The one official, guided tour we took at Yellowstone National Park was Geyser Gazers. First you get on this cool, old fashioned bus. It only holds about 15-17 people. (I would recommend booking your tour early because we only had 2 tickets for it. Fortunately, this family of 4 didn’t show up, so we paid the money, and our whole family could go on the tour.) The cost of the tour is adult – $26, children – $13, ages 3-11 under 3 are free. When we first started the tour we got out onto the road and there was a road jam. We think that it was due to the wildlife (bison). So we turned around and headed to Biscuit Basin. This really stunk, not only because we had already been there, but we really then didn’t learn anything new that the brochure didn’t tell you. Then, we ended up getting to go back to where we were originally planned to go to. When we got there, we got to see some things we wouldn’t have gotten to see, but again we didn’t really learn anything. We just got to see new things. So, if I were you, I would save my $26 and take your own self-guided tour. Read the brochure, and you will end up learning more or the same amount. We don’t normally not recommend things, but in this case, it was not worth the money.
In Yellowstone National Park, we took a tour called Geyser Gazers. When you start the tour you get in this cool, old fashioned bus that is in pretty good shape. It held 15 people and it was $26 for an adult, then children 3-11 are $13, also under 3 years old is free. When we started the tour, we got stuck in a traffic jam and had to turn back around, because there probably was an animal on the road like a bison or a bear maybe. We headed to Biscuit Basin, which was a total bummer, because our family had already been there that day so that was a let down. Plus, we didn’t learn anything that wasn’t on the brochure. There were only two places we got out of the bus. This was disappointing, because that meant we could have driven around in our minivan and seen the same things. Then, finally we went back to the place we were supposed to go to in the first place. Since we had to make the first detour, we only drove through that area, and we didn’t get to get out of the bus. We also didn’t get a chance to really slow down and look at anything. That was the end of the tour which was a total bummer, because we didn’t learn anything new. So if I were you, I would save my money and tour the park while reading a brochure, because that’s just as good.
John – 15
Going down to Key West, or any of the Keys, is a long and trying drive. But, on the way down is a great place to stop and take a break and stretch your legs. The amazing place to stop is a turtle hospital. The Turtle Hospital is located in Marathon Key. It is a great place for every age and enjoyable for all. The Turtle Hospital has a tour that happens every hour starting at 9am and running to 4 pm. The cost for children ages 4-12 is 9 dollars and for adults is 18 dollars. Throughout the tour you will get to not only see turtles but learn more about them and how to save them. At the beginning of the tour you will view a slideshow that shows how turtles end up in the hospital. After the slide show, you head into one of the bigger tank areas; they have two tanks that are filled up with water and these hold some of the turtles they have. Once you are done there, the tour heads out to the other areas to visit the more tanks. In this area there are around 23 individual tanks and the largest sea tank – which holds 100,000 gallons of water. The tank (which used to be a pool) is filled and circulated by the sea water that flows in and out of the pool. At the hospital you will get to see turtles ranging from 12 permanent to 60 injured turtles that are there for rehabilitation. All in all the Turtle Hospital is a great place to stop and view turtles and learn more about them.
Hadley – 12
The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida was a place where we stopped on our way down to Key West. This was a really good stop; it was fun and you got to learn a lot. The Turtle Hospital is a not-for-profit organization. You can take tours from 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm. The tours cost adults $18.00 and children (4-12 years old) $9.00; children under 4 are free. When you go, you get to watch a slide show at the beginning telling you the types of turtles you will get to see. The instructor will also tell you about some of the diseases these turtles are facing. Then they will take you outside and you get to meet the turtles. During the whole tour you will get to see about 40-60 turtles depending on how many they have. Sometimes they won’t have as many because they have released them. We got to see a lot because this winter some of the turtles didn’t get to warm enough water quickly. They were stuck in New England and sent to the Turtle Hospital to save them. If you are ever near Marathon, Florida, it is definetly worth the money and time. And it is a great cause.
Barnett – 10
When our family was traveling, we stopped at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida. If you go on a tour – which I suggest – the admission for four years and under are free, then four to twelve years old is nine dollars, then the cost for over twelve or adults is eighteen dollars. First they take your tour group into this room to see a slide show about why the hospital and turtles are there and the types of turtles that there are. Then they will take you to see some turtles and tell you their names. Plus they will explain why the turtles are there. For example, Bubble-Butt has bubble-butt syndrome. The Grinch got hit by a boat. After that there is Frumpy, which is sad, because he got hit by a boat and half his shell broke off. Two other turltes, Mickey and Tink, also have bubble-butt syndrome. If I ever got to drive thru Marathon, Florida again I would go to The Turtle Hospital again.
Hadley – 11
Today we went to the Canlan ice hockey rink which is located inside the Lutheran Sports Facility. There is a hotel right behind it because of hockey tournaments that they have on the weekends. Inside there are three hockey rinks. On an open free day you can rent skates – Monday through Friday. The admission is 5 dollars and to rent skates it is 3 dollars with admission. When we went on a Monday there was only a couple people on the ice, but you can rent a stick and puck and shoot goals. We only skated we did not shoot goals, but when we looked at the people shooting goals, they were playing a game on another rink. If you are at a tournament you can sit at the top and look down at all the games while you eat or drink. The ice rink also does many camps. The camps are offered all year and every season. When you skate make sure that your skates are straight or your ankles will hurt. If I were you and haven’t gone ice skating before then Canlan is the place you do it. The people are really helpful. Hope you go; it is fun!
Barnett – 8
The ice skating rink at Canlan Sports Complex is really fun. If you fall down, it is like falling down at a roller skating rink. You can rent hockey skates or figure skating skates. I got the figure skating skates. They are easier to use because they are flat on the bottom. If you fall down, no one laughs at you. That is what makes it fun.
The place is new and big. If you go you should bring your coat. It is very cold inside because it is an ice rink. You should also bring another pair of pants. When you fall down a lot your pants will get wet. There are three ice rinks. There is a restaurant called the Thirsty Penguin in the top floor. Everything was nice there. The people are nice because they ask if you had a fun time and want you to have a fun time. I think you should go. I had a great time and want to go again.
Reno Rodeo is a ten-day event. The rodeo is in Reno, Nevada. It is the biggest rodeo in the West. The rodeo impacts the hotels around it by making them $42 million dollars a year. It is the fourth richest rodeo in the world. There are over 140,000 fans that attend the rodeo. They have also donated 5.1 million dollars each year to the company of Kids Kampus Activity Center. They also put $400,000 back into the community. The rodeo is one of the my favorite things to do in Reno. The rodeo is from June 19-28 for next year and the prices range from $1.00 to $25.00. It runs from 6:00 to 10:00PM each night. There are many different things they do each night – like the night we went, it was all bull riding night. I recommend getting there really early; if you don’t, you may be waiting a while. If you don’t like rodeos then you could go to the carnival they have there too. Going through the shops they had at the rodeo was fun. I got to look at many different things that you would find back a long time ago in the west. They also had new things that looked like they came from this generation. My favorite part of the whole rodeo is the bull riders. They had a giant stop watch/clock and when they let the bull lose it starts. It stopped when the rider fell off. At the begin of the rodeo there are 50 girls that come out; they are called flag girls. They’re girls that won the rodeo beauty pageant. They ride around in a circle around the arena. At half-time they have something cool to show. They also have rodeo clowns -three of them. Two are like real rodeo clowns and the other one messes around and makes people laugh. They also give away door prizes to the people who are sitting in this area. It is fun for the whole family to watch and to see.
The Reno Rodeo is 7 days long and is one of the biggest in the world. When we went we did not ride any of the carnival rides, but they have roller coasters and a bunch of other games. The rodeo has a bunch of gift shops too. You can buy t-shirts, belt buckles, saddles and a lot more. The thing we came to see though is the bull riding. We did not see anyone get hurt really bad, but some people did get a bloody nose. One of the rodeo clowns got a little bit injured. (The rodeo clowns are when the bull rider gets knocked off the bull, and the rodeo clown comes in and distracts the bull to get him to go into the pin.) The bull sometimes sits down and doesn’t want to stand up, so they send a dog in to bite its tail. That is why we went to the Reno Rodeo.
We went to the Reno Rodeo. They said that last year someone died riding a bull. One guy had broken his neck and back last year. No one got hurt this year. I liked watching them ride the bulls. It was funny to watch the rodeo clowns and the dog chase the bulls into the pin. One time the dog had to bite the bull on the buttocks! The announcer kept saying – it is biting him on the buttocks! It bit the bulls tail too. Before the rodeo begins, the flag girls come out with 50 flags. At the end of the girls is the Queen and the American flag. We all sang the national anthem. After the rodeo we went over to the shops. I got a new shirt. It says “Cowgirl Love.” It is pink and orange. There are sparkles on it. You should go to the Reno Rodeo. It is really good for a show.
Reno Rodeo Arena