STANDING IN LINE AT MIKE ‘ S PASTRY

This bake shop in Boston was founded in 1946 in the North End by Mike Mercogliano.

Hence the name, Mike’s Pastry.

The bakery sells cookies, pies, cakes, gelato, but it’s their assorted canolis that locals and tourists stand in line for in front of the bakery that’s located at 300 Hanover Street .

The bakery is opened everyday at 8am, but on Fridays and Saturdays , they stay open until 11pm instead of 10pm on the other nights .

Don’t even think of busting out that Visa or Master Card to pay for those gut busting desserts.

Cash only here, my peeps .

They will even ship your goodies for you to enjoy wherever you are in the United States by UPS on Mondays, Wednesday , and Thursday .

Now about that standing in line business .

Once you enter the store, which has more room than you imagine , the service is very fast, but just know what you want before the cashier takes your order, and if you want to, leave a tip.

These cashiers work hard to get everyone out and on their way to enjoy these goodies .

Besides the store in the North End, which is Boston ‘ s Little Italy , they have stores in Harvard Square in Cambridge , and Assembly Square in Somerville , Massachusetts .

You can tell someone went to the bakery by the distinctive blue and white box that says, Mike’s Pastry splashed all over it.

My friend and I waited for canolis , which are huge, and other pastries for about half an hour maybe.

While waiting , we struck up a conversation with the couple behind us, who were from Toronto and were in town not only for the baseball game , but the football game in Foxboro as well.

Me, of course, being the Sports Diva, just had to do one of the things that she loves best, talk about sports, especially baseball and hockey .

( Shoutout to Anthony and Sarah , btw, and I hope you both make it to Madison Square Garden to see a New York Rangers hockey game, even if you both are Toronto Maple Leafs fans , lol)

What did I get?

I got three of the pastries that Mike’s is famous for.

Canolis.

One regular , one Amaretto , and one Limoncello .

Sorry, not sorry, but three weren’t enough, but I didn’t get more.

Boston isn’t that far from New York City , so I can always get more or even have them delivered to me.

If you happen to do your own 30 Plus Teams Tour of Boston , make a trip down to Mike’s Pastry .

Your stomach might be sorry but not your wallet.

A VISIT TO FENWAY PARK

This was a 30 Plus Teams Tour of Boston after all and even though the National Football League(NFL)champs, the New England Patriots, had their home opener, and championship banner raising ceremony the same night an hour or so away in the town of Foxboro, Massachusetts, the Sports Diva and one of her Circle of Sisters just had to go to that shrine of major league baseball, Fenway Park in Boston .

We were there to see the home team Red Dox play our favorite baseball team , the New York Yankees .

If you happen to be doing your own 30 Plus Teams Tour of Boston, say in the months of April until September , I would advise taking in a game at one of the oldest baseball parks in the country , Fenway Park .

It opened up in April of 1912, and it would have made news at the time, except for one other incident .

The Titanic sunk on the same day.

Next to Wrigley Field in Chicago and Yankees Stadium in New York City , if you go to one ballpark, Fenway would be it, even if you don’t know baseball .

Go there for the ambience , not to mention those mouthwatering Sausage and Peppers sandwiches sold by the vendors on Lansdowne Street .

You can go to any game there, just check the schedule .

Or go at a fun time when the Red Sox are playing the Yankees , their rivals like the Sports Diva did.

It doesn’t matter if both teams are playing well, stinking up the joint or if just one team is stinking up the place.

It’s a Yankees and Red Sox game .

Half the place will be dressed in Red and White, for the Red Sox and the other half will be wearing blue and white pinstripes with the interlocking NY on it,you’re going to have a fun time just listening to all the smack talk between fans of both teams, even if you haven’t got a clue what either side is talking about .

You can take a tour of Fenway Park for $21, but do what I like to do, walk around the inside AND OUTSIDE of the park just to see it.

Take in your surroundings , especially the CITGO sign in the neighborhood and that big green wall in left field known as ” The Green Monster “.

You might not understand why but stand up and sing along with both Red Sox Nation and opposing fans in the singing of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.”

Or better yet, in the bottom of the eighth inning, join in the new tradition of singing “Sweet Caroline”.

The game itself might be boring to you, but you won’t be disappointed in your visit to iconic Fenway Park .

SOME PICTURES FROM MY 30 PLUS TEAMS TOUR OF BOSTON

I went to Boston from September 6-9 with one of my Circle of Sisters .

She had never been there before , so I was the unofficial tour guide .

Needless to say , there was a sporting event going on, because it was a 30 Plus Teams Tour and that’s just how the Sports Diva and her friends roll, but more on our excellent Yankees and Red Sox adventure at Fenway Park in another post.

Right now, enjoy some pictures from my home , Boston .

I DON’T HAVE THE WORDS

It’s St. Patrick’s Day here in the United States and in some other countries .

I should be writing about planning or thinking about another 30 Plus Teams Tour that I want to take and what’s going to go into my suitcase when I do leave.

I should be thinking about the craziness that happened in Las Vegas at the Bellagio and El Cortez Hotels and Casino, two hotels that I frequent quite often whenever I go to Vegas .

I should, of course be thinking that this is the day that a lot of fans of college basketball dream of.

The selection of which college basketball teams are going to be in the annual “March Madness”, to see which one of them is going to be named the best college men’s basketball team in the United States .

Instead, my prayers are with the people of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Hate has reared its ugly head in that beautiful and peaceful country.

I stopped asking why, what makes people hate someone that has done nothing to them.

Are some of you ,no matter what race or religion y’all are, that much of a bunch of lowlives that you need to blame other people that you don’t know and DON’T TRY TO KNOW for the fact that you can’t get YOUR act together ?

I don’t have the words for what this one scumbag did.

Not for nothing and may God forgive me , I hope you get what you deserve in prison.

I don’t have the words for the hurt and pain you caused in New Zealand .

GOD BLESS YOU NEW ZEALAND. YOU DIDN’T DESERVE THIS.

PICTURES FROM  MY VISIT TO THE MASSACHUSETTS STATES HOUSE

Before I  got sick, I took a visit the Massachusetts  State  House .

This is the “the new” statehouse ,  as the old State House, which is located in the Financial  District of Boston on State Street ,  has remnants of  Massachusetts  before it was one of the 13 colonies.

There is no trace of Great Britain  in this statehouse except the portraits of all those colonial governor’s of Massachusetts . 

Enjoy the pictures from my day at the State House  and get to know some of the history  of  the  Commonwealth  of  Massachusetts . 

A RIDE ON THE SILVER LINE

The Boston  public  transportation  system  is officially  known as the  Massachusetts  Bay Transit  Authority  or MBTA  for short.

Unofficially ,  it’s  known by Bostonians  and people who travel there a lot as “The T”.

So, if you happen to  be in the city of  Boston  or in one of its  many neighborhoods ,  look for the signs with the big black letter “T” on it.

There are four main transit lines in  the city, the Orange  Line, the Green Line, the Blue Line, which takes you to the airport, and the Red Line, which takes you towards Harvard Square . 

Word of warning when you take the T.

There’s  no Uptown  or Downtown ,  like you’d  see in a city like New York.

Instead, you’ll  see “Inbound and Outbound”.

Inbound means coming towards the city of Boston ,  outbound means going away from the city.

You’ll  mostly  see this if you take the Red Line.

If you get confused, look for the friendly transit ambassadors in the red jackets.

They’re  there to take the confusion  out of your trip.

The city also has a commuter  rail called the Purple  Line and a bus and train line known  as  the  Silver Line.

It’s  all about  the  colors when it comes to transportation  in the city.

Just as it says, the Silver Line buses and trains are more light greyish in color, which I guess you could describe as “silver”.

Like the other modes of transit in the city, you will see the big black letter T on the side of the buses and the train.

On my way to catch  my bus at South Station  Bus Terminal ,  because  I  was  staying  so close to Boston  Logan  Airport ,  I took the  Silver Line train to South  Station . 

If you arrive  in Boston  by plane  and you want to  get to the city quickly ,  rather than take the shuttle  bus to the Blue Line airport  station ,  take the Silver Line to South Station where you can catch the Red Line trains.

From there ,  connections to the Green, Red, and Orange Lines are easier to get to than if you took the Blue Line.

For one thing, from the airport ,  the Silver Line is free . 

That’s  right, you pay nothing until you get to the South Station Red Line stop.

The Silver Line makes stops at Terminals C and E, which are the two terminals that most of the flights come leave ftom.

As the train leaves from the airport ,  expect the train to be very crowded . 

The ride is comfortable  and  smooth as it leaves the airport terminal and begins the journey  into the  city.

You’ll  be seeing areas of the city that you wouldn’t  otherwise  see.

If you happen  to  get on the train in the South Boston neighborhood  of  the  city, be ready to pay the normal  fare of $2.75.

It’s   not free anymore, only from the airport . 

While  you might not want to  take public  transportation  to get to Boston  Logan ,  taking the Silver Line is the cheapest  option to getting there, and you won’t  have to worry about traffic.

A RIDE ON  THE  PETER PAN BUS

It’s  Christmas time  and I’m  going on another 30 Plus  Teams  Tour . 

I’m  excited  because  my tour is bringing  me  up to  Boston . 

I’m  not  taking  Amtrak ,  Megabus ,  or one of  the  Chinese  buses  that I  took when I went to  Baltimore .

Greyhound  isn’t  an option  anymore.

I’ll  only take them if there’s  no other  option . 

This time I’m going  to  take  one of those green and white buses that are the Peter Pan buses.

The Peter Pan bus lines aren’t  really  a new bus line, they’ve  been around for a long time, but you only find them in the Northeast  states.

They go as far down as Baltimore . 

They were once affiliated with  Greyhound ,  but no longer.

They also leave from Port Authority  and arrive at some of the same bus terminals that Greyhound  arrives at.

Peter Pan buses are spacious  and very comfortable . 

The buses are also  equipped  with seat belts in EVERY seat.

They even show you a video of what to expect  when you get on the bus, like the WiFi . 

One thing  that  Peter Pan doesn’t  have  are outlets for charging your mobile devices  in every seat.

You have to sit in the seats that are on the left  side  of  the  bus.

Unfortunately ,  on my return ,  neither of the two outlets in my seat worked.

Not good  guys, if you’re  hyping up the fact that  you have WiFi . 

Because I got  my ticket early, my bus fare was cheap, and I got the senior  rate.

Don’t  wait until  the  last  minute  to buy that ticket.

The fare might not be as cheap as you think.

Going to Boston  was smooth and I  was able to look out the window  and  see areas of the city that Greyhound  or Megabus  doesn’t even travel on their way to Boston . 

Coming back, even though I wasn’t  feeling well ,  I could actually  put my seat back and sleep in comfort . 

Given the fact that we were coming back to  New York  City ,  traffic  was a nightmare  and instead of getting  back to New York  City  at 4:30, it was more like 6 pm that the bus arrived.

I would still definitely  recommend  Peter Pan Bus lines to anyone  if you happen to be visiting  the  Northeast  areas of the United  States . 

Just make sure that Peter Pan goes to  the  places that you want to go  to  and don’t wait until  the  last  minute  to buy that ticket.

Check their website  at peterpanbus.com

I  DIDN’T  GET A PARTRIDGE  IN A PEAR TREE FOR CHRISTMAS  

December  25 is officially  over ,  but I’m  still thinking  about Christmas  songs . 

You might recognize the song that goes, “on the first day of Christmas ,  my true love gave to me- a partridge  in  a pear tree.”

I don’t  remember  too much of the sing, but I’m  going to  change the words.

A lot.

My true love didn’t  give me  anything  nice on the first day of Christmas . 

Instead, for the first  day of Christmas ,  this was my present  from the city of Boston ; 

A white Christmas ,  chills, a sore throat ,  coughing ,  sneezing ,  and wheezing . 

While many people  were ripping the covers off their presents, I was putting  covers over my body.

I was shivering!

The rest of my “12” days of Christmas  weren’t  any different . 

No, let me stop lying.

It went downhill from the first day of Christmas . 

My second day of Christmas ,  I was on a Peter Pan Bus along with a few other  people  who  were in the same  shape that I was.

Most of us were wrapped  up  warmly, coughing ,  sneezing and freezing  all the way from South Station  Bus Terminal  in Boston  to Port Authority  in “The Big  Apple  “.

(More on the Peter Pan bus ride to and from Boston  in a later post.)

On my third day of Christmas ,  I didn’t  have ladies dancing, there were no pipers piping, or lords a leaping.

I had doctors and nurses taking my temperature ,  my vital signs and doing xrays to make sure that I didn’t  have pneumonia . 

My “last” day of Christmas, day number four, was spent like days one thru three.

I’m  under the covers except now I’m  taking medicine and drinking lots of fluids.

There will be no five thru 12 days of Christmas  because  I just know it’s  going to be like days one thru four, just saying.

I once wrote a post about my favorite holiday . 

Christmas  wasn’t  it, and now I know why.

I didn’t  get a partridge  in a pear tree for the  first day of Christmas  or any of the other days of Christmas . 

Instead ,  I  got a box of  tissues, chicken soup, orange juice, a blue surgical mask, and a bottle of  cough syrup.

Merry Christmas  to me!

HOME, WHAT DOES IT  MEAN  TO  YOU ? 

I  was reading  a blog post from November 30th  written by blogger Sam from Living and he was talking about  the  places where  he had lived and how his current place of residence  felt like  “home” to him.

It made me  think.

Just what is the definition  of  “home”?

No, not the definition  that’s  found in the dictionary.

What does that  word “home” actually  mean  to  you?

Is it  the place where you live now?

Or is it the place where you were born?

Like Sam, I  also have lived in  four places.

New York  City ,  Boston ,  Los  Angeles ,  and Las Vegas . 

I also lived in  Dayton , Ohio ,  but as I  only went there for a year of college, I  really  consider  it as a”layover”.

Looking  back on it now, and nothing  against  the  city of Dayton ,  but outside of a University  of  Dayton  Flyers  basketball  game where it seemed as though  the whole town showed up, there really  wasn’t  anything  to do . 

Even though  I  was born in “The City  That Never Sleeps  “, I really  don’t  consider  it home.

Don’t  get me wrong ,  there are more than  enough  things to do here and even  though  some of my family  members  are still here, nope, it’s  not “home”.

New York  City  is  just the  place that happens  to  be  on my birth certificate  and the place that I  live now.

I liked the  10 years that I  spent in Los Angeles  and the three years that I  lived in Las  Vegas ,  but these places  weren’t  home for me either.

I’m  an East Coast girl at heart and I was “homesick” when I lived on the West Coast . 

Now, when I say I was “homesick”, I  don’t  mean  for my family  and  friends . 

I meant that I  missed  the quicker pace of life that I experienced  and that I was used to back east.

I even missed the rudeness and the no nonsense, take no prisoners  attitude of the two cities  back east that I lived in, New York  City  and Boston . 

Home to me just isn’t  the  city that I happen to  live in, it’s  the city that I can be myself  and be comfortable  as well as safe, knowing  that when I go back to the place where I live, my “home” will always be there.

That’s  why  Boston  will always  be  home to me.

When New York  City  gets to be too much  and I need that personal  space to go to, I  have  one.

It’s  called Boston . 

Yes, I can definitely  do  a 30  Plus  Teams  Tour  there as well . 

Home means different  things to  everyone . 

What does home mean to you ? 

Drop me a line  in  the  comments  section  or  shoot  me an email  at sportsdiva63@gmail.com  and let me know.

Once again ,  thank you for liking  and  supporting  30 Plus  Teams  30  Plus  Dreams . 

HOW I LEARNED  TO  LOVE PHILADELPHIA  

Some of  the  cities  on the  east coast  of the  United  States  seem to  have  some  kind of  rivalry  with  each other . 

It doesn’t  matter  whether it’s  in music ,  museums ,  history ,  politics, and especially  sports ,  there’s  sure to  be  some kind of  rivalry.

Boston  and Philadelphia  seem to  have  a rivalry that’s  gone on since Colonial  days.

People  in Boston  love to  remind everyone  that  Ben Franklin  was actually  from Boston . 

People  in Philly LOVE to remind Bostonians that Ben Franklin  LEFT Boston and MOVED to  Philadelphia . 

Bostonians and Philadelphians agree on one thing.

They HATE New York  and this has gone on  since Revolutionary  War times.

Growing up in New York  City ,  Boston was always an afterthought . 

As for Phily, that was another story.

They were either “that city below New Jersey  ” or the city with all those losing sports teams.

You never confused someone  from New York  with somebody from Philadelphia  and vice versa . 

If you did, you must have wanted to be put in the hospital very badly.

It might be that both cities have citizens that you really didn’t  want  to  mess with.

Although, I’d  say  that  people  in Philadelphia  aren’t  as rude as they are in New York  City . 

My first visit to  “the City of  Brotherly  Love  “came about  six  or seven  years  ago . 

I went with  a friend  and her cousin . 

To say that I  had a terrible  time and never wanted  to  come back would  be  an understatement . 

I didn’t . 

We did all the tourist  things, the Liberty Bell ,  see Independence  Hall ,  but not go into it, visiting Reading  Terminal  Market  and walking around  the  city ,  but not really getting  to explore it .

Looking back on the visit ,  it was easy  to  see why I  had such a lousy time.

The trip was a bust, let alone a wasted time.

We were supposed  to  stay for the weekend ,  but we didn’t . 

We came back to  New York  City  the next night, with my friend and her cousin  complaining  about EVERYTHING  that seemed to  be  wrong with the  city, from the hotel to the location . 

Not for  nothing ,  but this is one of the reasons I travel  by myself  a lot.

It wasn’t  the city, it was the people who I traveled  with . 

When it came time for another trip, this time I followed my own advice and decided to  give Philadelphia  another try.

This time three people  were going- me, myself  and  I . 

I not only saw the Liberty Bell  and went inside of  Independence  Hall, which you can do, but I visited Chinatown ,  City Hall with the statue of founder  William Penn on top of it, the African  American  Museum  of  Philadelphia ,  Constitution  Hall and The Bourse, which is  a smaller version of  Reading  Terminal  Market.
I also  saw the University  City section  of  the  city  and visited three of the colleges in town, Temple  University ,  University  of  Pennsylvania ,  and Drexel  University . 

I  even had a real Philadelphia  Cheesesteaks ,  not from the places where the tourists  go, Pat’s  and Geno’s, but the place where the  locals  go go their Cheesesteaks ,  Campos . 

Because  this was my first 30 Plus  Teams  Tour ,  I went to  Citizens  Bank Park to see a Philadelphia  Phillies  baseball  game and to the Wells  Fargo  Center to see a Philadelphia  Flyers hockey game.

I was getting  to like the  city a lot.

If you can take the  subway  in  New  York  City ,  you can take it anywhere.

I did.

I got to  be  such an expert  on SEPTA, (the Southeast Philadelphia  Transit  Authority  ), and the local  subway  that I  even know which train would take  me to  Philadelphia  International  Airport  and what train stop I  have to get off to go to  games. (It’s  the Stadium  Stop, in case you ever go to Philadelphia  for a baseball ,  basketball ,  football  or hockey game.)

Speaking  of  Philadelphia  Airport ,  many times it’s  cheaper  to  leave from this airport  than JFK, and it’s  not as hectic . 

This summer, I made another  trip to  the  city for the NFL  Draft . 

There were STILL more places that I  hadn’t  seen  and restaurants  that I  hadn’t  eaten  in.

I  wanted to  see, eat, and do as much as I could.

I even stayed two days longer than I was supposed  to . 

Who would have  known  that this city would turn out to  be  one of  my favorite  places to  visit . 

I can’t  wait to  go back to  Philadelphia  and discover  even more  new things.