RIDING ON THAT MIDNIGHT BUS TO OTTAWA

With apologies to the singing group, Gladys Knight and The Pips, no I’m not taking a midnight train to Georgia.

I’m taking a midnight Greyhound bus to Canada’s capital , Ottawa, Ontario, Canada .

Yes, my 30 Plus Teams Tour is taking me up to The True North.

My final destination is Ottawa, but I have to change buses in Montreal .

I’m hoping in Ottawa to cross off two more things from my bucket list.

Whether I do it, not sure, but you’ll know because the Sports Diva is going to share it with you.

I haven’t been to Ottawa in years so I know it has changed a lot.

The last time I was in Ottawa , they didn’t have a professional hockey team.

I am very excited to see this city.

Because this is a 30 Plus Teams Tour and it is Canada , you know that a hockey game is going to break out, and God willing , the Sports Diva is gonna be there repping her team, the New York Rangers who are playing the hometown team, the Senators.

Unlike my trip to Baltimore, there will be no surprises when the bus makes a stop.

It’s hello Albany, Saratoga Springs , and Plattsburgh , New York before we cross over to the Canadian border and we go through Canadian customs , which believe me, I like a lot better than going through United States customs .

(When going through United States customs, I feel like I’m in school, answering 50 million questions. Not so much with Canadian customs. And they’re wicked polite too.)

After this, it’s on to Montreal, then my final destination , Ottawa.

I can’t wait and y’all are coming on the 30 Plus Teams Tour with me.

Jesus, take the wheel and get us to Canada safely .

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WHAT ‘ S IN MY SUITCASE

Here we go again.

It’s almost the end of November and the Sports Diva is traveling again.

This time, it’s not to a funeral.

Let the 30 Plus Teams Tour continue.

Where am I going this time?

I’m not going to tell you yet, so you have to wait.

All I can say is, it’s gonna be cold and the sports diva is bundling up.

I’m hoping to cross a couple of things off my bucket list with this tour.

Yes, a sporting event will be happening where I’m going to be, because after all, that’s the purpose of a 30 Plus Teams Tour .

You’re going to see two suitcases not because I’m staying a long time, just 4 days, but because I can’t decide which one to bring.

Enjoy while you try to figure out where the Sports Diva is going this time.

One suitcase with two hats on them. Pink hat from Rainbow Shops and New York Rangers hat from a late co worker of mine.

My backpack from my last trip to Virginia with two hats on them. Both hats are from the NHL Store in New York City .

It’s gonna be cold so gotta wear this coat and scarf which belonged to my late cousin Charlene.

My pajamas which were from my auntie in Boston, and since I’m travelling by bus, I gotta have my New England Patriots blanket from Modells Sporting Goods Store. Making her first appearance travelling with me is my teddy bear, Serena W, from the Build A Bear Store in Baltimore .

Boots from Macy’s and Rainbow Shops cause it’s gonna be cold. I’m wearing one pair and the other goes into the suitcase.

Socks and stockings from H&M Store and Rainbow Shops . Blue and black leggings also from Rainbow Shops as is the fur hoodie. Gloves a gift from one of my Circle of Sisters , Lisa.

I’m not carrying any purses, just drawstring bags which are from the NHL Store and the Sketchers Store. The bag that says Market Basket is actually a shopping bag from a supermarket in Chelsea, Massachusetts . The shirt is from the NHL Store .

New York shirt is from the NHL Store and red sweater is from a vendor in Queens.

No matter where you are, you gotta represent your team, no matter the sport. Blue and red rally towels are from a game at Madison Square Garden . New York scarf was a gift from the coworker who died ( it’s very special to me. He was a Rangers fan too. R.I.P. Alfonso Diaz) The shirt from the NHL Store and it’s the name of my favorite Rangers player. You just know I’m going to be rocking this shirt! Black sweater, which is so long that I wear it as a dress ,is from Rainbow Shops .

PICTURES FROM THE FAIRFIELD INN IN CHESAPEAKE , VIRGINIA

For once when I did a 30 Plus Teams Tour , there wasn’t a sporting event that I was going to see.

Instead, I went with my auntie to a funeral of her friend in Chesapeake, Virginia.

I had never been to this area of Virginia before, which is known as the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Some of the cities here are Norfolk, Virginia Beach , Suffolk, Hampton, Portsmouth, Newport News and Chesapeake .

To get to many of these cities , you have to go through tunnels, a lot of them.

One of them, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, is one of the longest bridges in the United States and takes an hour to go through.

We stayed at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott Hotel in Chesapeake , Virginia .

It’s a nice hotel but you definitely need a car to get around.

No restaurant is there but can’t beat those free breakfasts and the fact that every room has a microwave, coffeemaker and a refrigerator .

Here are some pictures of the hotel.

GOING THROUGH THE TUNNELS IN EASTERN VIRGINIA

I recently took a trip down to Virginia with my auntie for the funeral of a close friend of hers .

I didn’t know the lady but as my auntie isn’t well, somebody had to go with her.

An uber took us down there, it was actually a car driven by my cousin’s boyftiend, who just happens to be an uber driver.

We started out at 8:30am and got to Chesapeake , Virginia at 4:30pm.

The part of Virginia that I know is closest to Washington DC, you know Richmond, Alexandria, Arlington.

We were going past these cities.

We were going to what’s known as the Eastern Shore of Virginia .

That’s cities like Virginia Beach , Norfolk, Portsmouth, Hampton and Chesapeake .

To get to these cities, you have to go through a lot of tunnels.

One of which is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, which has to be one of the longest tunnels in the United States .

It takes an hour to get through this tunnel, which starts above the Chesapeake Bay, goes underneath it, and back above it.

Just when you thought you were out of this tunnel and entering the city of Virginia Beach , that would be a nope .

You have to go through another section of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, called the Thumble Shoals Channel Tunnel .

After you leave this tunnel, you’re in the really beautiful city of Virginia Beach .

I was stunned at the houses along the Chesapeake Bay and I thought how would I survive living in a beautiful house that is THAT CLOSE to the water.

As if going through those tunnels were fascinating enough, there was another tunnel to go through when we got to Norfolk, Virginia.

It was the Merimac- Monitor Bridge.

Norfolk, Virginia is known for their ship building not only in this century but during the time of the Civil War.

The bridge is a nod to the Civil War history of the area.

The Merimac and Monitor were two ships that did battle in the Civil War.

If I knew how to drive, one of the places I would drive to would be this area.

If you happen to go down to Virginia, go see Richmond the capital by all means.

But make it a point to visit the Eastern Shore of Virginia, you’ll be surprised how different it is from the cities in Virginia that are a little more familiar .

The area is a little more rural, and you’ll be able to go through all those tunnels .

WHY I VOTE

Today, November 6, 2018 is Election Day in the United States and the territories.

It’s not the presidential election, which happens every four years, but what’s called midterm elections for governors , senators, judges, and state attorney generals.

Some states have what’s called “early voting”, in which you don’t have to wait until the normal election day, which is normally on the first or second Tuesday in November.

For the past three years I have worked as an Election Poll Worker from the hours of 5 AM until 10PM.

Polls in the state of New York open from 6am until 9pm and if someone is in line to vote at 9:05, they MUST vote, they aren’t turned away by a New York policeman, who are at the poling places to see that order is restored and to make sure there’s no monkey business going on.

I have been a registered voter since 1971, when it became legal for 18 year olds to vote in the United States .

There was only one time that I didn’t vote .

That was the election of Richard Nixon in 1972.

I was disappointed in all the dirty tricks that was going on.

I told many family members after it was over and Nixon basically beat the crap out of George McGovern that I would never vote again that I was so disgusted with politics.

That didn’t sit well with my parents and my aunts and uncles.

It’s because of them that I have voted in EVERY election since.

My grandparents and my parents until they moved to New York City in the 1930’s when they had my sister and brother , couldn’t vote in the United States .

They weren’t born in Europe, Canada, the Carribean or one of those “Shit Hole African Countries ” that my president talked about.

Nope, my parents came from those “foreign cities” of Sumter , South Carolina and Oxford, Waxhaw County, North Carolina .

Sumter is near Charleston , South Carolina , where the first shots of the Civil War were fired and Waxhaw County, North Carolina is the home of President Andrew Jackson .

Very ironic because my mama was part Cherokee Indian .

I vote because they couldn’t .

I think of how proud they would have been to see so many politicians of color running for public office, especially in the South.

I was away for three days and I’m very tired.

But I’m not too tired to do something that my relatives, who were born here tried to, but couldn’t do for the most part.

That’s why I vote.