DOING SOMETHING ELSE ON MY BUCKET LIST

While walking on the Arlington Bridge that separates the Commonwealth of Virginia from Washington DC, I looked across the Potomac River and saw the Kennedy Center.

This was one of the places to visit on my bucket list, but with all the times that I was in DC, I never got the chance to do so.

This time, I was so close, I could feel it.

Forget the fact that it was hot, humid, and going to rain any minute, I decided to cross this off my bucket list.

When you first enter the center, which isn’t just a Opera House, it’s basically all things John Kennedy

On the walls outside the building were quotes from the late president.

Also inside is the great hall with the flag of all 50 states

In another room, which was closed off, are the flags of all the nations that had diplomatic relations with the United States.

Even though a lot of the building is closed off, the Kennedy Center is a place you must visit if you’re in Washington DC

CROSSING ANOTHER THING OFF MY BUCKET LIST

Covid what Covid? Vegas is back and while it’s optional to wear masks in some places, others say if you’ve been fully vaccinated, you don’t need to wear one.

If you haven’t been fully vaccinated, you need that mask.

Now how do they know who’s been vaccinated and who hasn’t, that’s another story.

With mask in hand, my cousin and I decided to cross something off my bucket list.

Riding on that big wheel that’s known as the High Roller.

Now let’s not get it twisted.

The High Roller is NOT a ferris wheel.

It’s an OBSERVATION WHEEL, and it’s the tallest in the United States, if not the world coming in at 650 feet tall.

The difference between a ferris wheel and the High Roller is that a ferris wheel stops to let passengers get on.

The High Roller doesn’t.

It goes slow enough to let people on WHILE it’s moving.

Scary right?

Now if you have a thing about heights like I do, you’re going to be really surprised as your pod, (and that’s what the individual cars are called,pods.)slowly rises to the top.

How do you know when you’re at the top?

This is Vegas people. There’s a narrator counting down like it’s New Year’s Eve and says ,”Congratulations we’re at the top!”

Now it seems that it didn’t take long to get to the top because the ride is so smooth.

I paid $33 for a ride in the daytime.

I understand that it’s more spectacular at night, but seeing the Bellagio Fountains , Caesars Palace and other places, I was pretty impressed with the High Roller in the daytime too.

Would I go on it again?

Oh you betcha!

HELLO LOMBARD STREET

Its claim to fame is that it’s the crookiest street in the United States.

I don’t know about that.

All I know is that it’s a lot easier walking DOWN Lombard Street than walking up.

This was number 125 on my bucket list.

I took the wrong cable car from Powell street to get to Lombard.

Instead of taking the cable car that dropped me off at the TOP of Lombard, I took the one that dropped me off at the BOTTOM and walked up where the cars were coming down the street, VERY SLOWLY, ONE BY ONE.

As I was catching my breath from walking up Lombard Street and looking at the beautiful view of Coit Tower in the background, I thought to myself.

It’s a good thing this street doesn’t get snow.

CUTTING DOWN THE BUCKET LIST

Of all the 136 things left to do on my bucket list, this is one of the things that I really wanted to do more than anything else.

No, it’s not seeing Mount Rushmore, Pearl Harbor, the Grand Canyon or Hoover Dam.

It wasn’t even taking a ride on the High Roller in Las Vegas or a ride on all the streetcars in New Orleans.

It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for three years, but for some reason, never got the chance.

On March 1, I finally got the chance to do number 115 on my list.

Going to a Vegas Golden Knights hockey game.

From the moment you enter the building affectionately known as ‘The Fortress’, the TMobile Arena, which is located right behind New York New York Hotel and Casino and right next door to Park MGM, you get the feeling that you’re in for something completely different than any sporting event that you’ve ever been to.

It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting behind the glass, the benches, high up in the nose bleed seats or like me, watching the game from Hyde TMobile Arena, located on the very top of the arena, you can see all of the action going on down on the ice.

Hyde does have standing room, but if you get there early enough, you can sit next to your closest friends on couches.

There’s big screen tv’s where you watch the action as well if you can’t get close enough to the seats near the ice.

This is Vegas, peeps.

You’re going to get a little entertainment while watching the NHL’s newest team.

It might be the DJ spinning tunes up at Hyde between periods, members of the Cirque Du Solei performing on the ice between periods, the Vegas Vivas, the team cheerleaders taking pictures with fans before, during and after the game, Chance, the team mascot entertaining the crowd with his antics or even the team announcer, who whips up VGK Nation into a frenzy BEFORE the game starts.

I have been a hockey fan since 1967 and I have never experienced anything like I saw in Las Vegas.

It didn’t even matter that the team lost to their rivals, the Los Angeles Kings, that night.

I was finally happy after three years crossing seeing a Vegas Golden Knights game off my bucket list.

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ANYTIME IS A GOOD TIME FOR A WALK ON THE LAS VEGAS STRIP

I usually do my 30 Plus Teams Tour of Sin City in June when the temperature is 106 degrees plus Fahrenheit.

For the past year and a half, I’ve been in town when the temperature has been ‘cold’ at 50 and 60 degrees.

I wondered if there would be anyone walking on the Las Vegas Strip when the sun was out but people were wearing hoodies, jackets, sweaters and coats.

Since I was staying at the beginning at the Las Vegas Strip at Excalibur Hotel and Casino, I decided to do number 11 on my bucket list, walking down Las Vegas Bouldevard in the Winter.

I started in the parking lot between Luxor and Excalibur and walked all the way down to The Linq Promenade, at the Linq Hotel and Casino.

I could have walked more, but if you have either been to the city or have seen Las Vegas, you know that objects and buildings aren’t as close as they seem.

I walked through Excalibur, New York, New York, Park MGM, Toshiba Plaza near TMobile Arena, ARIA, Planet Hollywood, Paris, Crystals Shopping Center among others before ending at the Linq Promenade where I had to get my Vegas fix on at In N Out Burger, home of the Double Double before walking back to Excalibur.

As it was my last day for my 30 Plus Teams Tour, I had to pack for my flight back to Newark Liberty.

Now as for the question are there as many people walking down the Las Vegas Strip in the Winter as there are in the Summer?

Oh hell yeah.

VISITING THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

It’s the world’s largest library with as of now, more than 167 million items .

That’s millions with an M , people .

It was number 134 on my bucket list and it’s the Library of Congress .

It was established in 1800 when the country was in its infancy .

During the War of 1812, like many buildings in what was the capital of the new country of the United States, the Library of Congress was burnt down by the British, destroying everything .

Enter former President Thomas Jefferson, who was in retirement down in Virginia.

He donated his personal library of books, which totaled 6, 487 books.

To say that the former president did a lot of reading would be an understatement.

If you happen to be in Washington taking a tour of the Capitol Building , which is right next door, here’s a tip for you .

You can enter the Library of Congress right through a tunnel which connects the two buildings .

If you went through security at the Capitol Building, you don’t have to do it again once you get to the Library of Congress .

Once you get inside , the building that you’re in is, what else , the Thomas Jefferson Building .

You’ll get to see many of those books that he donated in a small area called, Thomas Jefferson’s Library.

There are technically three floors of the library , but the second floor is the one that most tourists go into with the marble staircase and the statue of the goddess Minerva.

There’s also exhibits at the library.

The day I went, there was an exhibit on women getting the right to vote.

I don’t care what your party affiliation is, this is an exhibit that one should see if you happen to be doing your own 30 Plus Teams Tour of Washington or if you happen to live close by.

I was told by one of the information people that coming up there’s going to be an exhibit on Rosa Parks .

As with most of the museums in town, visiting the Library of Congress is free and easily accessible by the Washington Metro .

Use your Smart Card and get off at the Capitol South Metro station on the Blue, Silver or Orange lines.

You can also get off here for the Supreme Court Building and the Capitol Building .

Trust me, visiting all three of these places is worth the trip.

Even if they aren’t on your bucket list.

MY VISIT TO THE SUPREME COURT BUILDING IN PICTURES

It was stop number 3 on my visit to Washington DC for the day after Thanksgiving day.

It’s also number 81 on my 30 Plus Teams Tour bucket list .

It’s the United States Supreme Court Building and I am presenting my visit in pictures .

There are roughly 2 floors at the Supreme Court Building , one of which you can reach by walking up a spiral staircase .

If you don’t want to walk up all those stairs, you can take the elevator .

Or just do what I did.

Look at the pictures of the former Supreme Court justices that line the wall and take up most of the first floor like the statue of the first Supreme Court Justice John Marshall .

You’ll see all the justices and their pictures on the wall, except 9 of them.

I was told by a security guard that they only put portraits of the Supreme Court justices once they have died .

I never knew this and after I went back to another section of the city , I wanted to know one thing:

What is it with this city’s obsession with dead public figures?

So, here in pictures is a visit to Number 81, the Supreme Court Building .

UNITED STATES CAPITOL BUILDING IN PICTURES

It’s number 137 on my bucket list and I finally got to take a tour of the seat of the United States government , the Capitol Building ,

The tour is free and you don’t have to take it, but I would advise definitely do it because you see so much and learn so much.

Shoutout to the tour guide that I had on my tour, Elizabeth .

She was very knowledgeable and I learned so much, such as the statues that dominate the halls of the buildings are donated by each state, and the only way a presidential statue is at the Capitol Building is because the President is deceased .

So don’t expect to find a statue of George Bush or Barack Obama .

They’re still alive and a little something called separation of the branches of government .

As with the presidents, the only way you get a statue is if you’re deceased.

You also learn that the crypt of George Washington is right underneath the Capitol Building.

A star with a velvet rope marks the spot .

It also marks the spot of where Washington DC was founded .

Most people who take the tour want to see the Capitol rotunda.

You can see it from the outside , but if you take the tour you’ll see what’s underneath the rotunda.

A VISIT TO THE NATIONAL ZOO

When I was younger, the singing duo of Simon and Garfunkel had a popular at the time song titled, “At The Zoo.”

One of the lyrics to the song went something like this, ” Something tells me it’s all happening at the zoo. I do believe it, I do believe it’s true”

Many years later, in my 30 Plus Teams Tour of Washington DC , I went to the famous Smithsonian National Zoo to see if the line in the song is still true.

It is.

Number 52 on my bucket list is the National Zoo of Washington DC .

Like so many museums in the city, admission is free.

I arrived at the zoo around 8:45am before the crowds arrived .

Some of the animals were out already , including the “star” of the zoo, Bei Bei, the panda , who will be returning to China around November 19.

So if you happen to be visiting the city around that time, stop by and say hi to Bei Bei, he’s very entertaining.

There’s so many animals to see at the zoo, but because of my fear of snakes, birds and bats , I avoided seeing the Reptile House and the Bat Cave like the plague .

I was as happy as a pig in you know what when I saw the sign saying “Bird House Closed”.

The first trail you see when you enter the zoo is the Asia Trail, which features animals from, you guessed it, the continent of Asia.

There’s also an American Trail, which features animals native to the Americas .

I enjoyed seeing the big American Bison.

They aren’t Buffaloes , they’re Bison as one of the signs on the exhibit informs you.

They even tell you what the difference between a male and female Bison.

(Male is bigger with a lot of hair. The Zoo has two female Bisons)

A walk around the zoo just doesn’t give you a peek into the animals cages, but some information about them, including the information that would be considered TMI.

Some of the animals weren’t in their cages or exhibits while I was there.

If this happens, the zoo will put up a sign reading humorously , “NOBODY HOME”.

I spent 2 hours at the zoo, but that just isn’t enough time to visit.

Like a lot of things in the city, it’s easy to get there by the Metro.

It’s on the Red Line and you can get off at one of two stations, Woodley Park Zoo/Adams Morgan or Cleveland Park Station.

Some people like to get off at Cleveland Park and walk back but I like the Woodley Park Zoo stop even though it’s an uphill walk.

Plus what I love about Washington DC, there’s signs to point you to the place you want to go to.

No matter which station you decide to get off at , the walk prepares you for all the walking that you’ll be doing once inside the zoo.