CAPITAL  JOURNEY  –  WASHINGTON ,  DC  – VISITING  THE  NATIONAL ARCHIVES BUILDING.

It seems  as though  whenever  one goes to  Washington  DC ,  there’s  a  museum ,  monument ,  or memorial on  every  street  corner.

One of  these buildings  is the National  Archives Building . 

This being our nation’s  capital ,  you just know that it has an official  sounding  name.

It does.

The official  name of the National  Archives  Building ,  (and a name that I’m  sure NOBODY  uses!) is the National  Archives  and Records Administration  Building . 

Once you walk into the building ,  you get the feeling  that  you’re  at the airport ,  going through  a  ton of security . 

Don’t  even think  about  breaking  out the camera  phone or any other  kind of  camera  in this building . 

Hide them and use them for another monument ,  memorial ,  or museum  in the city.

No picture  taking  is allowed  here.

Just what is in this  building  that makes it so high security ? 

Just the United  States  Bill of Rights ,  the Declaration  of  Independence ,  and the United States Constitution . 

We aren’t  talking  about  copies, either . 

Also, if you want to  find out more  about  those oh so colorful  ancestors  of yours that your relatives  are always  telling  you  about ,  you can look up their stories as well.

You can also look up information  about those not so colorful ancestors  as well.

Just have your information  on hand when you go.

This information  is  free, just like a visit to  the  National  Archives  Building  is.

Don’t  worry  about  not being able  to  take pictures  inside the building . 

The outside of  the  building  is very impressive  and  picture worthy.

Besides ,  this is Washington  DC ,  you’ll  have  plenty  of  opportunities  for  picture  taking.

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CAPITAL  JOURNEY  –  WASHINGTON ,  DC .  GETTING  TO KNOW  THE  NATION’S CAPITAL  

Besides  New York  City ,  this city is the “Mother  of  All 30 Plus  Teams  Tours.”

It’s  the  city that’s  all about  the  three  M ‘ s  – Museums ,  Monuments ,  and Memorials . 

It’s  that  city that isn’t  a  state ,  but it just happens  to  be  the  capital  of  the  United  States . 

It’s  Washington ,  DC . 

This of course ,  is a 30  Plus  Teams  Tour ,  so it’s  all about  the  sports  in town  also . 

Just  like  politics, they take their  sports  VERY seriously  here.

It’s  a  sports  lovers  dream . 

You’ve  got  four teams  to choose  from . 

There’s  the  Wizards in basketball ,  the Capitals  in hockey ,  and the Nationals  in baseball . 

It’s  very much about football  in this  town . 

In a place where  politics dominates EVERYTHING, it’s  not that surprising  that  politics are going  to  creep into your 30 Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Washington  DC . 

The football  team  is called the  Washington  Redskins . 

Some people  would  like it if the team  would change their  name  to something  other than a name that some  folks  find very offensive . 

Other folks  just wish that the people  who  are  complaining  about  the  team  name would just shut up  and go away so that they can enjoy watching  football . 

You aren’t  here to get into  a  name debate of the football  team  though.

You might not even like  football  and came to see one of the other pro teams  in town . 

More than likely ,  though , you’re here to see what the city is famous  for . 

All those monuments ,  memorials ,  and museums . 

Don’t  forget  to  bring  that camera  with you.

Washington  DC  is a photographer’s  dream ,  and you just know  that  you’re  going  to  be  posting  a lot of  Washington  DC on Instagram . 

Please  remember  though, that when  you  visit  some  of  the  places that the city is famous  for , show some respect.

They’re  memorials . 

Definately  respect  them.

There  are  lots of  museums  that are free here.

Even the National  Zoo is free, and don’t  tell  me  that  you  don’t  want to check out those adorable  Panda Bears.

Where in town  will you go first?

No matter  what  neighborhood ,  bring those sneakers  with you.

This is a very walkable  town, so don’t  be surprised  if  you  see lots of joggers.

They might even be your local  senator or congress person . 

Of course the neighborhoods  that you’ll  want  to  see  are Capital  Hill, Georgetown ,  Dupont  Circle ,  the area around the  White  House ,  and maybe  even  the  Washington  DC  Waterfront . 

How about  visiting  the  neighborhoods  that tourists rarely , if all visit?

Put U Street ,  Adams-Morgan, Anacostia ,  or the Eastern  Market on your list of neighborhoods  to visit . 

If you  happen  to  come into town by Greyhound , Megabus  or Amtrak  train ,  check out the newly renovated  Union  Station ,  one of  the  largest  terminals in the country . 

You could  get yourself  a day pass when you  take the Washington  Metro.

By the way ,  don’t  call it the subway, it’s the Washington  Metro  and you’ll  be  surprised  how clean it is.

Better yet ,  do what the good citizens  of DC do.

Get yourself  a reloadable Smart Card and get ready to  see as many monuments ,  memorials ,  and museums  as you can.

Just remember  to  hold onto your Smart Card because you’ll  need it not only to enter the train station ,  but to exit it as well . 

Don’t  think  you can see all these attractions  in  one trip to DC.

You can’t ,  so don’t  even  think  about  it . 

Get yourself  a  guidebook  before you arrive and make a list of  attractions  that you really  want  to  see . 

Check if you need timed tickets ,  which are free in some cases, but because some of  the museums  get very crowded, they give you a time that’s  best to visit . 

What should  you see if you don’t  have  that much time?

I  would  suggest  not only the ones that are on the National  Mall  like the Washington  Monument ,  Vietnam  Wall or Lincoln  Monument ,  visit some of the  museums that are part of the Smithsonian . 

Their motto is, “So many museums ,  so little  time . ”

The  National  Zoo  is part of  the  Smithsonian ,  but if you’re  only in town for a day or two ,  the Zoo might  be  out of  the  question . 

No matter  what  you  decide  to  do, enjoy  your stay in Washington  DC ,  whether  you’re  going  to  watch  a sporting  event  or if you’re  going  to  learn  a little  or a lot about United States  history . 

REVOLUTIONARY  TALES  –  BOSTON ,  MASSACHUSETTS  –  VISITING  THE  BIRTHPLACE OF  AMERICAN  LIBERTY  

Once again ,  I  took a  side trip  from Boston  to a city  that  I  didn’t  think  I  could  get  to  by  public  transportation . 

All those  years  I lived  in  Boston ,  the  city  of  Lexington  was never  on my  radar or bucket  list . 

As an American  History  major  in college ,  though ,  the city that calls  itself ,  ”  The  Birthplace  of  American  History  ” should  have  been  a city  that  I should  have  visited  more than  once . 

As I got off the bus , I wondered  why  I  never came here when I was younger.

Lexington ,  Massachusetts  is one of  those  quaint  New England  towns with the square  right in the middle  of town.

This square  in Lexington  isn’t  just  any old square . 

This square  happens  to  be  known  as  “Battle  Green  “, and it’s  one of  the  most famous squares in American  History . 

It’s  where the first battle  of the Revolutionary  War  took place on April  19, 1775.

It was called, “The Shot Heard ‘Round  The World . ‘.

There’s  Revolutionary  War history  all around and you don’t  even realize  it . 

In front of  you ,  there’s  Buckman  Tavern ,  which  was the  headquarters  for the  American  Militia . 

The militia  was made up of  townspeople  and even slaves, all of whom were fighting  for freedom  from England . 

From my American  History  books, I  recognize  the  statue of  “The Minuteman  “, citizens  who were ready in “a minute’s  notice  ” to defend their  homes.

The statue is actually  of William  Parker, who was the  commander of the American  citizen soldiers . 

History  never told us who fired the first  shot of the war, not that it really ,matters.

Who ever thought  that this quaint  little  town not that far from Boston  would  be  the birthplace  of  American  Liberty  and not some big city like Philadelphia  or New York . 

HELLO  CHARM  CITY  –  BALTIMORE ,  MARYLAND. A VISIT  TO  THE  MOTHER  SETON  HOUSE  

It’s  not  a  huge  step ,  but  number  57  on  my  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  bucket  list  has been  accomplished . 

(  See  sportsandtravelblog.wordpress.com/my-30-plus-teams-tour-bucket-list-all -150-of-them  2017/08/16)

While  in  Baltimore ,  I  visited  the  home  of  the  first  American  born  Catholic  saint ,  Mother  Elizabeth  Seton .  

I  not  only  learned  about  her  life ,  which  was  quite  tragic ,  but  I  found  out  much more . 

(She  lost  her  husband and  became  a widow  at a  young  age with children due to  illness ,  she was in  a  foreign  country ,  Italy ,  knowing  not a soul, and if that  wasn’t  bad  enough ,  her  family  and  her  husband’s  family  disowned  her because  she  converted  to  Catholicism . )  

As  the  state  of  Maryland  was  founded  by  Roman  Catholics  escaping  persecution  in  England ,  there  is  so  much church history ,  not only at the  Mother  Seton  House ,  but also  at  St .  Mary’s  Chapel ,  which  is  also  on  the  grounds  where  Mother  Seton’s  home  is . 

There’s  a  free  tour  that  one  can  take  that  not  only  shows  you  her  home , where  she not only  taught  her own  daughters ,  but other  young  girls  as  well . 

Her  home  was  a  safe  haven  for  Blacks  before  and  during  the  Civil  War . 

The  tour  guide  not  only  shows  you  a movie  about  Mother  Seton ,  but  also  about  the  French  priests  and  nuns  who  came  to  Baltimore  to  escape  persecution  back  in  France  during  the  French  Revolution . 

Their  story  just  isn’t  a  part  of  Baltimore’s  history ,  but  the  history  of  Early  America  as  well . 

I was  truly  fascinated  by  the  stories  of  two  nuns ,  Sister  Marguerite  Duchemin  and  Mother  Mary  Lange ,  both  of  whom  were  African  American  nuns . 

The  two  of  them founded  two orders of nuns  who  were  like  themselves ,  African  American . 

There  is  a  public  park  on  the  grounds  where  the  church  and  Mother  Seton’s  home  stand . 

This  area  of  Baltimore  is  known  as  Seton  Hill  and  it’s  very  peaceful . 

The  houses  haven’t  changed  since  French  settlers  came  to  this  city . 

I  have  many  more  places  to  see  and  things  to  do  on  my  bucket  list ,  but  I  would  have  to  say  that  the  visit  to  Mother  Seton’s  home  was one  of  the  most  inspirational .

YOU TRAVEL  FOR  WHAT  REASON  AGAIN ?  

I don’t  think  that  I  need  to  tell  you  how  I  feel  about  people  who  have  no  desire  to  travel  ANYWHERE ,  or  discover  ANYTHING  whether  it  be  in their  own  city , state  or  country . 

I’ll  just  let  that  train  leave  the  station  and  talk  to  those  of  you  who  are  like  me .  

You  can’t  wait  for  your  next  trip  no matter  where  it is . 

So  many  people  ask  the  question ,  ‘  so  why  do  you  travel ?  ‘ . 

It’s  just  not  travel  bloggers  that  get  asked  this  question  by  other  bloggers ,  but  especially  by  people  who  don’t  travel  that  often . 

I  just  have  to  ask  one  question  though . 

So just  why  do  you  travel ?  

Is  it  to  visit  friends  and  relatives  that  you  haven’t  seen  in awhile  or  at  all?

Do you  travel  because  you’re  getting  older  and  you  might  not  have  the  chance  to  visit  many places ? 

Do you  travel  because  you  have  a bucket  list ? 

Is  it  because  you want  to  see the  sights  that  you  haven’t  seen  before  or  maybe  you’ve  seen  it  fifty  million  times  before  and just  can’t  get  enough  of  it ? 

What  about  travel  in  your  own  hometown ?

Do  you  travel  to places in your  hometown  because  you  hated  going  to  these  places  when  you  were  younger ?  

Of  course  now  that  you’re  older ,  you  appreciate  them  more . 

Do  you  travel  because  your  job  requires  you  to ?  

Do  you  travel  to  remember  a place  that  was  special  to you  and your  family ? 

Do you  travel  because  your  children  and  grandchildren  have  seen  all  those  television  commercials  about  Disneyland  and  Disney  World  and they  want  to  go  oh  so  badly ? 

Admit  it  though ,  you  want  to  see Mickey  and  Minnie  Mouse  just  as  badly  as  they  do . 

Do  you  travel  because  all  those  ”  travel  experts  ”  keep  telling  you  about  the  hottest  new  city  or country  to see  and you don’t  want  to  feel  left  out . 

You know ,  suffer  from  F.O.M.O ,  the fear of  missing  out  on  the  new  “hottest  in  spot  ”  that  travellers  say that you should  visit  now . 

Or maybe  you’re  like  me . 

Are you  doing  your  own  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  to  watch  some  sporting  event  and you just can’t  wait ? 

Are you  traveling  to  a  place  because  the  last  time  you  saw  it was during  World  War  I I ,  the Vietnam  War  or  the  Korean  War ?  

So  just  what  is  the  reason  why  you  travel ? 

Let  me  know  in the  comments  section  and  please  share  this ! Thanks . 

HELLO  CHARM  CITY  –  BALTIMORE ,  MARYLAND  –  EATING  GOOD IN LITTLE  ITALY  

No matter  what  city  your  own  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  takes  you  to ,  there’s  bound  to  be  a  section  of  town  known  as  “Little  Italy  ” . 

Baltimore  is no exception.

You might  be  there to  see  a Baltimore  Ravens  football  game  or a Baltimore  Orioles  baseball  game .  

You don’t  even  have  to  be  doing  either . 

Just visit  Little  Italy  anyway  while  you’re  in  town . 

It’s  located  right  near the  Inner  Harbor ,  so it’s  walkable . 

If you’re  no where near  the  Inner Harbor  or even  Downtown  Baltimore ,  look for  the Orange  Line Charm  City  Circular ,  which is  free.

It brings you right to the  heart  of  Little  Italy . 

There’s  so many restaurants  to choose  from  once you  get  there . 

When I  go to this section  of  town ,  I like to  go to  Sabatino’s, which  is  located  on  Fawn Street . 

You can’t  go wrong  with  the  big portions  of  food from this  family  style restaurant  that seems to  have  been in this neighborhood  forever . 

For the ultimate  Italian  eating  experience ,  do what I  did.

Have a glass of  Lambrusco  to go with your meal, forget what the wine snobs say about it.

There’s  always  room  for  canolis  and cappuccino ,  inspite of the fact that you just  know  that  you’re  going  to  be  stuffed  from  all those appetizers ,  bread, and that big plate of pasta that you just ate.

All by yourself ,  by the way ,  no sharing  here.

After you’ve  eaten ,  take a walk through  this neighborhood  and admire the  view.

Not to mention  how many calories  you’ll  be knocking  off after that delicious  meal that you just had.

Sabatino’s  Restaurant  

901 Fawn  Street  

Baltimore ,  Maryland  

410-727-2667

CAPITAL  JOURNEY  –  WASHINGTON ,  DC –  PAYING YOUR RESPECTS  AT THE  IWO JIMA STATUE.

While  you’re  on your  own  30  Plus  Teams  Tour of  Washington ,  DC ,  not only  are you  going  to  visit  the  Arlington  National  Cemetery ,  but you’re  going  to  walk around  most of  the  cemetery ,  paying  your respects  to the  veterans  who are buried  there.

Your final  stop  at the  cemetery  is another landmark  in our Nation’s  Capital . 

It’s  the  United  States  Marine  Corps  Statue . 

You say that you’ve  never heard of  or seen  this landmark ? 

Of  course  you have.

You just know it by its more well known  name.

The Iwo Jima Statue.

There’s  another , even easier  way  to  get  to  the  memorial  without  walking  through  the  Arlington  National  Cemetery . 

You can get off at  the  Rosslyn  Metro  Station ,  and  walk a couple  of  blocks . 

You can’t  miss  this statue  and you’ll  see  it the closer you get to the highway.

Everything  about  the  statue screams out HUMONGOUS ,  from the larger than life figures of the soldiers raising  the  United  States  flag to the flag  itself . 

Just like the  Jefferson  Memorial ,  a lot of  tourists don’t  seem to  visit  this  memorial  often . 

They should ,  though.

Pictures  don’t  do it  justice ,  no matter  what angle  you look at it from.

It’s  a  beautiful  statue ,  especially  if  you  visit  at twilight ,  with the skyline  of Washington  DC  in the background . 

Speaking  of  pictures ,  please  don’t  take  any selfies  here.

Ask someone  to  take a picture  of  the  statue  with you standing  close to  or near it.

This isn’t  the  place to show off your  Instagram  worthy selfies having  fun . 

Like  the  World  War  I I  Memorial ,  which  I’ll  talk about  in  a later post, this is   a place to  reflect  on what might  have  been  if the war had ended  differently .