Hot Pot and Dumplings, Provo, Utah

Hadley- 13

Hot Pot in Provo, Utah, is a great place to eat if you’re into Chinese food.  When you first get there, they will seat you at a table and ask what kinds of soup you want to cook your food in.  We chose the miso soup and a medium spicy soup.  Once they got our soup, they brought out peanut sauce and chili sauce.  Then we were allowed to got to the buffet and get whatever meat and vegetables we wanted.  Since we were first timers, the waiter helped us in using the hot pot.  He showed us how to mix the chili and the peanut sauce to make this amazing dip.  My favorite thing was the beef.  It was thinly cut and took just seconds to cook.  We also added squash, bean sprouts, mushrooms, pork, chicken, and more.  At the buffet you can get rice, and I recommend putting whatever meats and vegetables in your rice, add a little peanut sauce and a little chili, because it can get spicy. Once you have added all that stuff to your bowl, it is amazing.  I would also recommend miso to the people who don’t like spicy food.  For desert you can get a Popsicle or ice cream.  If you are ever in Provo, Utah, and want to eat at a Chinese restaurant, Hot Pot is definitely the place to go.

Barnett-10

The Hot Pot in Provo, Utah, is a great place to eat Chinese food.  First of all, when you go there, they will seat you at a table with a little  stove/griddle.  Then they will ask you what all of your favorite meats are.  They then take you over to a meat and vegetable bar.  You pick out your favorites and you go back to your table.  We picked the miso soup and a medium spicy soup; that’s also when they got us a peanut and chili sauce.  We put our meat in the soup and as it cooked, the meats soaked up the spices.  Another thing you need to know is that if you waste food, you have to pay extra.  Plus you can get more than one plate at the meat buffet.  They also had squash, mushrooms, and bean sprouts, too. Then, after you are done they have a mini freezer and inside they have Popsicles, ice cream, or ice cream sandwiches.  If you ever are in Provo, Utah, I recommend going to the Hot Pot.  It is a great place for Chinese food.

Crazy Horse Memorial, SD

John- 15

A short way from Mount Rushmore sits a monument that not that many people know about.  The Crazy Horse Memorial is a memorial for Native Americans.  The monument isn’t what you are really going to see, since the monument isn’t anywhere close to being completed.  The main place to go there is the visitors’ center. At the visitors’ center there is a lot of information on Native Americans and how they lived their lives.  Inside the visitors’ center there is a movie theater or projector room that gives a small clip on the Crazy Horse Memorial.  There is also a food area, a gift store, and a jewelry area.  The price for one car is going to be around 28 dollars or by person it will cost 11 dollars.  I would recommend going through and looking at the different artifacts.  But, although they say the main thing there is the Crazy Horse Monument the real big thing to me was actually the different artifacts.  The whole monument was started shortly after Mount Rushmore and is still not complete.  They are needing to raise around 4o million dollars to finish the whole project and it is going to take a long time to complete.  I would recommend going if you are near the area, but don’t be disappointed if you do go and realize that it is not finished.

Hadley- 13

Just down the road from Mount Rushmore is the Crazy Horse Memorial.  This is very different from Mount Rushmore though because it isn’t complete.  To go there, you really aren’t looking at the big statue.  You can go in the visitor center and watch a movie.  We didn’t watch the movie, but we did walk through the huge visitor center.  They have a huge collection of Native American memorabilia.  This memorabilia is definitely worth seeing. The cost to get in, in my opinion is kind of outrageous though.  For a full car it was $28 and by per person it was $11.  This does though include the movie, so you don’t have to worry about paying for the movie.  You can also pay to ride a van to the top and get up and close the face of Crazy Horse.  This is the one portion of the carving that is done. The cost for that is not as cheap as you think  – we did not do this either.    It would have been about $500 for my family to do that.  So if you want to go up, you really need to bring your money. If you are ever near Crazy Horse Memorial, I would definitely recommend going.

Barnett-10

Just down the ways from Mount Rushmore is the Crazy Horse Memorial. This is way different from Mount Rushmore, because Mount Rushmore is finished and this isn’t finished. You can get in the Crazy Horse Memorial for $28 which I think is too much, because Mount Rushmore is half that price and is finished.  When you get into the park, you can go to the visitors’ center and watch a movie about the Crazy Horse Memorial.  After that you can look at all the old time Indian stuff like their shoes, their paintings, and their clothes.  If you want to go to the very top of the monument to see the face of the Native American in person, though, it takes $500 out of your pocket.  My family didn’t do it, because we didn’t need to go up there, and we were fine looking up there from the ground.  It was good to go there once, but I wouldn’t go there again.  I think you should go there just to experience it if you are in the area.

Mount Rushmore National Monument, SD

John-15

Mount Rushmore is one of the main things that Americans should see in their lifetime.  It is one of the National Monuments that is well known and is popular to see.  Mount Rushmore holds four of Americas great leaders heads carved in stone.  When you get there, you might have to wait a while to get into the actual park since there could be a long line of cars to get in. The cost for a vehicle is eleven dollars (RVs and motorcycles as well). From the entrance you can park in four main parking garages, each one of them named after the four presidents.  From the garage, you get out of your car and can walk up to the the main path that takes you to the visitors center, book store, and gift store. While you are walking the main strip to the visitors center (not a long walk), you can see the four President’s heads. While on the path you are greeted by all of the state and territorial flags of the United States of America.  Once you get to the visitor’s center, you can watch a short clip on how they designed and created Mount Rushmore, I would recommend watching the clip since it is free and gives you a more in-depth perspective on how it was created and who the creator was.  I would also recommend going around and looking at the different info. they have on Mount Rushmore.  I would recommend going to Mount Rushmore since it is a cheap and easy stop on a road trip.  You can stay for only 20 minutes or much longer if you are interested.  If you are in the area, you should see and view Mount Rushmore.

Hadley- 13

When you are first driving up to Mount Rushmore (if you came the way we did) you get some really good pictures.  We were able to see Mount Rushmore through some really neat arches carved in mountainsides that were created for the road to wind through.  When you arrive, you have to pay your car fee which is $11.  This is the same for motorcycles and RV’s.  When you find a parking spot – it shouldn’t be that hard – you will walk up and see the entrance.  You can walk up and take a picture with the flags, and then I recommend going down the stair, and going to the visitor center.  Here you will get information about how Mount Rushmore was constructed and how everything was carved out.  You can also go see a short, 15-minute movie.  It tells mainly about the presidents and the guy who constructed the monument.  In my opinion, the movie might not be worth it if you have to wait the 15 minutes for a new movie to start.  Then you can hike up and see it closer.  We had already been horseback riding and had gone on a jeep tour at Custer State Park that day so we didn’t do the hike all the way up to the base.  Visitors can also go into the gift shop there and buy T-shirts and more.  Kids can also get their junior ranger booklet and complete it to get your badge for little kids.  If you are ever near Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, I definitely recommend seeing one of America’s iconic monuments.

Snow Lodge Bike Rentals, Yellowstone National Park, WY

Hadley- 13

When we were at Yellowstone National Park we decided that to get around the easiest was to go by bike. At the gift shop in the Snow Lodge is where you rent bikes. The guy who helped us get our bikes and helmets was very nice and knew what he was doing. We first started out by getting our bikes, and then we started biking on the trail that goes to the left when you face Old Faithful(Upper Geyser Basin Trail).  We got to see a lot of geysers and a lot of hot springs. We even got to see Grotto Geyser and Castle Geyser erupt!  We also went to Morning Glory Pool. This isn’t a pool by the way.  It was amazing.  It is very colorful and looks like a huge puddle of rainbow colored water.  The bad part is people throw in coins and other trash – that ruins the pool – so please don’t throw coins or trash in the pools. Then, we biked out to Biscuit Geyser Basin.  There is a half mile loop where you get to see many more geysers and pools.  You can also hike to an observation point or Mystic Falls.  We didn’t do either of those because we had our bicycles with us.  The best part of our trip though was when we biked the 2.5 miles out to Biscuit Basin, we saw a Bison just eating grass.  We stayed our distance because we knew how dangerous they were.  We were about a hundred feet away from it.  We sat for a long time and just watched it.  After we got back, we biked a little more and turned our bikes back in.  Prices for bikes are $8 an hour, $25 for a half-day (which is 4 hours) and full-days are $35 for adults,  $6 an hour, $15 half-day, and full-days are $22.50 for kids. Bike trainers are $5 hour, $12 half-day, and $16 full day.  If you are ever going to look at geysers and pools this is the way to do it! You get around much easier and get to enjoy it even more.  I would definitely recommend renting bikes.

Barnett-10

When my family went to Yellowstone National Park one day, instead of walking we biked the park. This was fun and exercising.  We went to Snow Lodge and rented bikes from the gift shop. When we started, the guy we rented bikes from gave us rules – like stand 7 yards away from bison.  When we started, we headed on the boardwalk and went to Castle Geyser.  It was only steaming though, and it didn’t go off.  Then we biked to Morning Glory Pool, but it has faded its color because people threw trash in it over all the years.  When we got back on our bikes and headed to Daisy Geyser.  Riding bikes is my mom’s favorite activity.  Everyone else complains about having to go, but really it is fun.  We got to see a lot of geysers.  Some of them were going off and some of them were not.  We also saw a bison.  We did not get even 7 yards away from it because it looked really big and my parents were afraid that we would get hurt.  I think everyone that goes to Yellowstone should rent bikes.  It is a fun thing to do.

Rockin R River Rafting – Guadalupe River, New Braunfels, TX

John – 13
Rockin R River Rafting company is on the Guadalupe River. The day that we went rafting, the river was going really slowly. I recommend you not to take the inner tubes and take the larger river rafts. Even though it may cost more, you will spend less time slowly going down the river. Plus you can hold more than one person in one of the white river rafts. Our entire family of 5 easily fit into a raft. The company is a good friendly company to go rent your inflatable stuff from. The place is the average price in the area to rent from. The river doesn’t have that many rough rapids, and it is fine for kids of all ages (but I would recommend you not take a baby on the ride). Rockin R River Rafting is one of the better places to rent stuff from on the Guadalupe River.

Hadley-11
The Rockin R River Rafting is a really fun trip down the Guadalupe river. There are different things you can rent to ride in. There is a raft for 5 people and a tube for 1 person available for rent. The tube takes a long time to float down the river. The raft allows you to paddle and move faster. There are different rapids, some aren’t that bad, but if the river is low you will get stuck sometimes. In the river there are catfish, and it has a rock bottom so the rocks are slippery. There are two places that you can stop at 1 hour and another is 2.5 hours if you are paddling in the raft. The one we did was the 2.5 hours, and it was really fun. So if you are ever near the Rockin R River Rafting it is worth a stop.

Barnett – 8
I love the Rockin R River Rafting company. It is fun to go on a river rafting trip. You can up to six people in a raft. You can bring snacks on the trip, but you are not supposed to take metal or glass containers. It is a good idea to take drinks along, because I got thirsty. I did not have to paddle the raft. Everyone else in our family had to paddle, but the little kids don’t have to paddle. We saw a lot of turtles on our trip. They are swimming along the river and up on logs on the river. There were two people in the river trying to catch turtles for turtle soup! The trip took over two hours. Explorers should go on a trip like this. You should go to Rockin R River Rafting because I recommend it.

Twisted Root Burger – Dallas, Texas

John – 13

Twisted Root Burger is a fun family like place to eat. You have a large selection of cheeseburgers to pick from.  My favorite is called the swiss mushroom.  It is the same burger that George W. Bush had when he goes there to eat!  My favorite thing at the place is the names.  They have names they give you of famous people  and when they call up your name, you come and get your food.  For example our family was given the name John Madden.  The food is really good – tender meat that is full of flavor and juices.  They also let you pick out the type of pickles you want.  The choices they have are original dill, wasabi, hot and spicy, and bread and butter pickle chips.  They are in a self-serve condiment area.  They also let u put the type of sauces you want on the sandwich.  My favorite sauce was the Dijon mustard with horseradish mixed with mayo.   I put it on my sandwich and also used it as a dip for the fries. A good example of this place is like a Five Guys Burger and Fries only a little fancier.  So if you are in Dallas Texas and near it, I recommend going to eat there.

Hadley-11

Twisted Root Burger is a good place to eat because their cheeseburgers are good, especially if you put bacon on it.  George W.  Bush has also eaten there, and he got the mushroom swiss that my brother got.  My brother said it was really good.  The burger I got was the make your own, and I got cheddar cheese, bacon and then put on the mayo and mustard.   If you want pickles, you can put them on too – there are like 5 different kinds.   Your order is ready when they call you up by famous names.  The one we got was John Madden.  You don’t get to choose the name though – I wanted to be called Neymar.  We also ordered french fries, onion strings (fried),and sweet potato chips.  All the sides were really good.  We sat outside and it was fun because we didn’t eat until late, so it wasn’t to hot or crowded.  Twisted Roost also had its own homemade sauces; one was a mustard horseradish which was really good and wasn’t spicy at all.  If you ever come to Dallas, Texas, and are hungry eat at Twisted Root Burger.

Barnett – 8

We went to eat at Twisted Root Burger.  On the door it said, “We are slow, but the food is good!”  That was kinda true, they were a little slow, but the food was really good.  When you order, they don’t put pickles on your burger, because you get to put on your own pickles.  The pickle bar has lots of pickles to choose from – butter, spicy, sweet, and dill.  I got a cheeseburger with no bun.  It was good because their cheeseburgers are really good.  They put a lot of cheese on it.  I had french fries, and they were crispy.  We ate outside.  Inside the air conditioning was cold.  They had neat tables that had soda pop tops sealed in them.  They looked neat.  I would go there again because I liked the burgers and I really liked the pickles they had.

St. Louis Arch – St. Louis, Missouri

John – 13

The St. Louis Arch is the tallest memorial in the United States. It goes up to 630 feet high up. When you first see the arch you may think that it doesn’t look big enough to hold an elevator car, but it does.  When you get up close to the arch you can tell that it  is bigger than you thought it would be.

When you get on the ride I would recommend seeing one of the movies first so that you can either learn more about the arch or about Lewis and Clark.  Both of the movies are in Imax. When we went  to the arch we saw the Lewis and Clark film. It was about the journey Lewis and Clark took to explore the west and get to the Pacific Ocean.  I thought it was one of the best movies made about Lewis and Clark that I have seen yet.  It was very informative, and I learned a lot from that video.

After the movie we went to the little gift shop they had and Dad got our tickets for our ride to the top of the arch. In the little gift shop they had book about Lewis and Clark plus they had collectables for the arch.  On the other side of the underground museum/area there is another shop.  The second shop is full of old candies and other old fashioned stuff.

The next thing we did is wait in line for the ride to the top of the arch. There was stuff to do in line that told about how the arch was made and why it was built.  When we finally did get on the ride, you sit in a pod.  It can fit five people and is a really tight fitting elevator.  There are eight of these pods on one side of the arch and eight in the other area. It took the elevator four minutes to get to the top and three minutes back down.  At the top you have a nice view of the whole city.  We went at night, and I thought it looked better at night than in the day time. On the way down, it took us around three minutes this time to get to the bottom.  I thought that it was a really cool although I am afraid of heights and it was stressful to go up and do it.  So if you are in the area you should definitely try it out.

Hadley-11

Have you ever been in a building that is 630 feet high?  If not the St. Louis Arch is where you need to go.  The arch is downtown right near the Mississippi River.  To get tickets you can call or get them there.  Before you go on the elevator to the arch you will want to see one of the movies.  The two movie they have that you can buy to see are called Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West, and Monument to the Dream: The Making of the Gateway Arch.  We went to see Lewis and Clack and it was good, but we did not see the other.  It it looked good though.

To get to the top of the arch you have to take an elevator.  The elevator is not normal though. The elevator holds 5 people and there are 8 cars at a time that go up together at the same time. On the elevator you set down in  a chair.  The capsule you are in is small, but you do not go very fast.   In  the elevator you do not go side ways or upside down like a roller coaster.  You always stay sitting flat – like a ferris wheel.  Once you get to the top you can stay as long as you want and the view is nice.  To get back down you go in a capsule like you got up. Once you get back down you can go and look in the museum.  Going up in the arch is definitely worth the money. :)

Barnett – 8

I liked the St. Louis arch.  It looks very big from the outside.  It looks like a big U upside down, and it is very shiny.  From far away it looked small, as we were driving up to it.  BUt, up close it is big.

The first thing we did was go to the movie.  The movie was called Lewis and Clark.  Lewis liked to walk along the river with his dog and be alone.  He once slipped and fell as he was trying to pick a plant.  He founds plants and feathers and collected them in a book.  The book kept track of all of the new animals.  Clark ran the boats and was the leader on the boats.  His slave, York, went with him on the trip.  They met Sacagawea, she helped them find food and things to  live.

Then we went up the arch.  We had to get in little pods.  It took almost 4 minutes to get to the top.  The pod was small and hot.  At the top they had very tiny windows.  You could see out of them.  I could see the St. Louis Cardinals playing a baseball game and the Mississippi River.  Coming down took 3 minutes.  When you are done you need to get out quickly so other people can get in and go.

It was fun, so you should do it too.