REVOLUTIONARY TALES – BOSTON , MASSACHUSETTS . A SIDE TRIP TO CAMBRIDGE .

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Whenever  I  go  to  Boston ,  whether  it  be  for  a  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  or  to  visit  family  and  friends ,  I like  to  get  out  the  city  and  take  a  side  trip .

My  side  trip  isn’t  far  at  all .

I  can  even  take  the  ”  T”   to  get  there .

It’s  not  Cape  Cod .

No matter what  neighborhood  in the  city  I’m  in, I  can get to my side  trip .

I’m  talking  about  the  city that’s  the  home  of  of Massachusetts  Institute  of  Technology  and  Harvard  University .

It’s  Cambridge ,  Massachusetts  and  many  people  are  under  the  impression  that  Cambridge  isn’t  only  a suburb  of  Boston ,  but  it’s  one  of  the  Boston  neighborhoods  as  well .

Sorry ,  but  it’s  not .

People  in Boston  call this city, “The People’s  Republic  of  Cambridge  “,  due to  their  really  liberal  politics .

Cambridge  has  their  own  mayor  AND City  Hall .

I could  take  the  Red  Line  train  from  the  Park  Street  Station  in  Boston   to  the  first  train  station  in  Cambridge ,  Kendall  Square .

Kendall  Square  also  happens  to  be  the  station  for Massachusetts  Institute  of  Technology .

One  thing  that  you  notice  when  you’re  in  Cambridge , it’s  the names  of  the  train  stations .

Kendall  Square ,  Central  Square  and  Harvard  Square .

See  a pattern  here ?

As  I  said ,  I  usually  take  the  Red  Line  train  but sometimes  no .

Sometimes   I’ll take   the  bus  going  towards  Harvard  Square .

The  buses  in Boston  are  just  as  colorful  as  their  trains  are .

They’re  bright  yellow  and  like  the  trains, they also  have  a  big  black  letter  T in a  circle ,  right  in  the  middle .

As I’m  riding  the  bus ,  it passes  slowly  by  the Kendall  Square  station  and  a lot of  people  are  getting  off at  the  round  white  building  known  as  the  Massachusetts  Institute  of  Technology  or  MIT ,  for  short .

I’m  not  going  to  stop  here now   to  take  pictures ,  but  on  my  way  back  to  Boston ,  I  definitely  will .

The  bus  continues  on to  Central  Square ,  which  has lots  of  shops  and  restaurants  as  well  as  the  Cambridge  City  Hall .

You might  call  Central  Square   the “business  district  ”   of Cambridge .

The  Cambridge  City  Hall  looks  like  an  old  17th  Century  building ,  very  stately .

My  destination  is coming  up and it’s  a place  that  lots  of  tourists  come to  when they  come  to  Cambridge .

It’s  my  quiet  spot  in  the  city ,  Harvard  Square .

Like  Central  Square ,  Harvard  Square  also  has  a  lot  of  shops  and  restaurants .

Unlike  Central  Square ,  but like  Kendall  Square ,  a university  dominates  this  square .

It’s  one  of  the  oldest  universities ,  if not  the  oldest  in  the  country ,  Harvard  University .

Like  the  other  tourists ,  I  like  to  go straight  to  the  statue  of  John  Harvard ,  seated  in  a  chair  overlooking  Harvard  Yard .

Or  at  least  it’s  the  person  who  we  THINK  was  John  Harvard .

Since  there  are  no  pictures  of  the  founder  of  the  school ,  we  have  no  idea  of  what  he  really  looked  like .

Urban  legend  has  it  that  the  person  seated  in  the  chair  isn’t  really  John  Harvard ,  but  a  friend  of  his .

Another  place  that  I  like  to  go  on  campus ,  and  I’m  sure  that  I’m  not  the  only  one ,  is  the  Out  of  Town  Newstand .

This  isn’t  just  any  old  newstand ,  chances  are  that  if  you’re  looking  for  your  hometown  newspaper ,  you’ll  find  it .

Looking  for  that  magazine  that you  saw  and  liked  when  you  were  in  Dubai , ?

Guess  what ,  they just  might  have  it  there ,  too .

They also  sell drinks ,  munchies ,  lottery  tickets ,  and of course  you know  that you just  have  to  have  a  either a red shirt  that says  Harvard  University  Crimson  on it or the ones  that tell you  to Park your car  in the  Harvard  Yard .  ”

The  city  of  Cambridge    isn’t  that  far  away  from  Boston ,  but for  a few  hours ,  no matter  if  you  decide  to  go  to  Kendall  Square ,  Harvard  Square  or even  Central  Square ,  let  this  city  across  the  Charles  River  be a stop  on your  own  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Boston .

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HELLO CHARM CITY – BALTIMORE , MARYLAND . GOOD EATING AT FAIDLEYS IN THE LEXINGTON MARKET .

FB_IMG_1501164782674FB_IMG_1501164778814FB_IMG_1501164773271When  your  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  takes  you  to  Baltimore  for  a  Ravens  football  game  or even  a  Orioles  baseball  game ,  make  it  a  point  to  stop  by  Lexington  Market .

This  market  might  just  remind  some  people  of  the  Reading  Terminal  Market  in Philadelphia  with  all  the  food  stalls  and many  other  things  being  sold  there .

It’s  one of  the  oldest  markets  in the  country .

My  favorite  eatery  in  this  market  is  a  little  hard  to  find ,  but  a lot  of  people  do  just  that .

It’s  Faidleys  Seafood  Restaurant ,  and  not  only  do  the good  citizens  of  Charm City  eat  here ,  but  tourists  have  discovered  it  as  well .

I  did  mention  that  it’s  one  of my  favorite  places  to eat when

 

I  come  to  Baltimore ,  didn’t  I ?

It’s  not  one  of  those  foo  foo  fancy  restaurants .

There’s  no  chairs  to  sit  down  on ,  standing  room  only .

But the food  makes up for it, plus you get to  talk to  other people  who seem  to  love  those  crispy  French  Fries ,  mouth  watering  Onion  Rings , and   the best and creamiest  Cole  Slaw  ever ,  in my humble  opinion .

The  star  of  the  show ,  though ,  are the lump  Crab  Cakes .

They’re  the best  in all of  Charm  City  , if you  ask   me .

Once  again ,  it’s  my own  humble  opinion ,  and I’m  not  even  a  fan  of  any kind  of  Crab  Cakes .

But when  I  go down  to  B ‘ more  for a 30 Plus  Teams  Tour ,  I  will  eat them  at  Faidleys  with  no  problem .

Faidleys  is  opened  from 8:30am  until  5:30pm  Monday  through  Saturday .

If you  just  happen  to  be  in  the  Lexington  Market  area ,  you  really  aren’t  that  far  from  Baltimore’s  Inner  Harbor  or  even  Orioles  Park  at  Camden  Yards .

If  you  aren’t  a  fan  of  Crab  Cakes , (  what are you  doing  in Baltimore ? !    Just  kidding . ) or any  other  type  of  seafood ,  Lexington  Market  has  other  dining  options  for  you .

However ,  if  you  want  to  taste  some  of  the  best  Crab  Cakes  in  town ,  make  your  first  stop  in Lexington  Market ,  Faidleys .

Believe  me ,  it’s  worth  the  trip   and the  prices  aren’t  bad ,  either .

CAPITAL JOURNEY – WASHINGTON , DC . A VISIT TO THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN .

FB_IMG_1500990962656FB_IMG_1500991140248FB_IMG_1500990965820FB_IMG_1500990971872FB_IMG_1500990968788Unlike  the  American  Indian  Museum  in  New  York  City ,  the  National  Museum  of  the  American  Indian  in  Washington ,  DC  isn’t  located  in  a  building  that  was  something  else  at  one  time .

This  building ,  which  is  located  at  4th  Street  and  Independence  Avenue  is  surrounded  by  a  series  of  peaceful  and  tranquil  waterfalls .

On  one  side  in  the  front ,  you  notice  the  figure  of  a  Native  American  warrior  wearing  a  Buffalo  headdress  .

As  someone  who  is  part  Cherokee  Indian  on  my  mother’s  side ,  I  wanted  to  visit  this  museum  while  I  was  in  Washington  DC .

I  didn’t  only  wanted  to  see  the  artifacts  and  relics  from  the  other  tribes ,  but to  especially  see  everything  that  pertained  to  the  Eastern  Band  of  Cherokees  in  North  Carolina .

Since  this  is  a  Smithsonian  museum ,  the  admission  is  free .

The  museum  is  opened  everyday  from  10am  until  5:30pm.

As  you  walk  into  the  lobby ,  you  notice  a  statue  of  George  Washington  standing  with  two  Native  American  chief’s  ,  one  of  whom  is  a  woman .

At  first  I  wondered  why  George  Washington  was  there  and  what  did  he  have  to  do  with  the  Native  Americans ?

But  fast  forward  a  few years  later  to  my  trip  to  the  The  Museum  of  the  American  Revolution  in  Philadelphia  .

Looking  back on my visit   now

, the statue  did  make  sense .

The  two  Native  American  chief’s  were  from  the  Oneida  Band  of  Indians .

The  Oneida  tribe  was  one  of  the  first  Native  American  tribes  that  helped  the  colonists  against  the  British .

As  I  continue  walking ,  I  noticed  the  figure  of  a  horse  adorned  with  the  Native  garb  from  the  Seminole  tribe  in  Florida .

This  museum ,  like  the  one  in  New  York  City ,  just  doesn’t  focus  on  the  tribes  from  North  America ,  but  the  native  people  from  South   America ,and  Central  America ,  but  on a  much  grander  scale .

There’s  even  a  restaurant  inside  the  museum  called  the  Mitsitam  Cafe ,  which  serves  foods  common  to  all  tribes  in  the  Americas .

This  museum  is  not  one  of  the  most  visited  museums  in  town  and  I  really  don’t  see  why  not .

This  is  a  museum  that  every  American  should  visit  while  you’re  in  Washington  DC .

CAPITAL JOURNEY – WASHINGTON , DC . A VISIT TO THE NATIONAL POSTAL MUSEUM .

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While  in  our  Nation’s  Capital ,  visit  a museum  that  you  didn’t  even  know  existed .

But  this  is  Washington  DC ,  there’s  a museum  for  just  about  everything .

Right  across  the  street  from  Union  Station ,  which  is  one  of  the  biggest  terminals in the  country ,  is another  museum  that’s  part of  the  S

mithsonian  family .

It’s  called  the  National  Postal  Museum .

Now  I  know  what  you’re  thinking  out  loud .

I don’t  want  to  see  a museum  about  stamps .

I rarely  go  to  the  post  office  back  home  to  buy  stamps .

I  don’t  even  collect  stamps .

This  museum  is  way  more  than  that .

Yes ,  there  are  stamps  from  the  United  States   ,  there’s  even  an exhibit  where  you  can  pick  out your favorite  stamps  and  send  the  copies  to your  email  address .

You  even  get  to  see stamps  that  are  used in   foreign  countries  and  in  one  special  exhibit ,  there  are  stamps  known  as  the  1851 Hawaiian  Missionary  Stamps ,  way before  Hawaii  became  a  state .

On the  lower  level  of  the  museum ,  you  learn  just  how  the  mail used  to  be  delivered ,  by stagecoach  from  originally  Boston  to New  York  City  and  also  by airplane .

In  yet another  exhibit ,  you get  to  see  just  how  important  getting  letters  from  family  was  during  World  War Two .

Does  this  museum  still  seem boring  to  you ?

You  and  your  children  might  enjoy  looking  at  the  the  different  mailboxes  from  around  the  world .

While  the  United  States  mailboxes  seem  to  be  just  blue ,  they  aren’t  that  way  in other  countries .

They  seem  to  be  every  bright  color imaginable .

You  and  your  family  just  might  find  the different  color  mailboxes  and  the  rest  of  the  museum ,  well,  interesting

Even if  you  never  use  stamps .

 

LIBERTY TALES – PHILADELPHIA , PENNSYLVANIA – VISITING THE MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION .

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Philadelphia  is  known  for  just  as  many  museums  as  New  York  City .

Everyone  knows  about  all  the  historical  museums  in  the  city  as  well  as  the  Liberty  Bell  and  Independence  Hall .

I recently  visited  Philadelphia  and  went  into  the  newest  museum  in  the  city .

It’s  called  the  Museum  of  the  American  Revolution  and  it  opened  on  April  19th  of  this  year ,  which  just  happens  to  be  the  day  the  colonists  fired  ”  the  shot  heard  round  the  world  ”   at  Lexington  and  Concord .

The  museum  in Philadelphia  is  located  at  South  Third  Street ,  not  that  far  from  Independence  Hall .

Before  you  enter  the  building ,  you  notice  the  cannons  pointing  towards  you ,  right  above  the  name  of  the  museum .

Also  above  you  on  the  wall ,  is a copy  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence .

When  you  enter  the  lobby ,  which  is  very  impressive ,  including  the  marble  staircase ,  you  pay  your  admission   fee.

Hold  on  to  your  ticket ,  because  if you  come  the  next  day ,  that ticket  is your  admission .

Believe  me ,  you  will  need  two  consecutive  days  to  see  everything  in  this  museum .

Even  then ,  two days  just  isn’t  enough  to  see everything .

As  you  can  gather  by  the  name ,  this  museum  tells  the  story  of  the  American  Revolution .

But  it  doesn’t  start  from  the  events  at  Lexington  and  Concord ,  but  what  LED  up  to  those  events  and  what  happened  to  our  country  after  we  achieved  independence.

This  museum  may  seem  boring  to  you  and  possibly  your  children .

However ,  if your  children  are  old  enough  to  know  about  the  Revolutionary  War ,  they  really  need  to  see this  museum  even  if  you  aren’t  doing  a 30 Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Philadelphia .

You think  that  you  know  all  there  is  to  know  about  the  Revolutionary  War  because  you  learned  it  in  school  all  those  years  ago .

After  you  visit  this  museum ,  you  realize  that  you  really  didn’t  know  ANYTHING  about  the  Revolutionary  War .

In  school ,  the war  was  only  talked  about  from  the  Colonists  and  British  side .

There  was  actually  two  other  groups  of  people  whose  point  of  view  we  were  never  told  about .

The Native  Americans  and  the Slaves .

This  museum  makes  you  look  at  the  Revolutionary  War  from  four  different  sides ,  something  a lot  of  American  children  didn’t  learn  in American  History  class .

In every  room  of  the  museum ,  there  are  exhibits .

Children  will  definitely  enjoy  seeing  the  life size  replica  of  John  Paul  Jones’   boat  and  what  it  was  like  to  be  a  sailor  during  the  war .

I  particularly  liked  the  story  of  George  Washington’s  headquarters  at  Valley  Forge .

It was  a  tent ,  just  like  his  men  had .

You  are  allowed  to  take  pictures  at  the  museum ,  but  for  the  exhibit  on George  Washington’s  headquarters ,  no photos  are  allowed  at  all .

Once  you  see  the  exhibit ,  you’ll  understand  why .

I  was  saddened  to  see  the  exhibits  showing  that  while  the  colonists  were  fighting  for  independence  from  England ,  half  the  population  in the 13  colonies  were  slaves .

To  say  that  I  really  enjoyed  myself  at  this  museum  would  be  an  understatement .

As  a  history  major  in  college  oh  so  many  years  ago ,  seeing  the  exhibits  on  Lexington  and  Concord ,  Yorktown  and  all  those  Revolutionary  War  battles  fascinated  me.

I  even  liked  the  exhibit  showing  the  slaves  who  fought  for  the  British  side  because  they  were  promised  freedom .

I  would  strongly  advise  visiting  the  museum  of  the  American  Revolution  while  you’re  in  Philadelphia .

The  museum  gives  you  a  perspective  of  our  history  from  a  different  view .

One  that  is  very  refreshing  to  see .

Spending  two  or  three  hours  in  the  museum  won’t  bore  you ,  nor  will  you  be  disappointed .

LIBERTY TALES- PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA- THE HOUSE AT 325 CHERRY STREET

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I spent last weekend on my own 30 Plus Teams Tour in the “City of Brotherly Love”, aka Philadelphia.

I was there for the NFL Draft Fan Fest.

That’s the National Football League, folks.

When I’m in town, I normally stay at the Apple Hostel down on Bank Street.

Not this time, thanks to Booking.Com, I think I’ve found a new place.

No, I KNOW I’ve found a new place to stay while I’m in town.

It’s located in the Old City section of the city near Independence Hall among other famous landmarks that Philadelphia is famous for.

If you walk down Market Street and Third, you just might miss the building.

This building reminds me of the type of colonial buildings back home in Boston.

The official name of the building at 325 Cherry Street is the Old City Philly House.

It’s a hostel, and like so many other hostels, you do need a code to get in.

Once you have and you’ve checked in, your shoes do have to come off so as not to mess up the floors, so bring some extra socks with you.

There’s no free breakfasts here, but free coffee and tea all day.

On Thursday through Saturday, there’s Happy Hour from 8pm, where you really get to know your hostel mates.

The decor of the hostel reminds me less of a hostel and more like one of those boutique hotels.

The fact that I was in a mixed dorm wasn’t a problem.

I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all.

At some hostels, you could say that you got to know your hostel mates.

At Old City Philly House, I can truly say that I did.

True to this blog , a lot of people staying at the hostel were REALLY doing their own 30 Plus Teams Tour.

They were there for the NFL Draft Fan Fest and just like me in my New England Patriots jersey, some of my hostel mates were representing their favorite football team.

As for the staff, I really did feel at home and even was told by a staff member how much fun I was.

Thank you, Jude! You and your staff ROCK!

When I go back to Philadelphia for another 30 Plus Teams Tour, I’m going to stay at my new go to place in Philadelphia, the house at 325 Cherry Street.

LIBERTY TALES – PHILADELPHIA , PENNSYLVANIA – FIREHOUSE PARK

The  first  thing  you  notice  as  you  walk  down  Arch  Street  in  Philadelphia  is  that  humongous  bust  of  Benjamin  Franklin .

This  being  Philadelphia ,  be  surprised  if  you  DON’T  see  anything  that  has  to  do  with  Benjamin  Franklin .

This  happens  to  be  a  working  firehouse  as  you  can  tell  by  the  fire trucks  getting  ready  and  firemen  going  about  their  business .

But  look  a  little  bit  closer .

To the  right  of  the  firehouse ,  there  seems  to  be  a  small  public  park .

On  this  particular  day ,  as the  temperature  is near  90  degrees ,  people  are  cooling  themselves  off  by  sitting  on  benches  near a fountain  that seems  to  sprout  out  water all day.

Some people  are  even  dipping  their  toes  into  the  cooling  water .

The  sign  by  the  entrance  tells  you  that  this  isn’t  the  place  to bring  your  dog .

It’s  not  a  doggie  park ,  it’s  a  people  park .

It’s  away  from  the  tourists  area  of  the  Old  City .

As  I’m  walking  by ,  I  wonder  if  anyone  who lives  and  works  in  this  area  knows  about  this  little  bit  of  peace  and  tranquility  in the  middle  of  Liberty  Bell  City ?

Somehow ,  I  doubt  it . FB_IMG_1500994739798