is  Hamilton  Grange .

For  all  that  you  know  about  Harlem ,  you  weren’t  aware  that  many  colonial  families  had  summer  homes  there  due  to  the  Yellow  Fever  that  was  commonly  found  in  Lower  Manhattan .

The  three  of  you  walk  into  the  entrance  to  take  a  tour  of  the  house .

It  happens  to  be  free .

This  just  isn’t  a  monument ,  this  really  was  Hamilton  s  home .

On  the  first  floor ,  it’s  all  about  Hamilton .

You  all  know  about  his  early  life ,  sort  of ,  but  not  much  else .

You  wonder  with  all  the  things  that  he did  and  all  the  positions  that  he  held ,  when  did  he  have  time  to  have  kids ,  let  alone  eight  of  them ?

You  all  read  details  about  his  death  in  a  duel as  well .

The  three  of  you  learned  about  it  in  American  History  class ,  but  there  was  so  much  that  you  didn’t  know .

For  one  thing ,  the  duel  between  Hamilton  and  Aaron  Burr  had  to  take  place  in  New  Jersey  because  dueling  was  illegal  in  New  York .

You  discovered  that  Hamilton  wasn’t  the  only  member  of   his  family  to  die  in  a  duel .

His  oldest  son ,  Philip , did  as  well .

The  Hamilton  –  Burr  duel  was  fought  because  Hamilton  supposedly  said  that  ”  Burr  was  unfit  to  be  governor  of  New  York .  ”

In  Colonial  times ,  any  type  of  so  called  insults ,  real  or  imagined ,  would  result  in  a  duel .

How  different  from  today .

How  many  duels  would  be  fought  today  because  someone  got  their  feelings  hurt  and  felt  ”  disrespected  ” ?

Not  to  mention  how  many  people  would  be  posting  this  on  YouTube ,  Facebook  Live  or  Instagram  just  to  show  people  that  they  were  there .

The  duel  would  even  be  trending  on  Twitter ,  under  ”  HASHTAG  DUEL .  ”

You  think  to  yourself ,  ”  What  a  waste  of  two  lives ,  Hamilton  and  Aaron  Burr . ”

The  results  might  have  been  different  if  only  Burr  had  done  what  Hamilton  supposedly  did  –  pointed  his  pistol  in  the  air .

The  three  of  you  walk  upstairs  to  the  second  floor  of  the  house .

You  can’t  resist  taking  pictures  of  the  spacious  dining  room .

There’s  a  huge  portrait  hanging  in  the  parlor  of  the  house .

It  isn’t  a  portrait  of  Hamilton  or  his  family  though .

It’s  George  Washington ,  who  was  a  frequent  guest  at  Hamilton  Grange .

You  guess  you  can  say  that  Washington  really  did  sleep  here .

STAYING HOME IS NOT AN OPTION.

Everybody  wants  to  get away  even  if  it’s  not  a  30  Plus  Teams  Tour ,  but  something  always  seems  to  hold  them  back .

Money  could  be  an issue  and if it’s  you, the wife  or husband  and the  kids, that’s  usually  the  case .

Sometimes ,  though ,  it’s  not  the reason  why you  aren’t  making  that  trip to  Oktoberfest  in Germany  or over to  the  Rose City ,  Portland ,  Oregon   to see  a Trail Blazers  basketball  game .

It’s  that big elephant  in the  room   if you’re  a  female  or a  male  that keeps  saying  to you ,  ”  I really  want  to  go, but I  don’t  have  anyone  to  go  with  me . ”

What are you  going  to  do  about  this  problem  that always  seems  to  be in the  way of you having  fun in  Rio DE Janeiro  around Carnival  Time or at that  Miami  Dolphins  football  game ?

There  is  no  place  like home ,  but you  aren’t  in Kansas  anymore  and there’s  that plane, bus, or train  ticket  with YOUR  NAME  printed  on  it.

It’s  telling  you  that “we don’t  want to  stay  at home  “, not when  there are  places  to  see and more Cleveland  Indians  baseball  games  to attend .

How  often  do  you  get to stand on the  Great  Wall  of  China  or take a  ride on  the  London  Eyed ?

If you stay at  home ,  waiting  for  for someone  to  go with  you ,  but they don’t ,  this isn’t  going  to  happen .

Neither will  seeing  Russell  Wilson  and  the  rest of  the  “Legion  of Boom  ” at a Seattle  Seahawks  football  game .

Are you  going  to  miss out  on your chance  to  learn  the tango  in Buenos  Aires  because  your friends  don’t  want to  go?

What about  that Los Angeles  Kings  hockey  game ,  you going to  miss that too because  your  FB_IMG_1490023549439friends  don’t  want  to  go?

That’s  okay, this is  YOUR  30  Plus  Teams  Tour ,  not your friends .

Get  out there  and  go.

Don’t  stay at home  when  there are so many  places  to  see and a whole  lot  more  games to  attend .

It’s  not an option .

GET OUT AND TRAVEL WHILE YOU CAN .

I  can’t  stress  this  enough  to  everyone  again  and  again .

You might  be  climbing Mount  Hood.

Or you  might  be  just climbing  the  hills  of  San Francisco  to  go to a Giants   baseball  game  on your  30  Plus  Teams  Tour .

No matter  what ,  just  do it .

Travel .

Don’t  get me  wrong ,  money  to go is very  important ,  but you  can’t put a price  on the  memories  you’ll  have whether  you’re  doing  a  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  or not .

Just  to be  able  to  say  that  you saw the

Gateway  Arch in St.  Louis  and not in  a  book or one of  those  travel  shows  or magazines .

You  were actually  THERE.

Money  can’t  buy  any of  those  memories .

Travel  not because  there’s  that Maple  Leafs  hockey  game  that you want  to  see  in Toronto   or those  relatives  in Japan  that you’ve  never heard  of ,  but finally  got  to  meet .

Travel  somewhere  and not just  on a 30  Plus  Teams  Tour  but anywhere  because  you might  not have  the  chance  to  do it  again .

Don’t  spend  your time  when  you  get  older  wishing  that you  could  have seen  Lambeau  Field  in Green  Bay  or Wrigley  Field  in  Chicago  or even  those  White Cliffs  of Dover  close  up.

Travel  when  you  get  the  chance ,  even  if  it’s  just  you.

Travel  and see those  places you only  read about  or heard  about  from  people  who  actually  went  there.

Travel  because  life  is  short and you may never  get the  chance .

START SPREADING THE NEWS – NEW YORK CITY – TRINITY CHURCH

Your next  stop  on your  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  New  York  City  is Trinity  Church .

The three  of  you  see One  World  Trade  Center  behind  the  church ,  even  though  it’s  not  really  that close .

The  graveyard  of the  church  is  the  final  resting  place  of Alexander  Hamilton ,  among  others .

The  building  that the three  of  you  are  looking  at  is actually  the  third  Trinity  Church .

The original  one  was built  in  1697 and destroyed  in 1776.

The present  church  was finally  completed  in 1846.

It’s  the  building  that’s  in front  of  you  now.

The two very  heavy  looking  front  doors  of the  church  are decorated  with  scenes  from  the  Bible .

Underneath  the scenes  are chapters  and verses  from  the Bible  that  the  stories  came  from .

You all  walk  inside  and look  at  the  chandelier  that’s  above  you in the  vestibule .

You can’t  believe  the details  that went  into  the  building  of  the  church .

One of  your  cousins  wants  to  visit  the  gravestones  of the  people  who  are  buried  here.

You and your  other cousin  really  don’t  want  to  do that.

You both  find it very disrepectful ,  no matter  what  famous  person  is buried  there.

As the three  of  you  leave  the  church ,  you see other tourists  doing what your  cousin

wanted  to  do.

Take pictures  of  the  gravestones .

You just don’t  get it.

This isn’t  the  place  to  do  that .