PICTURES FROM MY WALK TO HOWARD UNIVERSITY

I had a few hours to kill before I left the U Street Hostel .

I went one neighborhood over to the Shaw District of DC named for Civil War General Robert Gould Shaw , he of the ill fated 54TH Massachusetts Regiment that’s featured in the movie “Glory”.

There’s many historical things to see in this neighborhood but I was looking for two things in particular .

One, the Duke Ellington Memorial , which I didn’t find and Howard University , which was founded in 1867 and is one of the historical black colleges.

Enjoy some of the pictures from my walk through the Shaw District and Howard University

MORE OCTOBER TRAVEL QUOTES

We are rapidly approaching the end of another month.

Who knew 2019 would be going so fast?

Are y’all ready for November?

Did you travel at all in September or even in October?

What are you waiting for ?

Get that 30 Plus Teams Tour started all ready.

Let these quotes inspire you .

AN EMBASSY TOUR IN WASHINGTON DC PART 1

That’s right , I said part 1 because there will be more embassies to see.

Most of them are in the Dupont Circle area of the city, near the University of District of Columbia, but most of them are on a stretch of Massachusetts Avenue known as Embassy Row.

Some of them, like Mexico and Canada are right on Pennsylvania Avenue .

Two of them are in the U Street Corridor .

I was able to take pictures of some of them.

It always helps to ask if you can take a picture of the embassy as I did with a very kind lady from the Tunisian embassy.

You never know because even though the embassies are in the United States , the embassies follow the laws of their own countries .

So if you want to take a picture of the Saudi Arabia embassy or the Mauritius embassy , ask first because you never know .

I took pictures of the Canadian , Philippines, Australia , Oman, Chile, Tunisia and Trinidad and Tobago embassies .

I have so many to go but since Washington DC is so close to New York City , the other embassies will have to wait.

Inuit art at the Canadian Embassy

Part of the Oman embassy

Trinidad and Tobago embassy

Philippines embassy

Part of the Australian embassy

Chilean Embassy

This stands right outside of the Chile embassy

There will be more countries coming, so look for it in a future post.

A VISIT TO THE NATIONAL ZOO

When I was younger, the singing duo of Simon and Garfunkel had a popular at the time song titled, “At The Zoo.”

One of the lyrics to the song went something like this, ” Something tells me it’s all happening at the zoo. I do believe it, I do believe it’s true”

Many years later, in my 30 Plus Teams Tour of Washington DC , I went to the famous Smithsonian National Zoo to see if the line in the song is still true.

It is.

Number 52 on my bucket list is the National Zoo of Washington DC .

Like so many museums in the city, admission is free.

I arrived at the zoo around 8:45am before the crowds arrived .

Some of the animals were out already , including the “star” of the zoo, Bei Bei, the panda , who will be returning to China around November 19.

So if you happen to be visiting the city around that time, stop by and say hi to Bei Bei, he’s very entertaining.

There’s so many animals to see at the zoo, but because of my fear of snakes, birds and bats , I avoided seeing the Reptile House and the Bat Cave like the plague .

I was as happy as a pig in you know what when I saw the sign saying “Bird House Closed”.

The first trail you see when you enter the zoo is the Asia Trail, which features animals from, you guessed it, the continent of Asia.

There’s also an American Trail, which features animals native to the Americas .

I enjoyed seeing the big American Bison.

They aren’t Buffaloes , they’re Bison as one of the signs on the exhibit informs you.

They even tell you what the difference between a male and female Bison.

(Male is bigger with a lot of hair. The Zoo has two female Bisons)

A walk around the zoo just doesn’t give you a peek into the animals cages, but some information about them, including the information that would be considered TMI.

Some of the animals weren’t in their cages or exhibits while I was there.

If this happens, the zoo will put up a sign reading humorously , “NOBODY HOME”.

I spent 2 hours at the zoo, but that just isn’t enough time to visit.

Like a lot of things in the city, it’s easy to get there by the Metro.

It’s on the Red Line and you can get off at one of two stations, Woodley Park Zoo/Adams Morgan or Cleveland Park Station.

Some people like to get off at Cleveland Park and walk back but I like the Woodley Park Zoo stop even though it’s an uphill walk.

Plus what I love about Washington DC, there’s signs to point you to the place you want to go to.

No matter which station you decide to get off at , the walk prepares you for all the walking that you’ll be doing once inside the zoo.

A HISTORY OF U STREET THROUGH PICTURES

I had never ventured further than the National Mall or Chinatown whenever I would come to Washington DC.

I never thought of going to any other section of the city.

I realize by doing my latest 30 Plus Teams Tour just how much history there was going on in other areas, especially U Street .

It was known as “Black Broadway ” back in the day because black people weren’t allowed to perform anywhere in town.

As I walked through this vibrant neighborhood , I saw just what I had been missing by skipping this neighborhood .

Enjoy the history through the pictures and the murals.

EATING AT A WASHINGTON DC LANDMARK

When one thinks of landmarks in Washington DC , you think of the White House , Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials , Washington Monument among others .

In the U Street Corridor of the city,there’s another landmark , a restaurant that’s been at the same location since 1958.

It’s Ben’s Chili Bowl and it’s number 79 on my bucket list .

U Street was known as “Black Broadway ” back in the days of segregation with many places not catering to black people.

The building that Ben’s is in now used to be a pool hall and before that a movie theater called The Minnehaha Theater.

In 1958, Ben and his wife , Virginia purchased the building and the rest, is history .

Ben died in 2009, but Miss Virginia is still around, either talking to customers, taking pictures with visitors and still behind the counter sometimes seeing that things go smoothly .

They now have branches of the restaurant at the Ronald Reagan Airport, Rosslyn , Virginia and for those Nationals baseball and Redskins football fans who need their half smoke and chili fix, they even have restaurants at Nationals Park and FedEx Field.

If you visit the original store on U Street, you’ll see pictures of the many celebrities that have eaten here.

If you go outside, you’ll see murals of famous Washingtonians and other figures in black history .

I ate there the two days that I was in DC and even though the chili was a little spicy for me , it was oh so good as were the cheese grits and the famous half smoke that I had.

If you ever visit DC, it’s very convenient to get there.

The Metro station, U Street/African-American Memorial -Cardoso on the green and yellow lines is right across the street.

Just take the exit that’s on your right.

It’s worth the trip.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF HOSTEL

Whenever I’ve gone to Washington DC for a 30 Plus Teams Tour , I either stay at a hotel or a hostel.

I usually stay at one particular hostel, Hostel International Washington DC , which is a DC Circular bus ride away from Union Station.

Because the hostel was all filled up, I went with another hostel in a neighborhood that I really didn’t know anything about but had heard of .

It’s the U Street Hostel in where else but the U Street Corridor , and it’s not even that far from the green and yellow metro station of U Street /African-American Memorial / Cardoso .

The actual address is 1931 U Street NW at 13th street .

One word about adresses in DC, make sure you know if it’s NW or SW that you’re going to.

Most of the areas that tourists go to when they come to DC is NW.

But let’s get back to the hostel.

The beds which really aren’t beds, they’re pods.

Your pod has their own reading light, and you can control the air or heat in your own pod.

You know you want to take selfies for those perfect Facebook or Instagram pictures,right?

No need to leave your pod.

There’s a mirror right in there and a light to get that perfect or not so perfect picture .

You want privacy while you’re in your pod?

Just pull down your privacy shade.

You can only check in at 3pm or maybe closer to 3, say like 2:30 or so if a bed is available .

Check out time is 11am on the dot and unlike most hostels, you don’t have to check in at the front desk , just put your key fob in the mail slot, right by the desk .

Now how do they know who checked out?

Easy.

Your key fob has your room and bed number so don’t think you’re pulling a fast one on the staff.

The showers are in the basement and while that’s inconvenient , it is what it is.

They are kept very clean as is the rest of the hostel .

The staff is very helpful and tell you all you need to know about your stay at the hostel .

They even give you a tour of the hostel before you check into your room.

They don’t have a kitchen but a continental breakfast of toast , waffles and cereal is available everyday from 7:30am until 9am.

Plus tea and coffee are available all day.

There’s no lockers so find some space by your pod or the wall for your suitcase .

What hostel do you know has a robot vacuum cleaner and art works from local artists that you can buy?

U Street Hostel does.

You ask when I go back to DC would I stay here again?

You bet your sweet pod I would .

GOODNIGHT NEW YORK CITY, GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON DC

It’s past midnight and the Sports Diva is on another 30 Plus Teams Tour.

Did you guess where I’m going at this hour of the morning?

One person did.

Shout out to Ken Dowell from Off The Leash.

I would suggest that you check out his blog when you get a chance.

I’m on my way to see all the sights of Washington DC and surprise even though I’m not getting tickets for it, there’s this little baseball thingy called the World Series going on while I’m in town.

As the Washington DC and surrounding areas are loaded with memorials, monuments and not one but four sports teams, the Sports Diva is going to bring you along for this ride.

WHAT’S IN MY SUITCASE ?

It’s time for an Autumn edition of the ever popular what’s in my suitcase .

Now before I go into just what’s going to be going on my 2 1/2 day trip to somewhere, (and as usual, y’all gotta guess where the Sports Diva is going ), let me let you in on a little secret.

Because of my financial situation , up until a week ago, I didn’t know where I was going to go.

That’s right, I was going to take my suitcase and go SOME WHERE with no plans and no place to stay until the day before I was leaving.

Please take it from an experienced traveller like the Sports Diva .

Don’t do that.

Know where you’re going at least up to a month before.

Plan ahead and have all your stuff right and tight!

I finally decided on a place that’s almost in my backyard.

It turned out to be the right place with lots of looking and walking.

Not to mention a lot of sports cause that’s the purpose of a 30 Plus Teams Tour .

My blue backpack, black Kenneth Cole messenger bag and making the trip, my stuffed animals , Julian and DiDi.

Two pairs of sneakers because there’s going to be LOTS of walking and looking around.

Three packing cubes and the “bathroom bag” with all my toiletries inside of it.

My black jacket and outfit for coming back home. Sorry it’s so dark.

My dungarees and red sweater for going back home.

The front and back of the heavy shirt I’m wearing to my 30 Plus Teams Tour . It doesn’t look warm enough, but trust me it is.

There you have it, what’s going to be in my suitcase .

Have you guessed yet where the Sports Diva is going ?

No?

You’ll just have to wait until my next post to see where my next 30 Plus Teams Tour is going to take me.

Happy guessing .