If you happen to visit Canada’s capital, Ottawa, besides seeing the Parliament Building , take a visit to Byward Market .

It’s been around since 1928 but refurbished in 1978.

It reminded my friend and I of two places that we both have seen a lot .

Chelsea Market in New York City and Faneuil Hall in Boston .

There’s stores, bars, restaurants and the area surrounding the market is the home of the Prime Minister and the United States embassy.

Yes it’s that close to Parliament Hill .

Byward Market is in Downtown Ottawa and the area around it has all sorts of stalls.

Even though the weather wasn’t great, there were snow showers, my friend and I explored the area.

The smell of Christmas trees and wreaths, as well as the bakery where my friend brought some gluten free cupcakes smelled so heavenly.

There was even a small store in the neighborhood that was like the store Big Lots here in the United States.

Of course we had to check it out and shop again .

Don’t judge me,okay?

We didn’t eat that other Canadian delicacy , Beaver Tails, which is pastry in the shape of a beaver’s tail.

We did check out a chocolate and candy shop and my friend just had to buy 2 candy apples, one of which she had wrapped so that she could bring it back to the United States.

After we left Byward Market , it was time to go back to the hotel and rest up a little but.

After all, this was a 30 Plus Teams Tour we were on.

We had a hockey game at the Canadian Tire Centre to go to that night.


After crossing off seeing Parliament Hill off my bucket list , the Sports Diva did something else that I love doing no matter what city the 30 Plus Teams Tour takes me.

No, it’s not traveling , eating, or going to a sporting event .

Although going to a sporting event is tied neck and neck with this.


My friend and I wanted to go to one of the largest malls in Canada , Rideau Centre Mall , which is located not far from Parliament Hill and right on one of the main streets of the city, Rideau Street.

This mall has three floors, which includes a drugstore, liquor store, and a supermarket .

I brought my Ice Wine from LBCO , which is the Liquor Board of Canada and they have a lot of stores in Ottawa.

My friend and I were in the mall for 5 hours.

That’s right, I didn’t stutter , I said we were there for 5 hours.

Besides the food court, drugstore , and admiring the Christmas decorations , we shopped in some of my favorite stores.

Forever 21, Bath and Body Works , LUSH, Sephora and a new store that’s been added to my list of stores to go into no matter if I’m doing a 30 Plus Teams Tour in Canada or United States .

It’s LIDS, which sells all types of hats with your favorite pro sports team on it.

Being the team sports apparel fashionista that I am , the Sports Diva just had to buy some new sports swag because you can never have enough hats with your favorite team splashed all over it.

Besides at 2 hats for $40, you can’t go wrong.

I wanted to buy 2 more but I can wait and check out the LIDS stores in New York and New Jersey .

Although I did turn down getting my hats embroidered with my favorite player’s name on it for $12.

That’s what team tshirts and team jerseys are for.

After a big lunch of Thai food for my friend and Chinese Dim Sum for me, it was finally time to take our packages back to the hotel.

But first a stop at the Ottawa Souvenir Store.


I crossed another thing off my bucket list .

As I shopped until I dropped at the Rideau Centre in Ottawa, I stopped at the province of Ontario liquor store , The LBCO or Liquor Board of Ontario.

I brought a bottle of Ice Wine , which is number 2 on my bucket list.

It’s actually pretty good and I’m not really a wine drinker.

Jack Daniels, Patron Tequila and Fireball Whiskey is more like it for me.

I’m here in Ottawa for two more days and I’m drinking this sucker before I go back to New York .

How can I describe the taste of it?

The saleslady told me it was more like a desert wine, so drink small glasses.

She was right.

Why is it called “ice wine”?

Could be that the grapes are frozen and the wine is cold even when it’s on the shelf, but I’m not really sure.

It wasn’t that expensive either.

$15.99 Canadian , I can deal with it.

One more thing off the bucket list with more to come.


Not only did I do another thing on my bucket list by visiting Parliament Hill, I visited the area of Ottawa around Parliament Hill, which has a lot of government buildings and monuments to Canada’s military. The Canadian War Memorial is very powerful to see as it honors every member of the Canadian military and the conflicts they’ve served in.

This is also the area where a lot of other countries embassies are located.

I was able to get a picture of the United States Embassy .

Let the pictures move you.

They moved me as did the building with the flags from the Canadian provinces and territories .


With apologies to the singing group, Gladys Knight and The Pips, no I’m not taking a midnight train to Georgia.

I’m taking a midnight Greyhound bus to Canada’s capital , Ottawa, Ontario, Canada .

Yes, my 30 Plus Teams Tour is taking me up to The True North.

My final destination is Ottawa, but I have to change buses in Montreal .

I’m hoping in Ottawa to cross off two more things from my bucket list.

Whether I do it, not sure, but you’ll know because the Sports Diva is going to share it with you.

I haven’t been to Ottawa in years so I know it has changed a lot.

The last time I was in Ottawa , they didn’t have a professional hockey team.

I am very excited to see this city.

Because this is a 30 Plus Teams Tour and it is Canada , you know that a hockey game is going to break out, and God willing , the Sports Diva is gonna be there repping her team, the New York Rangers who are playing the hometown team, the Senators.

Unlike my trip to Baltimore, there will be no surprises when the bus makes a stop.

It’s hello Albany, Saratoga Springs , and Plattsburgh , New York before we cross over to the Canadian border and we go through Canadian customs , which believe me, I like a lot better than going through United States customs .

(When going through United States customs, I feel like I’m in school, answering 50 million questions. Not so much with Canadian customs. And they’re wicked polite too.)

After this, it’s on to Montreal, then my final destination , Ottawa.

I can’t wait and y’all are coming on the 30 Plus Teams Tour with me.

Jesus, take the wheel and get us to Canada safely .


Recently ,  I read an article  in  one of  the  travel  magazines  that some  countries  were going  to  limit  the  number  of tourists  due to overcrowding . Some  cities  have  even  seen violence  against  tourists ,  telling  them  to  ”  Go  Home  ” ,  or even  being  physical  with  some of  the  tourists .

Rome has limited  the  number  of  visitors  to  some  sites  in  the  city ,  such as St. Mark’s  Square  and  Trevi  Fountain  because  some of  them  have  waded  into  the  water ,  rather  than  throwing  coins  in the fountain  like you’re  supposed  to  do .

There  have  been  street  protests  in cities  like  Venice ,  Florence ,  Rome ,  Dubrovnik ,  and Barcelona  most notably .

This  fact  not  only  saddens  me, but it also  has  me thinking .

Could  this  happen  here  or in Canada ?

What  would  it be  like  to not  be  able  to  do a 30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  New  York  City  due to  overcrowding ?

OK ,  I  get it.

New York  City  is a  bad example  because  if 8 million  plus  of us can live together  in five boroughs ,  what’s  a million  or so visitors  trying  to  pour into  Yankee  Stadium ,  the Empire  State  Building  or One World  Observatory ?

But  let’s  say that New  York  City  Mayor  DiBlasio  suddenly  said that Central  Park  would  be  closed  due to  overcrowding  by tourists ?

Or that only  a  certain  amount  of  people  would  be  allowed  in  Times  Square  on New Years  Eve ?

What about  two somewhat  “smaller  ”   cities  like Miami  and Las Vegas ?

Suppose  the mayor of  Miami  said that they were going  to  limit  the  number  of  tourists  that go into  South  Beach ,  Little  Havana  or Petite  Haiti ?

Could  you  imagine  the  uproar  if the mayor  of  Las Vegas   were to limit  the  number  of  tourists  on the  Las  Vegas  Strip  due to  overcrowding ?

Could this even  be a possibility  here in this  country  or even  in Canada?

Too many tourists  in Montreal  or Toronto ?

Is there really  such  a  thing  as too much tourism  and  too many tourists ?

Could  it be  due to  some  other  reason  that  some these  countries  are taking  such  drastic  measures ?

Could  it  be  that  maybe  in spite  of  all  that  money  that’s  brought  into  certain  countries ,  the  local  people  aren’t  really  that  fond  of  foreign  tourists  taking  way  too  many  pictures  of  things  that they  shouldn’t  be  taking  pictures  of ?

The tourists  might  even be  taking  selfies  of places that  are  sacred   and therefore  basically  interrupting  the  day  to day  lives  of  the  locals .

Maybe these  tourists  aren’t  even  respecting  the customs  of the  locals .

(  See my two blog posts ,  sportsandtravelblog.wordpress.com  / 2017/03/09 please-act-like-you’ve-been-there-before  and sportsandtravelblog.wordpress.com  /  2017/  03/ 06 Capital  -Journey  -please  –  respect  -the –  monuments  –  and  –  memorials  -when – you  –  visit  -Washington  -DC)

What’s  really  fueling  this  suddenly  new phenomenon  of  “overcrowding  by tourism  “?

In defense  of the local  people ,  I can  understand  why  you  would  want  to  limit  the  number  of  tourists  just a little  bit .

Some  people  just  don’t  know  how  to  conduct  themselves  when  they’re  out  of  their  own country  .

That’s  right ,  it’s  the  case  of  ”  not  acting  like  you’ve  been  there  before  “.

Why are  you  wading  through  Trevi  Fountain  like  you’ve  lost your fool  mind?

Are you  for  real ?

That’s  not  only  disrespectful ,  it’s  wicked  rude  and  it shows  a lack  of  training  on your  part .

Everyone  should  be  able  to  see the  sights  of a place whether  they’re  going to  London  to see Big  Ben ,  Buckingham  Palace ,  or the London  Eye .

This also applies  to  Spain if people  want to experience  Flamenco  dancing  where it originated .

This even  holds  true  if you’re  going  to  see all those  monuments ,  memorials ,  and museums  on that  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Washington  DC .

There should  be  some  kind  of  happy  medium  between  tourists ,  locals ,  and the city  you’re  going  to .

No tourist  FB_IMG_1501857041654FB_IMG_1501510261303FB_IMG_1501940755403FB_IMG_1500913445983FB_IMG_1501595978629FB_IMG_1501324004596sites  in a city  should  be  off  limits  due to  overcrowding .


How do you  feel  about  some  countries  limiting  the  number  of  tourists  visiting ?


Do you  think  this  could  happen  in your own country ?



Tell me  what you  think by dropping  me a line in the  comments  section  .




FB_IMG_1501932149964FB_IMG_1501932123603FB_IMG_1501932194760FB_IMG_1501932147398FB_IMG_1501932168995FB_IMG_1501932166429You  and  your  cousin  are  thinking  about  doing  a  quick  getaway  for  your  30  Plus  Teams  Tour .

You  both  aren’t  sure  where  you  want  to  go .

Your  cousin  is  thinking  of  a quick  weekend  trip  to  somewhere  nearby  where  you  both  can  catch  a  basketball  or  hockey  game .

You  both  live  in  Western  Pennsylvania ,  not  far  from  the  New  York  and  Canadian  border .

Neither  of  you  have  a  passport  so Toronto  is out  of  the  question .

New  York  City  might  be  an  idea ,  but  you  cousin  doesn’t  want  to  go  there .

She  has  another  idea .

What about  Buffalo ?

You  think  your  cousin  has lost  her  mind .

It’s  early  December  and  your  cousin  must  think  you’re  doing  a  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Miami ,  Orlando ,  Jacksonville ,  or Fort  Lauderdale .

Buffalo  is the  LAST  place  to be in early  November  or December .



cousin  isn’t  worried  about  the  weather  though .

She reminds  you  about the  last  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  that you  all  did.

You know  the one  in Chicago ?

The  weather  was horrible  but you went to  that  Chicago  Bulls basketball  game  anyway .

How bad  could  it  be  in Buffalo ?

Since  the  two  of  you  live  together ,  it’s  a quick  trip  to  your  apartment  to throw  some  clothes  into  a  weekend  bag .

You  two  are  going  to  share  the  driving .

You’re  on the  road  to  the  second  largest  city  in  New  York .

As your  cousin  is beginning  to  start  the  car ,  you both  realize  that  you  haven’t  a clue  of where  you’re  going  to  stay ,  and  if  the hockey  team  in Buffalo ,  the  Sabres ,  will  even  be  in  town .

This  is  something  that  no  one  should  ever  do on a  30  Plus  Teams  Tour ,  let  alone  a trip  to  anywhere  else .

Never  go to  a  city  without  a  place  to  stay  and always  make  sure  that  the  team  that you  want  to  see  is going  to  be  playing  at  home  when you  get  to that  city .

Don’t  wait  until  the  very  last  second  to book  those  sports  tickets .

You  were  all  lucky  this  time  to get an inexpensive  hotel  and even  luckier  that  the  Sabres  have  two  games  while  you’re  in  town ,  and they’re  not  sold  out .

Remember  the  object  of  your 30  Plus  Teams  Tour  is to  see  the  sights  of  the  city  AND  most  of  all  to see  that hockey ,  football ,  baseball ,  or  basketball  game .

You’re  almost  there  and your  30 Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Buffalo  has started  off  shaky .

But not only  did  you get the  hotel ,  you all were able  to  get hockey  tickets  for Friday  night  and Saturday  night  as well .

You both are now thinking  of  Buffalo  Chicken  Wings  when  you  get  to your  hotel .