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My Trip to New Orleans, Louisiana

mardi grasIn New Orleans there is a lot to do from Mardi Gras to the French Quarters to The Saints football team and Pelicans basketball team.

When we were in New Orleans we went to Mardi Gras most days. Mardi Gras is a festival celebrated from Christmas to Fat Tuesday and is called the Carnival Period. They do many parades at which they throw out everything from beads and stuffed animals to coconuts, shoes and purses. We went to many parades and the best ones were the ones where police enforced watchers to stay back from the parade route. Some parades we went to people got too close to the floats and almost got run over.

If you are my age (15), you almost get nothing. If you are my brother’s age (10) then you get a bunch of stuff thrown to you. He got 26 stuffed animals. Wefrench quarters still got bags of beads though. It is very easy to get hurt when they throw things out at you. We saw many people get hit in the face with bags of beads.

My favorite part was the French Quarters where we went and got Beignets, which is a French pastry that is like mini fried dough. New Orleans is also where Jazz comes from and Louis Armstrong. 4starsIn the French Quarters, the streets are narrow and the buildings are all two stories tall. That is where Bourbon Street is.

I give New Orleans 4 stars because I thought it was a unique city and had a lot to offer.


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My Visit to Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ

Chase Field 2015-01-16 11.17.02When we got into Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the field was covered with dirt for the Monster truck event. This was disappointing because we didn’t get to see the field, but we took a walk around the park, went into the press room, one of the suites, and the home team’s dugout.

It was fun to see the whole stadium, and it was air conditioned. It was a very big building because it was a dome, and it smelled fresh in there. In the Chase Field 2015-01-16 12.07.32stadium there was a pool, fitness center, and a TGIFridays overlooking the field. The tour is $9 per person.4stars

I give Chase Field 4 stars because the tour was fun, but I could not see the field and the gift shop was closed. The field was one of the nicer ones located right outside of downtown Phoenix; in the summer people pass out ice water because it can get to over 110 degrees. The dome costs less than $5 each time to close and open so if you by a hot dog you have paid for the roof to open or close.

Chase Field 2015-01-16 11.10.19

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Tombstone – the Wild West

Tombstone_7495In Southern Arizona there is a town called Tombstone that was created in the 1800’s from a silver boom. This town is the definition of the Wild West and is the site of many movies from its past, including Tombstone, Wyatt Earp and 3:10 to Yuma. In its past Tombstone was home to the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral that took the lives of three cowboys with 30 shots fired in less than 30 seconds.

Now this town is full of history and has live gun fight reenactments in the streets. It is the closest you will get to the old west where everyone is dressed up in old cowboy outfits. It is a must see town. In this town you can also see many filming locations used in the movies. The town had burned down twice so there is not much of the original buildings left but there is still minor props and caves and a lot of history.4stars

I give this town 4 stars because unlike Deadwood, SD it is very kid friendly and there are no casinos. It is very different from any other town I have been to.


A Review of the Las Vegas Strip, Nevada

Las Vegas SignThe Las Vegas strip is a very weird and interesting place and one of my favorites. Not only is it clean compared to Hollywood Boulevard, but there is stuff for everyone to do from shows to shops to rides.

There are lights everywhere and people in costumes. There are so many things to do that it would take about a week to see the whole strip. All of the Las Vegas cuphotels are either high end or themed. I5stars recommend taking the tram around the strip because we walked 12 miles in one day and didn’t even see half of the strip. There are many different restaurants and cafes. Shops vary from Ice and Oxygen Bars to high-end clothes and jewelry stores. I loved Las Vegas and I think everyone should get a chance to visit. I give it 5 stars out of 5.

Interesting people Las Vegas edition. Please vote for your favorite:

Ghetto Elmo: On the streets of Las Vegas there was an overweight looking Elmo with chains around his neck. He was going around harassing people for money when they walked by.Las Vegas

Cowboy fan: Leaving Caesars palace there was a cowboy fan jumping around hitting signs and screaming at the top of his lungs about the recent Cowboy playoff win.

Anything for money: On the side of the street these few guys were holding up signs that said “a kick in the nuts for money”. If you paid them, you could kick them where they shouldn’t be kicked.

Las Vegas VenetianR rated advertisers: On pretty much every turn we took there were men and women, most over the age of 60, handing out nude pictures of women advertising strip clubs and night clubs. They were handing them out to almost everyone there no matter what age. By 8:00pm the advertisements were all over the ground everywhere.

Pete Rose: At a store in the shopping plaza between Mandalay Bay and Luxor there was a music/sports store where you could find Pete Rose and meet him for $75 minimum. The person running this event said “imagine if it was someone like Ted Williams wouldn’t you want to meet him?” Comparing one of the greatest hitters of all time to someone who bet against his own team to win the World Series.

Drunk Gambler: Outside of Harrahs Hotel there was a guy swearing at the hotel. He said the “F word” about four times yelling out loud in a crowded area. We assumed he lost money in the casino.

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A Review of Hollywood Boulevard in California

Hollywood SignWhen I think about Hollywood Boulevard in California, I think of a nice long street with lots of lights and nice buildings. But it’s almost the opposite. It is very dirty and not very appealing. At night it gets very crowded; people are rude and there’s not much to do without spending hundreds of dollars. Prices for food or souvenirs are tripled and they aren’t as nice or as good of quality. There are hundreds of pan handlers. For every star on the walk of fame there is someone trying to sell you something. They don’t say that it cost money they say “a picture for donations” so it’s mandatory.Hollywood Star

I was approached by someone and he said “here have my FREE CD.” He wrote my name on it and handed it to me. After that he asked “do you have money to give me now.” I told him I didn’t have any money so he took it back and walked away. Another guy dressed like Freddy from Nightmare on Elm Street approached my 10-year-old bother and asked him if he wanted a picture with him. He said yes then the man went over to my parents and said I pose for money; we walked away.1star

Hollywood StripThe streets were so crowded that it took over an hour to walk a block. Don’t even get me started about the Starbucks line. I give Hollywood 1 star out of 5, 0 if possible. Hollywood is a place I will not go back to.

Places to go around the area instead of Hollywood Boulevard :

Universal Studios City Walk: This was by far my favorite shopping area. Not very crowded, and many shops and restaurants located right outside the park. It was very clean and was nice. All the buildings were unique and there was a bunch of lights. 5 stars

Santa Monica Pier: The End or Start of Route 66 as well as many rides, shops, games and restaurants right on the beach in a very nice area. 4 starsHollywood Night

Downtown Disney CA: Located in the nearby city of Anaheim next to the Disneyland theme parks. There are shops, restaurants, and many lights. This is a great place to visit with many shops from Disney to sports. 4 stars


A review of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, CA

Alcatraz_3897Alcatraz Island, located in the San Francisco Bay, is not only a prison but it is now a National Park.

Before it was a prison, Alcatraz was a fort called Fort Alcatraz in the Civil War not only to defend the gold but to keep out Confederates. Alcatraz was set as a prison in the year 1934. In 1963 it was shut down and became a Native American Reservation.

Alcatraz is Spanish for pelican and is also nicknamed the rock for being such a rocky island. Alcatraz is home to over 50 species of different birds and has a lot of wildlife. When Alcatraz was a prison it had a whole community with a few hundred people in it. The island was home to mostly the jailers or guard’s families. Research shows that the families said it was like living in a town with a bad neighborhood.

My family and I went to Alcatraz Island in November. What you have to do is take a ferry to the island then explore it and leave when you want. On the island there are nature trails with vast Alcatraz 2014-11-23 14.00.59amounts of birds and plants. If you look close enough you may even see a fish or a shark because there are five species of shark in San Francisco Bay.

Alcatraz_4013There are also walks through the remains of the fort and school house and the main attraction – the cell house. In the cell house there is a 45 minute audio tour that takes you through the entire cell house and gives you a brief history of the place, including attempted escapes, battles, and voices from the guards and the inmates. I highly recommend the tour because it is an easy fun way to learn about the prison.

I give Alcatraz Island 4 out of 5 stars because it was very cool to see the island in person and feel the history that was there. I would give it 5 stars but the tour was very expensive and there is no parking at the ferry; there is only parking garages and street parking a little ways away.


My Review of Disneyland in California

California Adventure 2014-12-03 09.23.35My family and I went to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA on December 1st, 2nd, and 7th. It was done up very well for Christmas and had great shows with fireworks, fire and some explosions.

There are three areas that make up Disneyland: Downtown Disney, which is free and has all the shops. Disney California Adventure Park, which is basedDisneyland 2014-12-04 20.20.46 on California and has a section on Radiator Springs from the Cars movie. This one was my favorite. Both parks had different themed areas and many rides. Then there is Disneyland Park, which is the main park and biggest one.4stars

Disneyland Park has the castle fireworks and the majority of the shows. If you are trying to avoid crowds at Disneyland… you can’t. We went on a rainy Tuesday and there were still thousands of people. Overall, I rate Disneyland 4 out of 5 stars because it was very cool and fun but the price to get in, and for food, was very expensive.

A review of my favorite rides:

Hollywood Hotel Tower of Terror (CA Adventure): You are in a broken service elevator and every floor you go up it tells you a different part of the story until you get to the top and see the whole park. 5 stars

Radiator Springs Racers (CA Adventure): This is very similar to Test Track at Epcot in Florida. You drive through Radiator Springs until you get on the race track and race another car down the track. 5 starsCalifornia Adventure 2014-12-03 11.50.02

Indiana Jones Adventure (Disneyland Park): You are in a jeep going through a temple to find Indiana Jones when unexpected things happen. It feels like you are actually there. 5 stars

Pacific Pier Roller Coaster (CA Adventure): One of the smoothest roller coasters I’ve ever been on. There is unexpected boosts and drops. There is also a loop and light tunnels that play music. 5 stars