Cafe du Monde – New Orleans, Louisiana

John-13
Cafe du Monde is the best place to eat beignets.  Cafe du Monde is in New Orleans, Louisiana.  It is near Jackson Square – a park area near the French Quarter.  It is a fun friendly place to eat.  The place is open 24/7.  There is a bigger outdoor area and an indoor area.  The outdoor seating area is covered.  The place is a quick serving place, so if you are in a hurry and need something to eat, you can stop in and get your stuff really quickly and get out.  It also means that you order your own food and serve yourself.  I thought that although the beignet smelled good, I could only eat one.  The beignets were large, and all I needed to fill me up was one or two.  So if you are in the area and need something to eat, then you should go there and eat some beignets.

Hadley-11
Cafe du Monde is the best place in the USA to get beignets.  Their beignets are really good and covered in powdered sugar. You can eat outside or inside.  The coffee they serve is really strong, and I did not like it.  The place will get crowded at like 8:30 in the morning. Beignets are the only thing they serve, and they come with three in an order.  I can eat almost a full order they are soooooooo good.  After dinner you can go there and get them for a dessert, they are open 24 hours a day.  They are definitely worth the wait, so if you are near there try it out.  You will be happy!

Barnett-8

I love Cafe du Monde.  Its beignets are so good. The beignets are covered in powdered sugar and have lots of hollow pockets on the inside.  A beignet is like a funnel cake in the shape of a square donut.  The only thing on their menu are beignets, coffee, and soft drinks.  Cafe du Monde has the best beignets in the world.  You can eat inside and outside.  I like outside the best, because there is a nice breeze.  You can also watch all of the people.  We saw lots of people walking by and many people had their pets with them.  Inside you can see them make the beignets.  They had to move really fast because they only serve beignets, and they make a bunch of them.  I don’t really like the coffee, but some people do like it.  I would like to go back to Cafe du Monde in New Orleans to get more beignets.

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.

Half Shell Raw Bar – Key West, Florida

John – 15
The Half Shell Raw Bar is one of many good places to dine in Key West. The Raw Bar is set right on a dock area with a nice view of the ocean/marina area. During the time that we ate, we sat right next to the water and saw millions of beautiful fish swimming around trying to grab at every little bit of food that falls in the water. The Half Shell Raw Bar is a good place to eat if you are looking for fresh seafood. The prices are a little high, but if you are looking for good, fresh food then this is one of the places to eat!
One of the best things they had were oysters on the half shell. The oysters were some of the best I have ever had. They had a nice freshness to the taste; you could still taste the saltiness of the seawater on them. You can see the people shucking and opening the oysters near the back of the restaurant where the main bar is.
The Half Shell Raw Bar is a popular place to eat on the island, and I would recommend getting there early or making a reservation so you don’t have to worry about not getting to sit down or spending a long time waiting.
Another recommendation for an appetizer is the peel and eat shrimp. The shrimp also has fresh taste – just like it came out of the ocean and has not been sitting out for a while. The peel and eat shrimp is one of the best on the island and is the perfect size to eat. For my main dish I ordered shrimp that was grilled. The grilled shrimp was amazing and tasted really good. The shrimp was cooked perfect and was the best tasting shrimp I had on the island and our whole trip to Key West. It has some spices, almost like a barbecue on it that was amazing.

Hadley – 12
When we where in Key West we went to the Half Shell Raw Bar. The restaurant is right on the water. It is the sister restaurant Turtle Kraals another good restaurant. When we ate there, we asked if we could sit on the water, and we got to sit with a view of the marina and the ocean. They have many different types of seafood to eat. Obviously they have some of the best oysters, and you can even watch the guys shucking them. We had some oysters, but also some peel and eat shrimp. For our main meal, I got the fried shrimp. They also have many different sides you get to choose from. For the pick two, I got my favorite was the Cuban bread. It had a good taste it; was like spicy garlic bread. The Half Shell Raw Bar, always has a fish of the day. When we were there, they had grouper and dolphin fish. It was one of the best places we ate at the whole vacation. My mom got the grilled shrimp and my dad got the grouper. They both said theirs was very good. While we ate our oysters, we threw out some food to the fish and there was a big rainbow type fish swimming next to us that was really cool. We didn’t have a reservation but it was very busy there, so i would definitely recommend getting a reservation if possible. All the food was very good and you could definitely tell that it was fresh because we had ate at places later and could tell it wasn’t very fresh because it had a weird taste. The Half Shell Raw Bar is definitely good place to eat.

Barnett – 10
The Half Shell Raw Bar is the place to go if you like seafood. The restaurant overall was a great restaurant to eat at. You can sit by the water or at the bar. I had the fried shrimp, and I thought it was good because it was just crisp enough and the shrimp was fresh. The grilled shrimp kabob was also good because it has spices, and it is grilled perfectly. The shrimp was also really juicy and had good flavor. The waitress we had was bad because she had to go to an appointment and didn’t tell anyone that she was leaving. Finally, we had to ask someone where she was. But the second waitress we had was better – she found out to take care of us. The cooks were good because they got our food out fast and had good recipes. The place had licenses plates all over the walls. If I were you I would go there to try it; this is my opinion. If I had the chance I would definitely go back again.

Danger Charters – Key West, Florida

John – 15
One of the things you have to do while in Key West is go snorkeling. The best trip to take for this is a Danger Charter. Danger Charters is a half-day or a full-day trip. During the trip you will be snorkeling, sailing, and kayaking. But, if you are looking for a romantic trip there is also a wine and sunset trip. During the half-day trip and full-day trip you and 20-25 other people will be on board a 65 foot traditional style schooner. After the sail boat heads out of the bay and into an open area the sail boat stops and allows you to start snorkeling for a while. Then you head back onto the boat and go to the mangroves and kayak out there. After that you head back into the bay and end the journey. The difference between the full day trip is that the full day trip you stop and eat lunch at a sandbar. One of the best things about the trips is that they give you snacks and drinks that are included in the price. For the sunset sail trip you head out on the boat and watch the sunset while drinking a variety of wines. The sunset trip is voted the number one thing to do while at Key West. The prices for the trips are 80 dollars for a half-day trip. The ages are 4 and up. For the full-day trip the cost is 110 dollars and for the wine and sunset sail is 80 dollars. The sunset and wine sail is from ages 4 and up so if you have kids you can bring them along as well. The times depend on the month that you go and the time of the year that you take the trip. If you head to Key West, this is one of the number one things you should do on the island. The Danger Charters boats are less packed as others we saw going in and out of the harbor. They like to give you a crew that is nice and makes sure you are OK during the whole trip.

Hadley – 12
When we were in Key West over Christmas, we went on a Danger Charter. The boat you are on is a sailboat. We did the half-day trip. On our boat there was about 21 people, so there is lots of room. They provided snacks and drinks. You can either go on a half-day or a full-day trips. The half-day cost $80 for the AM trip, and for the PM trip it is $85. For the full-day trips, then it is $110 per person. What you do on the trip is leave at 9:00 or 9:30 in the morning and come in at about 2 or 2:30. Then the afternoon leaves at around 2-3 depending on the months you are there. For the full-day trip you leave at 10AM and come back at 4-4:30 depending on the month. On the trip you get to go snorkeling and kayaking. They take you out pretty far and give you snorkeling gear and you jump on in. Since we were there in December, the water was pretty cold, but you got used to it. We got to see lots of things like, lobster, a morel eel, lots of fish, a barracuda, and much more. Then you get back on the boat, and they take you over to a little mangrove island. You get to go kayaking and learn about the mangroves, about the birds, and some history of the island. We even got to seen a shark. Around the island there are lots of fish the little sharks like. If you are ever in Key West and need something to do, Danger Charters are really fun and you get to learn a lot. I definitely recommend Danger Charters.