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.

REVOLUTIONARY  TALES  –  BOSTON ,  MASSACHUSETTS .  SAYING HELLO  TO  PAUL REVERE . 

The North  End  of  Boston  is known  for  its  many Italian  restaurants ,  bakeries, Gelato stands, and Italian  Grocery stores . 

It’s  known  as  “Boston ‘ s Little  Italy . ”

It wasn’t  always  this way in this neighborhood . 

The North End was the birthplace  of  Rose Fitzgerald  Kennedy ,  mother of  JFK . 

The  North  End at one time was mostly  Irish . 

It was also the home of  another famous  Bostonian, Paul Revere . 

As you walk down the red brick road known as The Freedom  Trail ,  you’ll  come across  two landmarks  synonymous  with Paul  Revere . 

The Old North  Church, where he hung two lanterns warning  the colonists  if the British were coming by land or sea , is the first stop.

Since he hung two lanterns, the colonists  knew the British  were coming  by sea to invade Boston . 

You can still see the Old North  Church  just as it was way back in Revolutionary  War  times.

Next stop is to the Paul Revere  Mall, which isn’t  a  shopping  center.

It’s  like the  National  Mall  in Washington ,  DC ,  except  here in Boston ,  there’s  only one monument  on the mall.

One HUGE STATUE !

It’s  the  statue of  Paul Revere  on his horse, riding  throughout  the  city to give colonists  even more information about  the  invasion ,  and also to warn the two colonial  leaders in town, John Hancock  and Samuel  Adams . 

(Yeah, just like the beer. There really  was a Samuel  Adams . )

Forget  what you  learned in the history  books . 

Revere did NOT say, “The British  are coming  “.

There was no United  States  of  America  at that time ,  so EVERYONE at that time  in this country  considered  themselves  British . 

What  Revere did say as he rode through  the  streets  of  Boston   was “The Red Coats are coming.”

Being the big selfie  nut that you are, don’t  even try to  get a selfie with this statue . 

It’s  not going  to  happen . 

This statue is way too  big!

There’s  so many people  walking  around  as this isn’t  only a major tourist  attraction  in Boston ,  but a very vibrant  neighborhood . 

You’re  bound to find someone  willing to take a  picture  of  you and Paul Revere.

Enjoy your time in the city and say hello  to  Paul Revere if you come to the  North  End.

HELLO  CHARM  CITY  –  BALTIMORE ,  MARYLAND  –  EATING  GOOD IN LITTLE  ITALY  

No matter  what  city  your  own  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  takes  you  to ,  there’s  bound  to  be  a  section  of  town  known  as  “Little  Italy  ” . 

Baltimore  is no exception.

You might  be  there to  see  a Baltimore  Ravens  football  game  or a Baltimore  Orioles  baseball  game .  

You don’t  even  have  to  be  doing  either . 

Just visit  Little  Italy  anyway  while  you’re  in  town . 

It’s  located  right  near the  Inner  Harbor ,  so it’s  walkable . 

If you’re  no where near  the  Inner Harbor  or even  Downtown  Baltimore ,  look for  the Orange  Line Charm  City  Circular ,  which is  free.

It brings you right to the  heart  of  Little  Italy . 

There’s  so many restaurants  to choose  from  once you  get  there . 

When I  go to this section  of  town ,  I like to  go to  Sabatino’s, which  is  located  on  Fawn Street . 

You can’t  go wrong  with  the  big portions  of  food from this  family  style restaurant  that seems to  have  been in this neighborhood  forever . 

For the ultimate  Italian  eating  experience ,  do what I  did.

Have a glass of  Lambrusco  to go with your meal, forget what the wine snobs say about it.

There’s  always  room  for  canolis  and cappuccino ,  inspite of the fact that you just  know  that  you’re  going  to  be  stuffed  from  all those appetizers ,  bread, and that big plate of pasta that you just ate.

All by yourself ,  by the way ,  no sharing  here.

After you’ve  eaten ,  take a walk through  this neighborhood  and admire the  view.

Not to mention  how many calories  you’ll  be knocking  off after that delicious  meal that you just had.

Sabatino’s  Restaurant  

901 Fawn  Street  

Baltimore ,  Maryland  

410-727-2667

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