MEMORIES OF SUMMERTIME 2018

As I sit in my room, watching the rain and thunder strike everything in its path, I forget that we here in New York City might not get the devastation from Hurricane Florence that North Carolina got, but we can get her remnants and thats just what we’re getting right now.

The nights are starting to get darker earlier than usual, and those 90 degree temperatures with the just as high humidity are slowly going away.

(Truth be told, I won’t miss those.)

It’s the 19th of September and in two days we’re going to be saying goodbye (and good riddance) to those sweltering hot days.

The cooler weather is coming, which means stock up on all things that are Pumpkin Spice, whether it be tea, coffee, cake or even ice cream.

I’m taking a break from traveling for awhile, but who knows, that may change.

The summer months of May, June, July and August were full of good memories.

Smelling the flowers on the Bronx campus of Manhattan College, a place that I hadn’t been to since I was in college in the 1970’s.

Revisting Atlantic City , something I hadn’t done in 4 years and walking on the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk , another one of the things on my bucket list .

Eating seafood and getting a history lesson in one of my favorite cities, Baltimore, Maryland .

Yeah, there was some baseball in there too, because no matter what the season is, there’s going to be a 30 Plus Teams Tour going on.

There was even some time to enjoy New York City , Roosevelt Island and the Brooklyn Bridge Park , another thing to cross off my bucket list .

Finally in June, there was one of my favorite memories.

Getting together with other sports divas at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas , another one of my favorite cities.

Summer went very fast, but then it seems as though 2018 is going by wicked fast .

But my great memories of 2018 will live on and I hope you enjoy these memories as much as I did.

MY TRIP TO BALTIMORE – BESTIES, BEER, AND BASEBALL

Since 2012, one of my Circle of Sisters and I have traveled to the city on the Chesapeake Bay , Baltimore , Maryland , also known as “Charm City “.

Back then, when I first went, there was no such thing as a 30 Plus Teams Tour .

We went to Baltimore because we both love baseball and hockey, too, but that’s another story for another day .

Our trips to Baltimore , which usually takes place in either April, June, July, August , or September .

Basically , its the months when the Yankees play the Baltimore Orioles at the place that just happens to be the favorite ballpark of both of us , Orioles Park at Camden Yards , or just Camden Yards for short.

This is the time for my bestie, Sue, and I to really get together.

She lives in Pittsburgh , I live in New York City.

Baltimore is sort of the midway point between the two cities .

Forget what you’ve seen on television or read in the news about the city .

Baltimore is a very beautiful city with a lot of very friendly people.

It’s just as historical as Boston, Washington DC , and Philadelphia are.

There’s bad areas of the city, yes, but there are a lot of cities in the world with bad areas.

Do your research and stay away from those areas if you can.

Talk to the locals while you’re in town.

Don’t be surprised if you’re called “Hon” a lot.

That’s short for honey, and it’s not sexist.

It’s a term of endearment in B’more .

We’ve talked about besties and baseball , what about that other “B”, Beer?

When you’re at a baseball game at Camden Yards , or some other baseball park, you MUST have a Hot Dog, Nachos loaded with cheese and jalapeños, and some French Fries .

Oh, you didn’t know this?

Trust the Sports Diva on this one, it’s sports related.

It’s baseball food and what do you have to wash it down with?

No, not a milk shake, water or a soda.

Beer, that’s the drink of baseball aficionados while at a game, cheering their team on.

They even sell it in the stands during a game.

(Just have your id ready and tip the vendors, don’t be cheap! Remember , after the 7th inning, you can’t get beer because they stop selling it.)

Baltimoreans love a locally brewed beer called “Natty Bohemian ” or Natty Boh for short.

Personally, I go with either Stella Artois Cidre, Blue Moon or Shock Top.

I must admit that this is the only time that I really do beer, because nothing says baseball in the summer like an ice cold beer.

This year, the Yankees don’t make an appearance in Baltimore on Labor Day .

So that means August was the only month that my bestie and I got to see this ball park .

No more Bestie, Beer, and Baseball time this year.

God willing, my bestie and I will have to wait until the 2019 baseball season begins to experience another bestie , beer, and baseball trip down in Baltimore .

We’re looking forward to it.

WHAT ‘ S IN MY SUITCASE?

It’s time for another 30 Plus Teams Tour , so you know what that means ?

Another edition of what’s in my suitcase .

I’m going somewhere fairly warm and very humid , God willing from Friday, 24 August until Tuesday 28th of August.

I’m not taking a big suitcase and as much stuff as I took for Las Vegas .

(Or at least I don’t think that I am, you might think differently after you see what’s going in this backpack.)

As usual, hair products, shoes, unmentionables, jewelry and makeup are going in this bag as well as my three stuffed animals that I always bring with me.

Yeah, don’t judge me, I have stuffed animals at my age.

Here’s the late summer edition of what’s in my suitcase .

As usual , no hats on the bed. My two New York Yankees caps from the Yankees Clubhouse and Modells Sports Store in New York City . The other hat is from a store here in Queens.

Black and white bag a present from my cousin, black and white dress from Forever 21, two pair of shorts from Rainbow shops.Black sleeveless shirt from Chico’s. The colorful pink blouse is also from Rainbow Shops.

Kimono a present from my auntie, white pants and black and white dress from Macy’s .

This is a 30 Plus Teams Tour so you know a baseball game is gonna break out one of the days that I’m going to be where I’m going . As usual, the Sports Diva is going to be representing her team and being the Sports Team Apparel Fashionista that I am, I will be rocking my New York Yankees shirts. . 3 Yankees shirts are from Yankees Clubhouse and Modells. Gray leggings are from Rainbow Shops.

That’s what’s going in my suitcase .

Of course, I might not take all of this, but you never know.

Where’s my 30 Plus Teams Tour taking me this time?

You’ll just have to wait and see.

There will be a post about it and yes, you’re going to come along with me.

WALKING AROUND MONUMENT PARK

Monument Park is a park located in the New York City boro of The Bronx .

You won’t find this park located on the list of New York City parks, though.

However, it’s just as popular as Central Park, maybe even more popular .

Many people don’t know about this park, but many people do, and most of them aren’t from New York City .

It’s free to enter this park but there’s a catch.

To get to Monument Park, you have to have a ticket.

Not just any kind of ticket , a ticket to a baseball game .

Monument Park is located inside of Yankee Stadium, the home of one of the most famous baseball teams in North America, the New York Yankees .

It’s located right in the middle of center field.

If your 30 Plus Teams Tour of New York City just happens to include a Yankees baseball game, I would advise you to get to Yankee Stadium early to not only watch the Yankees and their opponents take batting practice but to walk around Monument Park, which is designed in a circle,and look at all the plaques honoring former Yankee players .

If you happen to be a huge baseball fan, you’ll enjoy seeing the plaques and retired numbers of former Yankees greats like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig , and Joe DiMaggio, who most people know as being Marilyn Monroe’s ex husband.

Younger baseball fans will enjoy seeing the plaques and retired numbers of the Yankees players who are known as “The Core Five”, Andy Petitte, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera , and Derek Jeter.

Right in the middle of Monument Park, there is a huge plaque of the man that Yankee fans affectionately know as “The Boss”.

(Non Yankees fans know him by some other not too nice name, by the way.)

He is the late owner of the team, George Steinbrenner.

You don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy Monument Park .

There are plaques commemorating the visits of Pope John Paul the Sixth and Nelson Mandela .

Like many major league baseball parks in the country , you’ll see a plaque with tge number 42 on it, which was the number worn by Jackie Robinson, who was the first player to intergrate major league baseball.

There is another plaque in Monument Park that stands apart from the other plaques.

Many people want to see this one just to pause and reflect.

They aren’t all baseball fans either.

It’s the plaque for 9-11 .

SPORTS FANS ARE THE SAME IN THE UNITED  STATES  AND  CANADA , RIGHT?

If you  happen  to  live outside of the United  States  or  Canada ,  you’re  probably  saying to yourself, “why do these Americans especially ,  care so much about this thing called ‘The Super Bowl  “?

The rest of the world  gets excited about  soccer’s  World Cup ,  but people  in the United States  and Canada, by and large, really could care less.

Some of us and our good neighbors to the North, actually are interested  in the World Cup.

But not really.

The  Super Bowl ,  which features the two best American  football teams, is quite another story.

It’s  not just about the commercials  that some companies  pay an arm and  a  leg gor, nor is it to see the big name entertainers  that do their thing at intermission ,  which football fans call “halftime  “.

Some of us have placed bets not only who’s  going to win, but by how many points  one team is going to LOSE by.

Many of us like to watch  just for bragging  rights . 

We can’t  wait to tell our friends or coworkers that hate our team that we are the champions (pardon the pun.)of the National  Football  League for the wwhole  year.

Many people  who aren’t  Canadian  or American  want to know just  what  it is about sports that get us all worked up and do really stupid things.

What does it mean to be a fan and aren’t  fans of all the four major sports the same?

Nope, and the Sports Diva is here to tell you the difference  between  the baseball, football ,  hockey and basketball  fans in the United States  and  Canada . 

Some of them might be  familiar  even if you don’t  live in either the United  States  or  Canada .

I could start by telling  you about the  baseball fans who attend and watch, “The Subway  Series” games between  the  Yankees  and the Mets for bragging  rights  in New York  City . 

I could even try to describe  the nastiness  between  hockey fans in Canada, that is  “The Battle  of  Alberta” between  the Calgary  Flames  and Edmonton  Oilers  hockey teams . 

This rivalry got so nasty that at one pojnt, two politicians from Edmonton  and Calgary actually  got into a fistfight  over their teams . 

One may wonder just what is this nonsense all about?

You may think to yourself ,  people shouldn’t  get worked up over other people bouncing  a ball, hitting a ball, throwing  a  ball, or slapping a hard black disc over the ice.

But some of us do, and yeah we paint our faces in the team colors and wear funny looking wigs in the team colors as well.

You might think all of us sports fans are crazy but you don’t  see the difference between  fans of the four sports.

It’s  a lot of screaming and yelling, you say.

It’s  not really that serious.

As  a  sports fan myself, I can tell you that fans of baseball, hockey, football  and baseball are very different . 

I’m  going to tell you how different they are.

Baseball  is the sport that most Americans  grew up watching, and many of us were first introduced  to the game by our grandfathers  and father’s  or in my case, my aunt.

Baseball  isn’t  the most  popular  sport in this country, because  a lot of fans find it very boring.

As a result,if you go to a baseball  game ,  most of the fans of baseball are older and more traditional . 

They don’t  want any changes to  their sport at all.

A lot of them are by and large ,  over the age of 40.

It’s  also one of the cheapest  priced sports tickets to buy . 

Baseball  fans by and large do support their teams, but fans of both New York teams, Boston Red Sox,  Chicago  Cubs, St.Louis Cardinals  and Philadelphia  Philies take it to the extreme.

These  cities   live and die by their teams.

Even Canada has gotten  into the act.

In hockey mad Canada ,  it’s  the Toronto  Blue  Jays  baseball  team  that’s  known  as  “Canada’s  Team.”

Basketball  is the sport that many young people  gravitate  towards.

To say that they’re  excited about  it  would  be  an understatement . 

It might be due to the flash and glamour of the  sport, not to mention many of it’s  stars . 

In many cities though the average  basketball  fan is being priced out of his arena, even if you’ve  been  a fan when the team was pretty bad.

If you happen  to  attend  a basketball  game  in  either the  United  States  or  Canada ,  don’t  be surprised  if most of the “fans” sitting in those seats are either actors, actresses ,  politicians ,  other sports stars  or rap singers.

Madison Square  Garden in New York  City  and Staples Center  in Los Angeles  are famous for their “celebrity  row  ”

Basketball  fans do love their teams  and will spend  a lot of money on team apparel ,  but attending  a basketball  game  now has become  less fan friendly  and more like an event that one goes to be seen at.

The last two  sports fans  are very similar  and they have some of the most passionate fans in any of the major sports.

It’s  Hockey  and Football . 

Hockey is popular in Canada where most of the fans actually played hockey themselves . 

It’s  not so popular  in the United States ,  but in the places where it is popular ,  you have some of the most rabid fans ever.

Hockey fans, no matter if they’re  in Canada or the United States ,  aren’t  only passionate  about their sport ,  but their favorite team and players.

(I should know, I’m  one of  those  passionate hockey fans!)

Male and female  hockey fans love  talking about hockey not on  to other hockey fans but to non hockey fans who don’t  seem to get it.

Hockey fans will be buy every hockey apparel  that they can, whether it’s  the team they support  or even a player they like who plays for another team.

Hockey fans will ride and die for their team and they will even tell you why their team is better than yours.

Depending  on where you  are, hockey tickets  are fairly easy to get.

This might be because  a lot of  Americans  don’t  follow  the sport . 

Unless you’re  in Canada then tickets are fairly expensive ,  even if you do go on a website like NHL  Ticket Exchange ,  in which season ticket  holders give away their seats because  they can’t  use them.

Lastly we’ve  got Football ,  which is the most popular  sport in the United States . 

Most of us in the country know someone  who played football  and if you happen to be from the Southern  part  of the United States ,  especially, Louisiana ,  Georgia ,  Florida, Alabama ,  Texas or Mississippi ,  not only did you play football in elementary ,  high school  and colkege, there’s  a good chance that   your grandaddy and daddy also played . 

Like hockey, football  has many female fans and you’d  better believe  that a lot of us know the sport  and really aren’t  shy about yelling at  the referee for calling a penalty on our  team.

We will also swear and curse at players on our own team if one of them drops the ball, just like we see male fans do.

Football  games are the most expensive  sporting  events  to attend ,  but the stadiums  are ALWAYS sold out, no matter how bad your team is.

Many fans are season’s  ticket holders and they really don’t  want to sell their seats unless the team really is doing bad.

Football fans, like their hockey  counterparts ,  take being a fan to a whole  another level . 

Let’s  call it one step below cray cray, shall we?

Only a football fan would tell you proudly that their team is special because they’re  known  as  “America’s  Team”.

(That’s  the Dallas Cowboys ,  by the way and yes, they are known as “America’s  Team”)

Like hockey fans, football  fans will not only support their team at home, but they’ll  make that trip to another stadium and well, act the fool.

At a hockey game, depending  on the team, you might see one or two fans wearing the jersey of opposing teams.

Football  fans, being the step above crazy that they are, you’ll  won’t  be able to count how many fans you’ll  see wearing the other teams jersey.

There’s  THAT many of them.

Also unlike the other sports ,  you will NEVER see a football fan wearing the jersey of a team that isn’t  playing.

Going to  a football  game  is like going to  a Halloween  party ,  even though it’s  not.

You’ll  see fans wearing “Cheesehead” hats at a Green  Bay Packers  game.

(Wisconsin  is the leading producer of cheese in the United  States  in case you weren’t  aware.)

If you go to an Oakland Raiders  game, you’ll  see fans wearing  every sort of scary attire, not just the Raiders football jersey.

(Being in the midst of the Raiders fans isn’t  known as “The Black Hole  ” for nothing.

Unfortunately ,  like hockey ,  football  is known not only for the nastiness on the field, but in the stands as well . 

It might be because  of  the  amount of  alcohol  served at both games, but it’s  more of  a case of, you know , people  not acting like they’ve  been  there before.

So the next time you see a game in the United States  or  Canada ,  whether it be on TV or in oerson, and you’re  under the  impression  that  fans are all the same, no matter what the sport is, think again.

HELLO  CHARM  CITY  –  BALTIMORE ,  MARYLAND .  THE BABE RUTH  BASEBALL  MUSEUM  IN  PICTURES . 

While on my annual 30 Plus Teams Tour of Baltimore, I visited   a museum that wasn’t  on my bucket list .  

It’s  the  Babe Ruth  Baseball  Museum.

Most baseball  fans  know that Ruth played for the  Boston  Red Sox and especially ,  the New York  Yankees . 

But what a lot of  baseball  fans didn’t  know  is that he was born in Baltimore, not far from where Orioles  Park  at  Camden  Yards  stands now.

If you happen  to  be  a  baseball  fan this is  one  museum  you should visit  while in the Charm  City.

There’s  an easy way to  get to  the museum  if you happen  to  be  staying  at  the  Hampton  Inn  Downtown  Convention  Center  or you went  to  a  game  at Camden  Yards . 

Follow  the  60 baseballs that are on the sidewalk . 

60 is the the number of  home runs  that Babe Ruth  hit in case you didn’t  know .