WHAT’S IN MY SUITCASE ?

It’s that time again.

God willing, the Sports Diva is going away somewhere for 9 days, so it’s another edition of the post that many of you seem to love a lot.

What’s in my suitcase this time.

There’s going to be a lot of walking, sightseeing , checking out a lot of famous bridges, crossing some things off my bucket list, and because this is a 30 Plus Teams Tour , you just know that a sporting event , or two , is gonna break out.

I might not bring all of this but who knows and yes,my bag is a carryon.

I’m getting creative in my packing.

No baggage fee for me.

(God willing and fingers crossed.)

Can you guess where I’m going this time?

As usual, you’ll have to wait.

In the meantime , enjoy what’s in my suitcase this time.

My new Samantha Brown suitcase from my sister in law.

Two bags that I’m taking. One from the Rainbow Shops and the other one part of the Samantha Brown suitcase collection .

My going to the airport outfit. I may just wear this purple sweater back home with another pair of pants .

Making their first trip, DJ and Tyler

My cape that I’m going to wear. It’s going to be more than warm enough for where I’m going .

I’m just carrying three pairs of shoes this time. I’m going to wear the sneakers cause I’m going to be doing sprint’s through the huge airport that I’m going to be in .

Gotta have something to read besides blogs on my flights. C’mon now, didn’t you expect to see something sports related that the Sports Diva would be reading?

My big ass throw blanket from one of my Vegas Golden Knights peeps. This will more than keep me warm on the flights. This guy happens to be one of my favorite players.

My dress and coat from a thrift shop and Forever 21

Back and front of a dress from thrift store

Shirts, hoodie, purple nightgown , leggings, and tights

Pajamas , unmentionables, other travel stuff

More shirts, scarf, makeup bag, black jewelry case

GOING THROUGH THE TUNNELS IN EASTERN VIRGINIA

I recently took a trip down to Virginia with my auntie for the funeral of a close friend of hers .

I didn’t know the lady but as my auntie isn’t well, somebody had to go with her.

An uber took us down there, it was actually a car driven by my cousin’s boyftiend, who just happens to be an uber driver.

We started out at 8:30am and got to Chesapeake , Virginia at 4:30pm.

The part of Virginia that I know is closest to Washington DC, you know Richmond, Alexandria, Arlington.

We were going past these cities.

We were going to what’s known as the Eastern Shore of Virginia .

That’s cities like Virginia Beach , Norfolk, Portsmouth, Hampton and Chesapeake .

To get to these cities, you have to go through a lot of tunnels.

One of which is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, which has to be one of the longest tunnels in the United States .

It takes an hour to get through this tunnel, which starts above the Chesapeake Bay, goes underneath it, and back above it.

Just when you thought you were out of this tunnel and entering the city of Virginia Beach , that would be a nope .

You have to go through another section of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, called the Thumble Shoals Channel Tunnel .

After you leave this tunnel, you’re in the really beautiful city of Virginia Beach .

I was stunned at the houses along the Chesapeake Bay and I thought how would I survive living in a beautiful house that is THAT CLOSE to the water.

As if going through those tunnels were fascinating enough, there was another tunnel to go through when we got to Norfolk, Virginia.

It was the Merimac- Monitor Bridge.

Norfolk, Virginia is known for their ship building not only in this century but during the time of the Civil War.

The bridge is a nod to the Civil War history of the area.

The Merimac and Monitor were two ships that did battle in the Civil War.

If I knew how to drive, one of the places I would drive to would be this area.

If you happen to go down to Virginia, go see Richmond the capital by all means.

But make it a point to visit the Eastern Shore of Virginia, you’ll be surprised how different it is from the cities in Virginia that are a little more familiar .

The area is a little more rural, and you’ll be able to go through all those tunnels .

WHAT ‘ S IN MY SUITCASE

The sports diva is going on another trip to begin the month of November and for once, there’s no sports involved.

I’m going to a family function down South.

Where to?

You’ll just have to wait to see where.

In the meantime , these are some of the things that are in my suitcase for this weekend trip.

My trusty backpack that looks like it doesn’t fit much, but it does.

My grey hat from the Rainbow Shops here in New York City .

Because it’s cold here in the east, my scarf and coat from Rainbow shops and a thrift store.

My Kate Spade bag from Macy’s, my sneakers from my cousin and the black socks from Rainbow Shops .

All jewelry is from the Rainbow Shops and this hoodie is from a thrift store.

Black booties from a fashion catalog , Midnight Velvet

Since I’m travelling by car, I need my Hello Kitty blanket from the Hello Kitty store in NY . Don’t judge me guys.

My sweats from a store called Where Did I buy these from again?

Leggings and black sweater from Rainbow Shops and black dress from my auntie.

VISITING THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK

I can cross off another thing on my bucket list and it’s right here in New York City .

It’s number 128 on my list of 150 things on my bucket list.

It’s the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Now, it might be called the Brooklyn Bridge Park , but there’s more to the park than just the Brooklyn Bridge.

Of course, I always advise taking the train whether you’re doing a 30 Plus Teams Tour of New York City or not.

You can take a few subway lines that will get you to the park.

The best subway line to take though, is the F train.

Get off at York Street, which is the first stop in Brooklyn.

Once you have gotten off the train, be prepared to do a lot of walking and that’s BEFORE you get out of the subway.

The hallway leading to the exit is long and hilly, so take your time, and wear comfortable shoes, please.

Once you leave the station, you’ll be on York and Jay Street.

You’ll see a bridge, but it’s not the Brooklyn Bridge .

It’s the Manhattan Bridge, which is the bridge that you see next to the Brooklyn Bridge when you take that walk across it.

Keep walking to your right until you get to the East River.

Obviously you can’t go any further, but look around you and see all the rocks in front of you.

There’s even two big rocks known as the “DUMBO Boulders”.

If you go on a nice day, you might see people sitting on the rocks and sticking their toes into the East River.

The views of Brooklyn are beautiful, but the view across the river at all the buildings in Manhattan are breathtaking , especially on a nice springlike day like we’ve been having in New York City lately.

It may be Brooklyn Bridge Park , but you’ll also see the Manhattan Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge .

All three of these bridges can get you over to Manhattan and you can either ride your bike or walk on all three of these bridges.

The park has everything, including a dog park, which was closed .

But this didn’t stop anyone from walking their dogs on the sunny walkways that line the park.

The park is in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn .

No, Dumbo is not like the elephant with the big ears, Dumbo stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass .

Words can’t describe how truly beautiful this park really is and I’m surprised even more people, tourists and even New Yorkers, don’t visit it more often.

If you happen to visit New York City , make Brooklyn Bridge Park a place to go to.

You won’t be disappointed .

RIDING THE SELECT BUS TO THE BRONX ZOO

New York does have a lot of trains and especially train stations .

There’s also a lot buses on the streets as well.

It seems as though all five of the New York City boroughs have these blue and white buses going down their streets , no matter how wide and small some of them are.

If you happen to be in New York City , and no matter what borough you’re visiting, you just might see some brightly colored yellow and blue buses with the words “I Love New York ” on them.

These buses run all over the five boroughs and are known as “Select”buses.

These select buses made their first appearance in 2008 and they run in certain areas of the city.

Yes, all of them are painted in blue and yellow , even on the inside.

The seats are very comfortable .

Unlike the regular New York City buses , which are blue and white, you don’t pay on the Select buses.

There’s machines at the bus stops for these buses,and they don’t take cash or credit cards, which means you need to have a Metro Card all ready.

You can get a Metro Card at one of the subway stations or if you’re staying at a hostel, the front desk clerk may have them for purchase .

Once you put your Metro Card into the machines, you’re given a receipt , that shows that you paid.

Hold onto this because not only does it show that you paid , you’ll need it to show New York City transit police who will be boarding the bus at ANY stop, that you did actually pay to ride the bus.

You can get on the front door or the back door of the bus since you don’t make a payment when you get on the bus.

How do you know what Select bus to take?

Like the regular bus, the letter in front tells you what borough you’re in.

As I am in Queens, I took Select bus Q44.

I was going to the Bronx Zoo, which I will talk about in an upcoming blog post .

The Select Q44 bus starts in Queens and goes to The Bronx over the Whitestone Bridge , which separates Queens from The Bronx.

The final stop is the Bronx Zoo but along the way not only will you see the Queens Botanical Gardens, which I will also be talking about in a later post, but you’ll get to see the second largest Chinatown in New York City , which is in Flushing, Queens .

There’s also WiFi on the bus as well.

Is your tablet or phone running low on juice and you have no place to plug in your charger?

They also have a place where you can plug in that charger .

These buses are a pleasure to ride and I didn’t seem to mind that even though the ride was long, it was comfortable .

Although, with some of the construction going on and around the Whitestone Bridge , it was kind of bumpy.

So the next time you’re in New York City , take one of the Select buses .

Have fun, enjoy and just remember to hold onto that receipt .

It’s your proof of purchase .

WALKING ON THE ROBERTO CLEMENTE BRIDGE

In August of last year, I wrote a post on my bucket list.

(Sportsandtravelblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/My-30-plus-teams-tour-bucket-list-all-150-of-them.)

As of last week, I had only crossed off one of them off my list, number 57, the Mother Seton House in Baltimore .

(Sportsandtravelblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/28/hello-charm-city-baltimore-maryland-a-visit-to-the-mother-seton-house)

I was determined to cross another one off my list when I was in Pittsburgh and I did.

It was number 137, walking on one or all of the three bridges in town known as “The Three Sisters.”

Officially, the bridges are the Andy Warhol, Rachel Carson, and Roberto Clemente .

All three of them are named for icons in the city.

This being a 30 Plus Teams Tour , you just know which bridge that I decided to walk across.

It was the bridge that sits directly across from the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball park, PNC Park, and is named for the late great Pirate player Roberto Clemente , who was killed in a plane crash in Nicaragua delivering humanitarian supplies to victims of the earthquake there.

There’s even a statue of Clemente right by the bridge .

Walking across this bridge and seeing the other two bridges across the way was a beautiful sight.

I even forgot that I have a thing about bridges .

I don’t like them and I am really afraid of them.

This wasn’t like walking across the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridges in New York .

Not everywhere has to build everything tall like New York City seems to do.

I liked the fact that people hung padlocks on the bridge like i seem to see in pictures of Paris and elsewhere.

I walked from one end of the bridge to the other end which was downtown Pittsburgh .

I can just imagine how it feels to walk across the bridge during baseball seaxon or in the summer even when there isn’t a game.

As it was cold I didn’t walk on the other bridges .

I had knocked off another thing on my bucket list.

Walking on one of the bridges was good enough for me, and it wasn’t as scary as i expected it to be.

It was now

time to explore more of the city.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BLACK AND YELLOW – PITTSBURGH , PENNSYLVANIA . VISITING THE UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH .

FB_IMG_1501246433746FB_IMG_1501246437696FB_IMG_1501246445497FB_IMG_1501246453895You’ve  taken  the  public  bus just like  the  locals do, from your  downtown  hotel  in Pittsburgh  to the  Oakland  neighborhood  of  the  city.

Today ,  your 30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  the  city is bringing  you to  the  University  of  Pittsburgh .

You can’t  believe  how spread  out this campus  is .

That tall  building  that you see in the  distance  is called  ”  The  Cathedral  of Learning  ” and not  only  does it  dominate Forbes Avenue ,  but the campus  of  Pitt as well.

As you get off the  bus, the first thing that  tells  you  where you  are ,  is one of  the  many bridges that dot the city on the  Three Rivers.

This time it’s the University  of  Pittsburgh  Bridge  and unlike  the  other bridges in town, it’s  not painted  yellow . This bridge  seems  to  connect  one campus  building  to another  without  the students  having  to  cross the  busy street .

The other thing  that  let’s you  know  where you  are ,  is that  statue  of  that  snarling  Black Panther  that looks  as though it’s  about  to pounce on something  or someone .

You discover  that  all the  athletic  teams are known  as “The Pitt Panthers  “, that’s  why you see pictures  of  Panthers  all along your walk through  the  neighborhood ,  which is  affectionately  known  as  “The neighborhood  of  Learning  “.

Even  though  it’s  on campus ,  you aren’t  going  to  visit  what’s  known  as  “The Nationality Rooms.”

They’re  located  in the  Cathedral  of Learning  and they are  actual  classrooms  in the building .

They aren’t  just any classrooms  though.

All 26 of them   are named for the  nationalities  that made Pittsburgh  the melting  pot  that it is .

Before you  go  back to  your hotel ,  you  decided  to  visit  the  museum  that is the  only museum  in the country  that honors  the  men and  women  who  served in every war that our country  has fought  in  – The Soldiers  and  Sailors  Memorial .