DISCOVERING MILBURN POND PARK

Once again, it was a ride on the Nassau County bus to the incorporated village of Freeport , Long Island to run an errand.

As always, my little notebook or some kind of paper is with me so that I can think of other places to do a stay at home 30 Plus Teams Tour .

Yesterday, September 2nd, was no exception .

On other rides to Freeport , I noticed a park that’s right on the Freeport and Baldwin border.

There were Canadian Geese and Seagulls all over the place .

Now I should let you know that I don’t like birds.

I think I watched the Alfred Hitchcock movie, ‘The Birds’ a little too much.

If you’ve ever seen that movie, you have an idea what I’m talking about.

If you haven’t , rent that sucker. You’ll have the same reaction to birds that I have .

But I digress.

My visit to Milburn Pond Park, which is located on Milburn Road and Merrick Boulevard was very peaceful .

Yes, there were loads of birds, Canada Geese and seagulls around, but they didn’t bother me, and I sure wasn’t bothering them.

Although I must admit when they were flying around , I got nervous.

They landed in the water as if to say , ‘Sports Diva, we ain’t thinking about you . It’s hot, it’s humid, we need some water!’

I wasn’t the only one noticing how peaceful this little park is.

People were just relaxing, wearing their masks of course, and taking in this beautiful but humid day.

I’m glad I finally got the chance to see this park up close.

A VISIT TO BELMONT PARK

  • I thought I  would  be missing  all the 30 Plus  Teams  Tours  that I  would be making since the Virus  from  hell  came  on the scene .
  • I couldn’t  understand  why y’all  were so interested  in what was in my suitcase.
  • In other words, I  really thought that I would really miss plane travel for another 30 Plus  Teams  Tour  of  anywhere .
  • Believe it or not, I’m  really enjoying visiting  places by public transportation .
  • I  took  another trip on the local Queens bus to Elmont, Long Island .
  • I was going to see Belmont Racetrack ,home of the third leg of horse  racing’s ‘triple crown’.
  • But no, I don’t   bet on horses .
  • I just like looking  at  them.
  • (Besides the  Belmont Stakes, there’s  also the Preakness  Stakes, held in Baltimore  and of course, something that’s  on my bucket list ,  the Kentucky  Derby, held in Louisville ,  Kentucky  .)
  • The Sports Diva  had another reason for visiting  Elmont and Belmont  Park .
  • Right next door ,  under construction ,  is Belmont  Arena .
  • It’s  going to be the new home  of  the  New York  Islanders  hockey club.
  • You just know ,  the Sports Diva  had to see this.
  • As it was a very nice day, I  really enjoyed  my day and am looking forward  to  the next place to visit.
  • I said it before and I’ll  say it again.
  • I  can get used to not flying anywhere but taking public  transportation . 20200814_12581020200814_12414720200814_125158FB_IMG_159745653520320200814_12564620200814_12473920200814_12450220200814_13043620200814_13012820200814_130518

SPENDING TIME IN FREEPORT, LONG ISLAND

If I have to run any kind of errands , they’re usually done in the cities of Springfield Gardens /Locust Manor, where I live or either in the cities of Lynbrook or Valley Stream on Long Island .

I decided to do some errands in another city on Long Island , the incorporated city of Freeport .

I’ve been to Freeport before, sort of .

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Transferring to another Nassau County bus at Freeport Transit Center doesn’t count, though.

Neither does waiting at the Freeport Long Island Railroad Station .

Like everywhere else, social distancing is the norm in Freeport .

This means, have those masks, and stand six feet away no matter if you’re in the line for groceries , medicine or money at the bank.

I’m sorry that I didn’t spend a little more time here in Freeport , but I will.

It was such a nice day, but a hurricane which ended up knocking out my power for almost 4 days, was on the way .

Tell me what else can happen in New York City in 2020?

A DAY AT THE BEACH

It was a really hot and humid day on July 27th, so the Sports Diva decided to do her 30 Plus Teams Tour in a place that I hadn’t been to since I was a little girl .

I went to Jones Beach in the town of Wantagh , Long Island .

As usual, I traveled by public transportation .

I took the N88 express bus from Freeport to Wantagh .

It was another Nassau County bus, and it went non stop.

It only took 20 or so minutes to get to the beach.

Once again, since there really isn’t any traveling on an airplane (for the Sports Diva at least for awhile.), I have to make due with trips to Long Island .

When the virus from hell first came on the scene, I was very upset that I had to forget about my usual 30 Plus Teams Tour of Las Vegas and other places.

Now that we’re almost at the end of July, I look at the virus just a little bit differently.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still that ex boyfriend that didn’t get the memo that you’ve broken up, or those annoying relatives that just won’t get the hint that they have over stayed their welcome.

Now it’s just , ‘Rona’ and as much as we don’t want to , we have to deal with it because it’s gonna be here with us for awhile .

When the bus dropped me off, I realized that there are three areas of Jones Beach

The East Boathouse , which is mostly for adults only, the West

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Boathouse, which is where I was and the the Central Mall which is the biggest area .

With that in mind, it didn’t matter that the Atlantic Ocean was very salty, I dipped my toes into the bright blue water.

I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t near the Pacific Ocean and I wasn’t at one of those pool parties that I love to go to whenever I’m in Las Vegas .

There were families at Jones Beach , doing the same thing that I was trying to do, escape the heat and take a dip in the very salty Atlantic Ocean .

At almost 100 degrees, and humidity almost as high, the fact that the water was salty didn’t really matter.

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I was ready for my day at the beach and it won’t be the last day this summer that my 30 Plus Teams Tour is going to be at some beach in New York City or Long Island .

A Walk Down Rockaway Avenue

Once again, my 30 Plus Teams Tour has brought me to the place known as The Incorporated Village of Valley Stream.

My ride, better known as the Nassau County Bus, brought me to one of, if not the main street of the village, and that’s Rockaway Avenue.

On this street, which takes you all the way down to Sunrise Highway, where the Long Island Railroad stops, one will find shops, office buildings, restaurants, and lots of houses of worship.

The restaurants had outdoor seating as we’re still on Phase 3 of opening New York.

Like their neighbors in the five boroughs, masks are a requirement here on Long Island.

Even though I miss traveling to another state for my 30 Plus Teams Tour, I’m enjoying my bus rides and train rides to the cities that are close by me.

It was a nice day as I walked down Rockaway Avenue and in other sections of Valley Stream.

It didn’t even bother me that one of the streets that I walked down was South Corona.

How much do you wanna bet they want to change that name when the virus from hell is over?

CORONAVIRUS WHO? I’M GOING ON A DAY TRIP

We here in New York City just entered Phase Two of what politicians in the United States like to call, ‘Flattening The Curve’ when it comes to the virus from hell.

While other states like Florida, Texas and Arizona , among others couldn’t wait for people to throw away their masks and party like you just don’t care, here in New York City , our Governor and mayor basically said, ‘Don’t even think about partying yet. Corona is still here and he hasn’t left yet.’

As a result, New Yorkers like the Sports Diva have to be creative with their 30 Plus Teams Tours.

Hello Long Island Railroad .

I could take the good old New York City subway down to 34th but since the Long Island Railroad is basically in my backyard (no really, I can see the Long Island Railroad IN MY BACKYARD!), why not take that for a daytrip to Manhattan , also known as ‘The City’ to those of us who live in the Outer Boroughs (aka, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Staten Island and Queens.)

I wanted to see for myself just how the city looked since we were under an 8pm -5am curfew imposed by our Mayor because some folks don’t seem to understand the difference between peacefully protesting and looting, but that’s a post for another day .

(The curfew ended a week or so ago by the way. So New York is back to being the ‘city that never sleeps.’)

Today, June 26th was all about riding comfortably and peacefully on the train as it passed by the Queens neighborhoods of Rosedale, Laurelton , Forest Hills, South Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Woodside and my own neighborhood of Locust Manor as it made its way past the skyscrapers of Manhattan on the way to one of the biggest transportation hubs in the United States , Penn Station .

As I made my way upstairs to 34th Street and saw all the stores filled with people , masks on , going about their businesses as if to say, ‘we see you Corona, you’ve been here long enough. Go away allready.’

As I returned home, after a day of shopping, I felt the same way also.

Go away Corona, I’m going on a day trip.

AT SFO AND TAKING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AROUND THE CITY

First of all, let me tell you that when your flight from anywhere lands in San Francisco International Airport, aka SFO, you’re not in the city.

It’s not even close to Downtown San Francisco or any other neighborhood in the city.

It takes roughly 45 minutes to an hour by the Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, to get into the city.

I’m not even joking when I tell you that when you purchase one of the reloadable transit cards, called a Clipper Card, from one of the transit machines at the airport BART, add $70 to it.

No I didn’t stutter.

If you’re thinking of doing a day trip like I did in February, add a lot of money to that card.

If you’re going to such popular tourists sites like the Embarcadero, Union Square or Fisherman’s Wharf, it’s going to cost almost $20 round trip to and from the airport.

If you want to go anywhere else on BART or the light rails or buses run by MUNI, that’s almost $5 round trip depending on where you’re going.

Let’s say you want to take a ride on one of those famous cable cars.

You can use that Clipper Card.

It’ll cost you $7 each way.

You get the idea.

San Francisco is one wicked expensive cities, but if you have the opportunity to visit San Francisco on a 30 Plus Teams Tour or not, make sure that you have more than enough money on your clipper card.

If you have ever been to Washington DC, you know that you have to have your transit card to enter and exit the station.

Same for San Francisco.

Have that card to enter and exit the BART or MUNI Station.

That’s how they track your fare.

If you need to reload your card or add more money to your card to get out of the station, they have machines to do that also.

You can even use the Clipper Card to ride the BART to those East Bay cities of Oakland and Berkeley.

Just make sure you have enough money on that Clipper Card.

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.

KILLING TIME AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

Now you might think that I spent all or most of this 30 Plus Teams Tour of Washington DC either looking at embassies , eating or sleeping .

No, the Sports Diva isn’t checking out colleges for neices , nephews or children of neighbors either.

I couldn’t check into my hostel until 3pm and it was now 9am.

Plus , I was having lunch with a friend that I hadn’t seen in 10 years .

So what’s a Sports Diva supposed to do to kill all that time?

On all of my trips to DC , I wanted to go see the big campus of the University of Maryland in College Park , Maryland, home of the Terrapins .

( A Terrapin is basically a big turtle and I was looking for the statue of the big Maryland Terrapin. No such luck . )

Since the University of Maryland, like the U Street Hostel , is on the green line of the Washington Metro, it was easy to get there .

Sort of .

Once you get there, you aren’t on campus , oh no .

You have to get a free shuttle bus that takes you to one of the main buildings .

There’s construction going on so the bus can’t drop you off at the metro station .

Bring those walking shoes because this is a big campus with most of the buildings set on a hill.

One of the most inspiring buildings on campus is the Hornbake Library with the statue of Maryland native son, Frederick Douglass in front of it.

In the library plaza right in front of the statue , are inspirational quotes from Douglass .

Some of the quotes are words that hold true today in the political climate that we’re in here in the United States .

MEMORIES OF LOS ANGELES AND YES THEY DO HAVE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION THERE.

When I first moved to Los Angeles from Boston in 1996 courtesy of Delta Airlines , I really didn’t know that much about the city,

People would give me all sorts of advice.

One especially I heard from everyone including family members, “It’s LA, you NEED a car,”

Being from New York City , you don’t miss what you don’t have.

I didn’t need a car, and I didn’t drive.

After seeing those infamous LA freeways, I’m glad I didn’t drive and I sure wasn’t about to learn, either.

I lived in one of the South Bay cities of Los Angeles called Torrance , California for 10 years and I never drove.

I took public transportation, either a bus or a train.

People are surprised when you mention that the city has a subway system,a very good one called the Metro.

You can get a day pass, which with fees comes out to $9.

We don’t even have that on the New York City subways and our trains run 24 hours, something the Metro in Los Angeles doesn’t do.

When I first lived here, there was the Blue Line that went from Los Angeles to Long Beach, the Red Line from Los Angeles to West Hollywood , and the Green Line that can get you to a shuttle bus that will take you to LAX, Los Angeles International Airport .

Not only are these train lines still around, but while I was there recently , I discovered that there’s an extention of the Blue Line that goes from DTLA all the way to the beach city of Santa Monica .

These trains can get you to the major tourists spots in town.

Union Station is the main terminal so the red and the blue lines can get you there, even if you’re coming from Santa Monica .

Want to see the famous Chinese Grauman Theater with the stars footprints or the Hollywood Walk of Fame?

The red line will get you there.

Since you are on a 30 Plus Teams Tour , you KNOW you want see some basketball or hockey action at Staples Center .

The Blue Line will get you there,just get off at the Pico/Chick Hearn Station.

If there’s a game, you won’t get lost .

Just follow the crowd.

Hold onto to your TAP card.

That’s how you get anywhere on the Metro in town.

Some of them are reloadable and there are machines at every station to guide you.

As I rode the train from Long Beach back to my hostel in DTLA, it brought back a few memories .

Good memories of a place where you wouldn’t expect to see a subway .