COMING INTO THE “NEW” LAGUARDIA AIRPORT

Many years ago when now President Joe Biden was the Vice President, he didn’t win many friends in New York by comparing New York City’s other airport, LaGuardia, or LGA, to a “Third World ” airport.

This didn’t sit well with many New York politicians, including then governor Andrew Cuomo, who grew up in the borough of Queens where LaGuardia is located.

JFK is located in Queens as well, but they’re ALWAYS adding more terminals to it and there’s even a hotel right near the runway.

LaGuardia is different.

Nothing has happened to that airport in years, so those of us who have flown out of LaGuardia, agreed with Vice President Biden.

Not only does it look like a Third World airport, not for nothing and sorry not sorry, LaGuardia looked like a dump compared to JFK and even the other New York area airport, Newark Liberty over in New Jersey.

When I returned from my 30 Plus Teams Tour of Las Vegas, I flew into the “new LaGuardia” at Terminal B, which looks NOTHING like a Third World airport.

It’s a beautiful terminal and it reminds me of a lot of United States airports that I’ve been to, especially BWI, the other Washington DC area airport.

If JFK wasn’t close by my house, (basically in my backyard) I’d fly out of LaGuardia a lot more.

There’s a lot more work that needs to be done at LaGuardia but in the words of many a preacher, “We’re not where we wanna be, but Thank God, we’re not where we used to be!”

COMING HOME ON AMERICAN AIRLINES

When I booked my return flight, the fares were really expensive.

I couldn’t find an inexpensive flight going into LaGuardia Airport, and as for Newark Liberty, nope I didn’t want to fly there no matter how cheap it was or if it was non stop.

That left my home airport, JFK.

The cheapest flight was leaving at 7:30am, which meant that I had to be at Las Vegas McCarran by 4:30am.

It was Las Vegas to JFK but with a three hour layover at an airport that I had never been to before, Austin Bergstrom Airport in Austin, Texas.

It sounded awful a three hour layover, but the time went fast as I was able to do some editing on my blog and check out my emails, let alone eat.

I hadn’t taken American Airlines since February 2020 and nothing had really changed except that I didn’t get a middle seat on either flight.

I will say though, I wish American would make their WiFi easier to use.

Thank God for downloaded music.

My flight was supposed to get back to JFK at 8:45pm but as is always the case, the pilot must have been in a hurry to get home. Our time of arrival, half an hour earlier at 8:15pm.

You think I’d be happy about this but no, the Sports Diva wants to get her vacation destination early not her return trip to the craziness that is New York City.

This was my first airplane trip since the virus from hell and I’m so ready for my next 30 Plus Teams Tour no matter where it is.

EATING AT TACODELI

It’s located at Austin Bergstrom Airport in Austin, Texas and since I had three hours to kill before my American Airlines flight left for JFK, I decided to check this place out.

While waiting, I saw a lot of people eating pizza.

Now being from New York City, sorry, I grew up eating pizza almost each and every day and I am NOT ashamed to say that I am a pizza snob.

Although Chicago Deep Dish pizza is a very close second to New York style pizza in my book.

Anyway, the next place that I saw that seemed to be popular was a place called TACODELI.

They have been in business since 1999 and have branches in Dallas, Plano, Houston and Austin, Texas.

I figured this place had to be good because it was crowded and I’m a sucker for Tex- Mex food and nothing says good Tex-Mex food than being in the capital of Texas.

Like a lot of places, you place your order electronically and then pick it up at the counter.

TACODELI not only has tacos, salads, but also Enchiladas, which I was going to get but the Carne Asada Salad loaded with avocado, sour cream, Pico de Gallo, not to mention lettuce and cheese, was calling out my name, and with a Mexican Coke, which is made with Cane Sugar just hit the spot.

Most food at the airport are expensive.

This wasn’t, less than $20 and it was a lot of food as you can see from my picture.

I don’t know when I will be going back to Austin again, let alone Texas, but you’d better believe that the Sports Diva will be doing some research to find out what gate or terminal TACODELI is located whenever I’m in Dallas, Austin or Houston.

LEAVING ON A JET BLUE PLANE AGAIN

The last time I rode on Jet Blue was March 2019.

I was going from Los Angeles back home to JFK.

This time, and screw you, Covid, I’m taking Jet Blue again.

This time from Terminal 5 at JFK to Terminal 3 at Las Vegas McCarran Airport.

That’s right, for her first trip post the virus from hell, the Sports Diva is making an appearance back to where all the craziness and mayhem always starts and ends , Lost Wages, Sin City, Nevada.

Of course being the Sports Diva is going to be taking in some live sports as the local hockey team, Vegas Golden Knights are in the Stanley Cup semifinals.

But enough about that, let’s talk about my Jet Blue flight.

I was able to check in early and I had all ready picked and paid for my seat, an aisle seat.

The $10 that I paid for a seat, wasn’t bad. Way to go, Jet Blue.

As usual, though, the flight to Vegas was packed, so much for social distancing.

But I didn’t care if the middle seats weren’t blocked off.

I still had a lot of legroom and after a year, it was so good to be on a flight period that I didn’t mind or care that we were packed like sardines but with masks on.

The only thing that hasn’t changed since 2020 on Jet Blue is that they always seem to change the gate that you’re departing from.

My trip was no exception.

I was supposed to leave from Gate 29 and I look down on my phone and there’s a message from Jet Blue.

Your gate has changed.

If you’ve ever been to JFK, you KNOW that some of the gates aren’t close to each other.

It’s not like Chicago O’Hare or Atlanta Hartsfield- Jackson, but it is spread out.

WHAT’S IN MY SUITCASE?

It’s back my 30 Plus Teams Tour people!

It’s the post all of you seem to love.

It’s the ever popular, what’s in my suitcase.

The Sports Diva hasn’t gone anywhere since my last trip in April to beautiful Uniondale, NY.

I’m ready for this five day, six night trip for some sun, lots of water and being the Sports Diva, you know a sporting event or two will be thrown in there.

I might even do something on my bucket list.

Where am I going?

As usual, you gotta guess.

While you’re thinking about it, here’s what’s in my suitcase.

My suitcase at the bottom, which is getting checked in, along with my carry on bag that I took to Uniondale and my personal item at the top.
My airport outfits for going and coming
My Mickey Mouse luggage tag from Amazon
Hats, hats and more hats
Scarves and headbands
Shoes for days
Yes I am carrying all of these handbags
Bathing suits, bathing suit cover ups and a beach Bag
Sunglasses and my wigs are special. They have their own suitcase also.
3 caftans/robes
Shirts, a black pair of pants and lots of shorts
Dresses
My travel scale from Amazon and yes my checked in bag is under 50 pounds. Plus making the trip are my stuffed animals, Brady and Posh Spice.

There you have what’s in my suitcase.

All of this isn’t going, but it might, just saying.

I also have some suddenly important stuff to go in my personal item,hand sanitizers, masks, travel Wipes and my Covid Vaccine card.

Have you guessed yet?

You’ll just have to wait until my next post to find out.

MY FIRST TIME FLYING WITH ALASKA AIRLINES .

I have flown on many airlines in the United States and Canada , but on my trip to San Francisco back to Las Vegas , I flew on an airline that I have never been on before , Alaska Airlines .

The Seattle , Washington based airline does fly out of all three New York City airports that I fly out of.

I never thought of taking Alaska out of JFK or Newark Liberty , because I’m not going to find a $49 one way fare like I did for San Francisco to Las Vegas .

For a flight to a destination like Las Vegas , which is always crowded , the plane was surprisingly empty.

If you happen to fly to Las Vegas on Alaska , you’ll be more than likely arriving in Terminal 3, where you have to get a shuttle to take you to terminal , where you can get Lyft, Uber, hotel shuttles, taxis, or good old public transportation like I always do if I get to Vegas at a decent hour, like before 9pm.

The seats are very comfortable and this time, I had a whole row to myself.

I was also able to sleep on the plane and not be disturbed by anyone , except the flight attendants passing out snacks , water or Orange juice as this was a very short flight .

Once again, with just my drawstring bag , I got out of the terminal very fast .

If I happen to get an inexpensive flight on Alaska out of Newark Liberty or JFK , you’d better believe I’m taking it, and because I just had to be “that Sports Diva who loves collecting air miles” , you just know that I signed up for Alaska Airlines Frequent Flyer Program.

Besides, you never know.

God willing, I may be doing a 30 Plus Teams Tour of the Emerald City, aka Seattle, Washington.

IT’S NOT A JOKE ANYMORE, IT’S SERIOUS NOW

The Sports Diva is interupting her usual funny and upbeat 30 Plus Teams Tour posts for something very serious.

It’s not only affecting people in the United States, but everywhere.

Two countries, Italy and China are on basically lockdown because of it.

It’s something called the Corona Virus.

It’s not the common cold or the regular flu.

This virus can kill you and it has.

Every day someone seems to contract it and unfortunately many have died from it.

It started in Wuhan, China and then spread.

Peeps weren’t taking it seriously.

Social media was full of memes making light of it.

One of the most popular ones was of a six pack of Corona beer standing by itself and in the far corner with a face mask on was a six pack of Heineken beer.

Then it happened.

It wasn’t just people in China who were dying from this disease.

They say you don’t care until it affects you.

Then it did and for some reason, people all over the world were going crazy and panicking over something that they really should have had before.

Hand sanitizer.

We don’t know how this virus started but my peeps really some of you don’t wash your hands coming out of the bathroom.

Are you for real right now?

This virus has hit everything and everybody.

No one is immune.

The actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson contracted the virus in Australia.

It’s hit the United States very hard to the effect that governors are declaring a state of emergency.

My governor, Andrew Cuomo, of New York is one of them.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade here in New York has been canceled for the first time in years.

258 of them to be exact.

After a member of the Utah Jazz basketball team contracted the virus, ALL NBA games have been suspended until further notice.

Soccer matches in England and Italy have been cancelled because of this.

As of today, the NHL may or may not follow the NBA because many of the NBA and NHL teams share arenas.

The President has even issued a travel ban on Americans flying to Europe, although for some reason, the UK isn’t on that banned list.

What does this mean for those of us who travel whether we’re doing a 30 Plus Teams Tour or not?

Do we suddenly stop traveling?

Or do we continue and enjoy life the best way we can.

I say, it’s up to the individual.

I can only speak for the Sports Diva.

I’m concerned about this virus yes, but I don’t live in a bubble.

I will continue to enjoy my travel as long as the good Lord allows.

But I will stay aware of all the goings on with this virus.

It’s not a joke anymore.

RIDING WITH AMERICAN AIRLINES

In my never ending quest to find cheap flights on my 30 Plus Teams Tour , I check out all of the United States and Canadian carriers I can find.

Since my 30 Plus Teams Tour only covers cities in the United States and Canada , you won’t see me checking out fares on British , Singapore or Qatar Airways , just saying .

My personal favorite airline is Southwest Airlines , mainly because they don’t charge you for checking up to two bags.

But even Southwest has gotten expensive and, sadly, they don’t fly out of Newark Liberty Airport anymore.

My second favorite carrier in the United States is Delta Airlines .

Not because I worked with them in Boston and Los Angeles , but because they finally stepped up their flying game .

That’s where American Airlines comes into the picture .

I hadn’t flown them in years and when I did, even as an employee of another carrier, I never had good experiences flying with them.

Where do I begin?

Bad service on the flight, rude customer service and even ruder flight attendants.

Not anymore .

I’m flying them more now because a girl has to get those frequent flyer miles to make even more 30 Plus Teams Tours .

American has gotten their act together and become an airline to passengers actually want to fly with.

They aren’t as unprofessional as they used to be.

(I think United Airlines has taken over as the airline people in the United States don’t want to fly with, if you ask the Sports Diva . )

Now if American can get me a cheap flight out of JFK, I’d be happy as if the New York Yankees won baseball’s World Series for the 28th time, just saying .

The seats on American are spacious , and even recline, unlike the Spirit Airlines flights that I take way too often.

They even have chargers for your electronic devices at every seat.

Some buses that I’ve been on don’t even have that.

As I mentioned, I fly out of Newark Liberty, even though JFK is basically in my backyard .

No, forget basically , JFK IS IN MY BACKYARD.

Between the planes at JFK flying over my house and the trains of the Long Island Railroad whizzing by my house at high speed , they seem to be competing to see who can make more noise when they pass by.

I do want my miles and cheaper flights , so I really don’t care if it’s Newark Liberty , JFK or even Philadelphia International that I have to go through to get that.

When I return home, God willing on March 3rd, I’m taking American Airlines again .

This time, Las Vegas to Dallas-Fort Worth to Newark Liberty .

Thank you American Airlines for making flying with you a lot more pleasant .

DISCOVERING PACKING CUBES!

Whenever I go on one of my 30 Plus Teams Tours, I usually bring a bag or suitcase that’s as unorganized as all heck.

There’s shoes , underwear, etc all over the suitcase no matter if they’re folded, rolled or usually just thrown in the bag which always happens .

Not this time.

I watch a lot of YouTube videos , which you might not know.

Or maybe you do if you follow 30 Plus Teams 30 Plus Dreams a lot.

As I haven’t been anywhere since February , those travel blues have creeped in and I’ve been watching videos on packing.

I noticed something .

People, and not just female or adult travellers, are packing their clothes in something called “packing cubes.”,which go inside your suitcase.

I had never heard of this and I’ve travelled a lot in my 66 years .

I was going to order them from Amazon , but on a trip to my local Marshalls Department Store, guess what I found?

You got it, packing cubes for my suitcase, even though none of the sales people had a clue what I was talking about.

One saleslady told me , “luggage over in aisle 3”

I guess she missed the part of the conversation where I asked “do you sell packing cubes that fit in your luggage?”

But in aisle 3 not only was there luggage up the wazoo , there were accessories also, which included packing cubes.

It was $9.99 for a pack of 3.

I wanted to see what all the hype was about.

It’s supposed to save space in my suitcase .

It actually does as you can see here.

My bag is a little bit more organized now than it’s ever been .

I wish I’d discovered packing cubes a lot earlier .

RIDING ON THE BIG YELLOW TAXI IN THE SKY

I’m at Newark Liberty Airport waiting for a 8am flight.

I’m standing in line at 3:40am to check my bag on Spirit Airlines .

I have a 5 hour flight to McCarron International Airport in Las Vegas .

That’s right, the Sports Diva is taking her 30 Plus Teams Tour to Las Vegas , but wait I have a surprise for you .

Sin City isn’t the only stop on this 30 Plus Teams Tour , oh no.

My next stop is a place that I called home for 10 years .

It’s the City of Angels , better known as Los Angeles , California .

But that’s later in the week.

Let’s talk about my flight on an airline that I said that I would NEVER fly again, Spirit Airlines.

Never say never.

Spirit airline planes are bright yellow with black lettering on it, just like a New York City taxi cab.

If you happen to be sitting near the wing, you’ll aee the word “howdy ” on the wing.

This is because one of their hubs is Dallas , Texas, and in Texas, folks great you by saying, “howdy “.

I had taken Spirit before, either from La Guardia in New York or Philadelphia and all four times I was flying into, you guessed it, Las Vegas .

All four times I didn’t have a great experience and said that I would take a Greyhound Bus before I ever flew Spirit again .

I decided to give them a try even though Newark Liberty is no where near my house, I live closer to JFK .

But when fares from Newark to Las Vegas one way are $62 , you find a way to get there.

Now if you’ve never flown them before, here’s some tips.

You’re going to be paying for EVERYTHING , carry on bags, check in bags, snacks, drinks, including water and credit cards only.

You’ll be paying for seats that don’t recline.

You want more leg room ?

You pay for those too.

The only thing that’s free is your personal item and a lot of people stuff a lot of clothes into a small backpack.

Don’t try to cheat on your personal item, because all the gate agents are going to make sure your personal item is legit .

If not, you’re going to be paying.

Your tray table is very small, so hold onto those drinks and snacks that you just purchased.

Now if this doesn’t seem like the airline for you, take another one.

A lot of people seem to like this airline , though, much to my surprise .

I was able to move my feet up and down , dancing in my seat to the

song that was playing on my tablet.

Speaking of electronics , don’t look for WiFi on the plane.

There isn’t any.

(C’mon Spirit, step up your game , my people. Let the peeps have some WiFi ! )

The fare was good and the flight attendants were truly helpful, I might just fly the big yellow taxi in the sky again .

Now if only they flew out of JFK .