Lewis and Clark Whitewater Rafting, Jackson, WY

Hadley- 13

Lewis and Clark Whitewater Rafting in Jackson,Wyoming, was a blast!  When we first arrived, we had the opportunity to rent wetsuits.  My dad brother and I didn’t wear them, but my mom and sister did.  You can also rent water shoes, but we already had them.  Then, you will board a bus that will take you and other rafters to the Snake River.  Once you get there, you will be put into a boat.  Our 5 family members were in one boat with a guide named Zac, who was very nice.  You will also get a wet jacket, and a life jacket.  Now you will carry your boat down to the water.  You get in and start to row, but you are already upon some class 1 rapids before you know it.  The class 1 rapids are really nothing to get excited about other then you don’t have to row.  The rafting trip contains mostly class 2 and class 3 rapids.  On some of the rapids, you can’t tell a difference between 2 and 3. Some of their big rapids are Ropes, Champagne, Lunch Counter, and the biggest of all Big Kahuna.  If you were just like us, and hit Big Kahuna just right, you get the biggest splash and are soaked wet. This was all part of the classic 8 mile trip.  You get a chance to see wildlife, and hit some good rapids.  Prices for this excursion are Adults-$72, Kids (6-12) – $62, Kids 6 and under are not allowed (depending on conditions of the river).  The kids 12 and under get a free wet suit rental.  In all, Lewis and Clark Rafting was a great time, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is going to Jackson, Wyoming, soon.

Barnett-10

Lewis and Clark Whitewater Rafting in Jackson, Wyoming, is spectacular.  First of all, when you get there, they will ask you if you want a wetsuit.  I did – especially if you’re a mom or you want to jump in the water.  After that, you sign paperwork and get on a bus for a 15-30 minute drive to the drop off point.  Then, they get you a waterjacket and a lifejacket. When they send you off, they give you a paddle.  Then they show you how to row.  Once you get started it’s pretty flat, then it gets to some class 1 rapids – which are easy and calm. Then, you hit class  2 rapids, which were okay and medium; they were kind of fun.  After that, there were class 3 rapids, which were spectacular.  One of the class three rapids is called Big Kahuna, which was fun and got my family soaked.  It had a horizon.  This means it is a rock out of the water that drops down then back up it was a thriller.   During parts of the trip we could jump in; my brothers and I jumped in; our parents stayed in the raft to stay as dry as possible.  I sat in the middle of the boat, and I was happy to not paddle the boat. It was a a fun day, and I loved going whitewater rafting on the Snake River.  I would definitely do it again.  It was one of my best things to do on my family’s trip.  I think you will love it too.  If you go to Jackson, Wyoming, I suggest you do this.

Gun Barrel, Jackson, WY

Hadley- 13

The Gun Barrel in Jackson, WY, is a steakhouse with all different kinds of game meat. Therefore, the prices are a little more expensive, so if you are looking for something cheap – this isn’t it.  For dinner you can choose beef, buffalo, elk, venison, trout, salmon, chicken, and pork chops. There is more to choose within these categories.  What I got were the buffalo ribs. The ribs come with two sides: the vegetable and one other dish of your choice.  The vegetable of the day for us sugar snap peas. They, in my opinion, were one of the best things on the plate.  I also got the mashed potatoes; they were also really good. The buffalo ribs were good to try, but I probably wouldn’t get them again.  They were a little tough and chewy.  They definitely weren’t fall off the bone type of ribs.  The best thing I had was my dad’s mixed game plate.  I tried his venison sausage; it was really good. It tasted like summer sausage.  It had really good spices, and the meat was also really good. T he prices for my ribs were $28.95.  My dad’s mixed game plate included elk steak, buffalo prime rib, and venison sausage.  This also come with the vegetable and one side. This was $46.95.  If you are ever in the Jackson area, I would definitely recommend eating there, but make sure you have reservations.

Barnett – 10

The Gun Barrel in Jackson,Wyoming, is a wild game restaurant that is really good. It has steak, buffalo, elk, trout, salmon, chicken and deer. I got the kids New York strip steak which was really good.  It ran for $13.00 which is one of the least expensive things there. For a side I picked sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar on them.  They were delicious.  All of the things on the menu were expensive, but my parents really wanted to try game food.  My dad wanted to try a little bit of everything, so he got the mixed game grill which was elk steak, buffalo prime rib, and venison bratwurst.  He really liked it, and it was a great choice for him.  It was $46.95.  My mom got the elk chop; she really enjoyed hers, but she had still some left over. That ran for $32.95.  My brother got elk chops and like every 15 year old boy, he cleaned his plate, so he definitely liked his a lot.  They also were $32.95.  My other brother got the buffalo ribs which were good because they made their own barbecue sauce.  Everyone tried a little bite of his buffalo ribs; they were a little tough and chewy, but it was okay.  That was $28.95.  Overall the meals were spectacular in my opinion, I would defiantly go there again if I was in Jackson, Wyoming.  If anybody goes to Jackson, they should definitely go there, but you need to plan ahead and make reservations.

 

Geyser Gazers, Yellowstone National Park ,WY

Hadley- 13

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.

Barnett-10

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.

Keys Cable Park – Marathon, Florida

John- 15
Keys Cable Park is a place where you can learn how to wakeboard or learn more about wake boarding.  Keys Cable Park is located on the Northern part of Marathon Key.  The cable park is in a small mangrove area and is closed out from the ocean.  The park has two towing cables:  one for advanced and one for beginners.  The cables run diagonally across the lake area.  The cable park has a couple of options to choose from for wake boarding. One of the options is learning how to use and ride a wakeboard.  The rates for this is 39 dollars for a half hour, 49 dollars for one hour, and 69 dollars for two hours.  The best choice would be for a half hour.  In a half hour, I learned how to get up on the wakeboard, how to change directions on a wakeboard, and the basics of how to wakeboard.  The coaching staff was excellent in showing what to do and the best way to do it.  Another thing that is optional would be for the more advanced group of wake boarders.  The option is rental time for the obstacle course area.  With this choice, you ride the obstacle course and are not being coached in anything.
The Keys Cable Park is a great place to stop as you are heading down past Marathon Key or if you are staying on Marathon Key. It is a great place for most ages that want to learn or know how to wake board.  Both my dad and my little sister had a great time and learned a lot.  It is a great place to stop if heading down to Key West to stretch your legs and get out of the car for a while.  If you are just there to watch your kids, there is a small beach-like area where you can lay in the sun and rest while your kids are learning how to ride on a wakeboard.

Hadley- 12
Keys Cable Park is a lake/inlet where you can learn how to wakeboard.  If you have already wakeboarded before, then you can try tricks or can just have a good time practicing.  Keys Cable Park is located in the northern part of Marathon, Florida.  Here you do not get pulled by a boat like you might think – you get pulled by a cable.  The cable is operated by one of the employees.  If you go there to learn, they told us that it is much easier than by a boat. This is because the cable pulls not only forward but also upward. This keeps you from falling down into the water, like you might with a boat towing you. We had never been wakeboarding before, but now that we received a wakeboard for Christmas, we wanted to learn.  We didn’t want to wait for the summer to try it out.  Their instructions were not the best, but doing it on a cable was a lot easier than doing it on a boat.
First when you get there, you get fitted for a helmet and your wakeboard. Then, you will wait for your lesson to start.  You will get on the side of the edge of the dock, and they will pull you up.  There are two different spots that you can be towed from – you can have a lesson or just a ride.  One has a lot of obstacles and the other doesn’t.  Just be aware that the water is salt water.  While you watch your kids you can sit on a little beach, or if your kids are taking a break then they can get in the water.  Don’t worry about changing either; there is a changing room that you can use when you get there.  There is also a bathroom, so you can go the bathroom when you get there.  If you are ever in Marathon, Florida, then Keys Cable Park is definitely worth a stop.

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.

Canlan Ice Sports – Fort Wayne, Indiana

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.

Doc’s Beach House (on the beach) — Bonita Springs, Florida

John–

Doc’s Beach House is a good place to eat if you are at the beach.  Doc’s is located in Bonita Spring, Florida.  You have four options to sit and eat —  inside, inside up stairs, outside by the beach, and outside in the front entrance.  The owners are from chicago and have a lot of chicago stuff like the Bulls ( basketball team) and Bears (football team).  They have a bunch of diffrent colors, like light green, blue, and red decorations and things hanging all over the walls.  They have only one men’s and women’s restrooms.  The restrooms are really small!  They have many different appetizers, but we picked chicken wings and fried zucchini.  The chicken wings were really good and juicy.  The wings were medium, but they were not very spicy – almost mild.  The zucchini were good, and came with a really great sauce.  It was a texas (spicy) ranch dipping sauce.  The zucchini were in crispy strips not in round circle pieces.  For our entree we got their pizza.  It was one of the worst pizzas I have ever had; it was terrible.  (This is my personal opinion.  My uncle thinks their pizza is great and orders it every time he is in town.)  The pizza was burnt and had this nasty wierd taste.  So if you do go for dinner get the wings they are the best.  On other visits, we have ordered the clam strips, tuna salad sandwich, fried grouper.  I would recommend any of those items over the pizza.

Hadley–1o

Doc’s Beach House is right on the the beach.   We sat outside when we went this time.  If you sit inside, you can go upstairs.  It is really cool up there.  It is decorated with all sorts of sports stuff.  It is also air conditioned upstairs for in the summer when it is hot.   W e got the chicken wings, the fried zuchini, and a large pizza.  The chicken wings are breaded and fried.  For the chicken wings you can get mild, medium, and hot; we got medium and they were good.  The fried zuchini was cut in sticks and fried; they were really good.  Now the pizza we ordered was okay.  We got pepperoni, sausage, and mushrooms; the crust is thin crust.  It had a lot of cheese and the toppings, but it was just okay. The atmosphere is pretty cool because if you sit inside then you can see the beach.  I have been to Doc’s before, and I got the shrimp.  It was better than the pizza.

Barnett — 8

Doc’s is a restaurant.  You can sit upstairs, downstairs, outside, or by the beach.  It is big with all of that seating room.  It is nice because when it is hot outside you are right by the beach.  You can just wear casual clothes, like a shirt and shorts with flip flops.  You could wear your swimsuit and sit outside even.  The wings were good.  They are were kind of hot and really juicy.  I also had their pizza.  It was kind of good.  I did not like the crust.  It should have been better for waiting 45 minutes to get it.  You have to wait that long if you order pizza there.  The sausage was really spicy on the pizza, and I did not like that.  There sauce on the pizza was tangy and not good.  I would go there again and have something else.  I went to the bathroom, but I almost got locked in it.  They have a slide switch and not a door lock.  I could not get it open and couldn’t get out.  I had to pound on the door and keep pulling on the latch.  Don’t go to the bathroom at Doc’s.