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 . 

WHAT ‘ S IN MY SUITCASE ? 

It’s  that  time  again . 

It’s  time for  my own  annual  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Charm City . 

As I’m  going  for  five  days ,  I don’t  need  to  carry  a big suitcase . 

As usual ,  it’s  the bus to  get  down  there, but not Greyhound . 

More on my bus experience  down  to  Baltimore  on a later post.

I need a bag that’s  lightweight  and  easy  to  carry  because  I  do a lot of  walking  BEFORE  and AFTER  I get to Baltimore.

I also  want  a  bag that  fits everything  that  I’m  carrying . 

This is  a 30  Plus  Teams  Tour, so you just know  there’s  going  to  be  some  baseball  games at my favorite  baseball  park, Orioles  Park  at  Camden  Yards . 

Since the  New York  Yankees  are playing  the  home town team, the Orioles ,  I will  DEFINITELY  have some  baseball  related articles  of clothing  in my bag.

As wordpress.com  blogger, Morgan  from Bay Area Beauty  Blogger stated in her post of August  25 of this year, “What to wear to a baseball  game  “, you don’t  have  to  wear a  baseball  jersey to a game . 

I agree  with her 100%.

If  you  don’t  have  a  baseball  jersey  to  wear to the  game, go to the next best thing.

Wear something  with  the team logo, colors, or a player’s  name on the back.

As you can see from my  pictures ,  I don’t  wear jerseys  either.

I wear team shirts with  the  player’s  name and number on the back or something  on the front.

I have put all the things I’m  taking  on the bed, except  for  the  two New York  Yankees  hats that I’m  carrying  with  me.

I’m  superstitious ,  so that’s  why  the  picture  of my hats are where they are are and not on the bed.

It’s  bad luck  to put your hat there, by the way.

Besides the unmentionables, toiletries ,  hair stuff, and my stuffed  animals , this is what you’ll  find in my bag for my trip to “Birdland  “.

I still  have  them at my age and carry three particular  ones when I go away on my own  30 Plus  Teams  Tour .

 Don’t  judge me, just saying . 

JEWELRY  

All rings from H & M 

Black bracelets from Forever  21

Brown  bracelet  from Rainbow  Shops  

Earrings  from Clare’s

Pearl necklace with heart from Forever 21

The necklace on the jeans was my late aunt’s. As you can guess, it has very sentimental  value  to me. I wear it everywhere.

CLOTHES

Robe is from H &  M.

Baseball  caps are from Modell’s Sporting  Goods  

Black hoodie from Rainbow  Shops  

Leggings  from  Rainbow  Shops  

Grey shirt from  Uniqlo

Yankees baseball  shirts  from Modell’s Sporting  Goods  and  The Yankees  Clubhouse  

Baltimore  Orioles  shirt from Baltimore  Orioles  Team Store  

(You might be wondering  just why I  have a shirt from the Orioles  if I’m  rooting  for  the  Yankees . This particular  player happens  to  be  one  of  my  favorite  players and besides ,  I’m  not  walking  around  town wearing  Yankees gear my entire time  there.)

Green and black pj’s  from Primark

Black scarf from Rainbow  Shops  

Black jeans from  Primark  

Blue drawstring  bag from Sketchers Sneaker Outlet

Brown  drawstring  bag from Macy’s  

I use the brown one for dirty clothes and the  blue one when I don’t  feel like carrying  a  purse.

Handbag from Macy’s  

Leopard  make up case from Forever  21  

Sneakers from Payless Shoe Stores  

Black sweater from Rainbow  Shops  

WHEW!

Will all this  stuff fit in my little  backpack?

Of course it will.

Some of  these things I’m  wearing  on the bus and the other stuff will fit, with a little  creative  packing .

What’s  in your bag when you go somewhere ? 

Do you  travel  with a suitcase or a backpack ? 

Let me know and share your thoughts on this post.

THANK YOU ! 

REVOLUTIONARY TALES – BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – HOSTEL INTERNATIONAL BOSTON

15741138_10209581065256860_7178278709027647454_n15727382_10209581065136857_3668787696533672403_n12119988_10206273333125624_449651143605530036_o15698083_10209581062496791_9171902710831967330_n15726879_10209566076882160_5612079994920289691_n12279047_10206421694834574_8873849533717087032_n15727134_10209581077737172_9050535905828733217_n15697659_10209581072217034_1162954352304140085_n12052363_10206267685224430_2196504495219363579_o15697259_10209581080457240_7972839033145568731_n15740831_10209581055976628_5881142736025342517_n1396906_10201430120448334_337747470_oIt’s  located  in the  heart  of  Boston ,  halfway  between Chinatown  and the  Theater District  of  the  city .

It’s  part  of  the  Hostelling   International  group ,  which  has hostels  all over  the  world .

This  hostel is  very  easy  to  get  to  by public  transportation .

If you’re  coming  from  Boston  Logan  Airport ,  you can take the  free Silver Line train to South  Station  and  walk a few blocks  down  to  the hostel  at 19 Stuart Street .

If you’re  arriving  by an Amtrak  train, Greyhound  or Megabus, you’ll  arrive  at South  Station  as well.

You have  two other options  besides walking  when you get to  South  Station .

You can either take the Silver Line bus, which isn’t  free, and drops you off across  the  street  from  the  hostel ,  or if  it’s  late at night ,  and you really  don’t  know  your way around  the  city, take one of  the  many cabs that wait  outside  the  terminal .

Have the  address  of the  hostel  handy just  in case  the  cab driver  claims  he doesn’t  know  how  to  get  there  and tries  to  overcharge  you .

I’m  very biased ,  but I  like  to think that  this  is  one of  the  nicest  hostels  in  the  country ,  and given  all  the  reviews  that this  hostel  receives  from many of  the  hostel  AND hotel booking  sites ,  I’m  not  the  only  one  who  feels  this  way .

The building  that  the  hostel  is located  in  was  once  an office  building .

It has  six floors  and  like  most  of  the  hostels  in  the  world ,  Hostel  International  Boston  has private  rooms ,  and dormitory  rooms  with four, six, and  eight  bunk beds .

You  have  male ,  female ,  and  coed rooms .

Each  room  has lockers, so remember  to  bring  your own  padlock .

If you don’t  have  one, you can buy one at the  front  desk .

Each bed also has a private lamp so you won’t  disturb your bunkmates.

There’s  no  curfew per say, but if you come  back late from partying  in the clubs on Lansdowne  Street  or those hockey ,  baseball ,  or basketball  games   at TD Gardens  or Fenway  Park ,  just remember  to  keep  the  noise  down  to  a  minimum .

When  you  first  check  into  the  hostel ,  you’ll  be  asked  if you  have  a Hosteling International  membership  card ,  and they also  want to  make  sure  that  you  don’t  live  less than  90  miles  away .

If do  live less than the 90 miles ,  you can’t  stay  at the hostel .

If you  don’t  have  a membership  card ,  they add three dollars  per night  to your bill.

That might  not  seem  like  much ,  but I  would  advise  getting  one.

The card doesn’t  only  work  for  this  hostel ,  but for  Hostel  International  branches  all over the  world .

Membership  is good  for  one year .

Check  in time  is  2pm or earlier ,  if beds are available .

If not, you can store your bags at the  hostel  and  explore  the  city  until  a bed is ready.

Check  out  time  is  11am .

There’s  a small  cafe  area  right  next  to  the  big  and spacious  lobby  area .

They  also  have  a  jar  of  cookies  right  at the  front  desk .

There’s  also free WiFi  in the hostel ,  they’ll  give  you  the  password  at the  front  desk  .

The elevator  is right  in front  of  you  as you  use your  key card  for  entrance  from the  lobby  into  the  hallway .

If your room  is  on the  second  floor ,  you can get your exercise  and walk up the  stairs ,  unless  your bags  are heavy.

All the  hallways  from  the  third  floor  all the  way  up to  the  six floor  might  look familiar  to some  of  you  if you’ve  been  to Boston  before .

The hallways  are  painted  in blue ,  orange ,  red, and  green .

That’s  right ,  those  are  the  colors  of  the  four  “T”  lines that  make  up  the Boston  subway .

If you  want  to   go sightseeing   in the  city  and aren’t  sure which  stops  are on what  train  line, you don’t  need  a  guide .

Just  look  at  the  shower curtains  in all of   the  bathrooms .

It’s  the map of all the  subway  stations  in the  city, including  the  commuter lines that run from South Station  and  North  Station ,  called  the Purple  line.

But please don’t  depend on the shower  curtain .

Get yourself  a  Boston  city  guide from  the  front  desk  if you didn’t  bring  one  with  you .

Like many hostels ,  they also have  free breakfast .

It runs from  7am until  10am, every day.

Coffee, tea, and water are free all day but for the daily  breakfast ,  there’s  white or wheat bread, bagels, fruit, hard boiled eggs ,  cereal, yogurt ,  as well as orange juice  and  apple juice .

The kitchen ,  which is  on the second  floor ,  has cooking  facilities ,  dishes, pots and  pans ,  cooking  utensils ,  condiments  and a place  to  store  your  food .

Just  remember to  label  your food  if you put it in the refrigerator  or pantry.

They provide  labels  for you.

If you don’t  label  your food ,  someone  might  take  it or worse, the staff will throw  it  away .

The second floor  also has a laundry room ,  reading  room ,  game room, and my favorites ,  the candy vending  machines  and  the  TV  room .

There’s  also computers so that you  can print  out  your boarding  pass  or  make  another  reservation  for  one of  the  other  Hostelling  International  locations .

The hostel  is   in  such a central  location ,  so you  can  walk  to  Chinatown  for  either  Chinese ,  Vietnamese , Malaysian ,  Japanese  or Thai  food .

There’s  even  fast  food  restaurants  close  enough  as bars and  pubs stay open fairly  late due  to  the  fact  that  this  is  the  Theater  District .

If you  don’t  want  to  have  take  out  food, Walgreens ,  CVS  and good  old  7-Eleven  are a block  or so  away  from  the  hostel for those groceries  that you might need.

Unlike  the Old  City  Hostel  in Philadelphia  that I  mentioned  in  an earlier  post , (  See  sportsandtravelblog.wordpress.com /  2017 / 05/ 05 Liberty  -Tales – Philadelphia  –  Pennsylvania  –  The  -House  -At-325-Cherry-Street), this hostel  is a  “dry” hostel .

Don’t  look  for  any alcohol ,  because  it’s  not  allowed  on the  premises  anywhere .

The rooms  have  bathrooms  right  outside  the room ,  so remember  to  bring  your  key  card  with you  .

The  most  nights  that  one  can  stay  in the  hostel  is 14 days  in a calendar  year.

Other hostels  have this  rule  as well .

The  hotels  in town  are fairly  expensive ,  but  this  hostel  is a very  affordable  option  for  you .

I  would  advise  though  booking  directly  on the  hostel’s own website  rather  than  on websites  such as Hostel  World or Booking . com.

One  more thing  about  the  kitchen .

There’s  communal  tables which  makes  it  easy  to  strike  up a  conversation  with  your fellow  travelers  .

If you  don’t  make new friends  or strike  up a conversation  with  at least  ONE  person  during  your time here, given  all the  activities  provided by  the  hostel ,  sorry, that’s  on you, boo.

Some of  those  travelers  might be  going  to  that  same  Red Sox  baseball  game  or Celtics  basketball  game  that  you’re  going  to .

I could  stay  anywhere  in the city  as I have  friends  and  family  here.

But is is my go to  place  when I’m  in town.

Make  the  Hostel  International  Boston  your place if you  come  here for a 30  Plus  Teams  Tour  or not.

HELLO CHARM CITY – BALTIMORE , MARYLAND – HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS – DOWNTOWN BALTIMORE

FB_IMG_1502721265895FB_IMG_1502721258067FB_IMG_1502721371156FB_IMG_1502721272176FB_IMG_1502721356176FB_IMG_1502721287858In an earlier  post ,  I  mentioned  the Hampton  Inn  Downtown  Convention  Center  as a hotel  option  if you’re  visiting  the  city  of  Baltimore .

(See sportsandtravelblog.wordpress.com/2017/08-09-Hello-Charm-City-Baltimore-Hampton-Inn-Downtown-Convention-Center  )

There’s  another  hotel  that I  would  recommend  if you  happen  to  be  staying  in  town .

It’s  located  on North  Gay Street  and it’s  not really  that far from the  Hampton  Inn .

It’s  the  Holiday  Inn  Express  Downtown .

When  you  walk  into  the  lobby ,  you look  around  and  you  get  the  feeling  that  you’re  in your  local  bank.

You aren’t  that  far  from  the  truth .

This used to  be  the  Old Town  Bank of  Baltimore  and the  hotel  has  kept  many  of  the bank’s  features ,  like the interior .

As with  many  hotels ,  check in time  is 3pm and check out  time is Noon.

The hotel  isn’t  only  close  to  the  major  Baltimore  attractions  like  the  Inner  Harbor  and  the  Convention  Center ,  but it’s  also  close  to  one  of  the  major  hospitals  in  the  country ,  John Hopkins  Medical  Center .

You could  walk  to  the  Inner  Harbor  from  the  hotel ,  but they  make  it  so easy for  you  not to  do  that .

There’s  a  complimentary  hotel  shuttle  that  not only  brings you  to  the  Inner  Harbor ,  but John  Hopkins  as well  as  the  Convention  Center .

Are you  going  to  Orioles  Park  at  Camden  Yards  to  see a game?

(Of course  you are .  This  is  a  30 Plus  Teams  Tour, after all . )

They’ll drop you off  as close to  the  stadium  as possible  as well as  the  Baltimore  Basilica and the restaurants  in Little  Italy  as well .

The  shuttle  runs until  midnight .

They won’t  pick  you  up  at the  Baltimore  Thurgood  Marshall  Airport  or Greyhound  Terminal ,  but if you’re  coming on an Amtrak, the shuttle  will pick you up at Baltimore’s  Penn Station .

Just give them a call .

The  hotel  does offer  a breakfast  buffet  as well as  a  fitness  center .

Don’t  look for  a  pool  though .

There isn’t  one.

Like  the  Hampton  Inn ,  the rooms  are  spacious ,  with  a  microwave ,  refrigerator ,  coffee  makers ,  and big mirrors .

You don’t  have  any fantastic  views of the two  stadiums ,  but with the  shuttle ,  you’ll  be  watching  baseball  and football  in no time .

There aren’t  any  restaurants  next door or across  the  street  from  the  hotel ,  but there’s  a  24 hour 7-Eleven ,  which is okay in my book.

Perfect  for  those  late night  munchies .

The  hotel  isn’t  close to  public  transportation ,  but  the  shuttle is your best friend , just make sure to  check  the  times that  the shuttle  runs.

Holiday  Inn Express  Downtown  is another option for you if you happen  to  be  staying  in town .

 

Holiday  Inn Express

221 North Gay  Street

Baltimore ,  Maryland

410-400-8045