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Have you noticed there’s no other place for teenagers to talk about travel?

Here you can read what other teenagers have to say about travel – from day trips to journeys abroad, shopping, eating, coasting, and other activities on vacation. Also, parents can read what teenagers like and dislike about family vacations and destinations so that they can plan a family trip that YOU will enjoy.

 

Teen Travel Talk is also interested in YOUR travel experiences. If you want to become a paid blogger and publish your travel stories on Teen Travel Talk, click “contact us” on the left hand side, fill out your contact information and tell us why you’d be a great teen travel blogger.

 



Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando

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In honor of Universal Studios Hollywood opening the brand-new Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I thought I should talk about my similar experience in Orlando. As any classic Harry Potter fan, I was so shocked at how Universal created the park based exactly what is pictured in the movies and books. I fell in love with everything about Hogwarts and the entire area!

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Look at that perfection!

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And my favorite place in the entire world…

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Honeydukes is what you would imagine it would be like, with sweet smells spilling out from the shop. The best chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans are there (well you know, some of the beans are nasty but nonetheless, best candy store ever!).

Of course, we had to try the world famous Butterbeer. Now let me tell you, it was AMAZING! The sweet butterscotch flavor tasted like heaven! This is a MUST for anyone that goes!

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I honestly cannot wait to return, or at least visit for the first time the new Wizarding World now open in Hollywood.

The Greatest Tubing There Ever Was

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Jordan K.

 

It was a beautiful sabbath which ended in a moving ceremony. The candle was lit and the smell of fire filled the room. Rabbi Shulman led the service, ending a beautiful sabbath. With the clock ticking Rabbi Spear got up and told us that we had only ten minutes to get ready. All bundled up in three layers of pants three layers of shirts and a jacket hat and scarf, we headed to Valcartier on  a yellow school bus. On the bus, kids were singing, getting themselves psyched up for snow tubing.

They opened the doors of the bus and we went outside, as the cold breeze hit us, sending a chill through our bodies.  We got lift tickets and snapped them to our jackets. Excitedly, we walked through the gates and saw the numerous slopes the faculty had tried to describe.  I never could have imagined what was in front of me and a huge smile spread across my face. I started to run towards the mountain of tubes, pulling the heavy tubes towards the lifts. Waiting anxiously to board the lift to get to the top of the mountain, we tried to shield ourselves from the cold wind.

We reached the top of the mountain and  headed to the steepest track in the complex called Mount Everest. I climbed the icy steps leading to the top of the slide and with each step, my heart was beating faster and faster.  I could feel my heart pounding in my chest like it did when I rode the scariest roller coaster I had ever seen. It was so steep that I was certain I would throw up or faint if I moved any closer. We sat down, and prepared with a countdown for the slide.  The barrier opened and we began to drop, leaving our stomachs at the top of the mountain. The wind and ice slammed against our faces, freezing our jaws shut.  Before we knew it, we were stopped at the bottom.  We started going crazy.  It was over in five seconds, yet it was the best five seconds of the night. This slide definitely lived up to its name.

Chicano Park, San Diego

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For every culture, there is so much history. My favorite places to visit are the ones with a fascinating story behind it. Chicano Park, built in April 20, 1970, has an amazing story.

Brief History of Park

As a result of San Diego’s proximity to Mexico, the area has become predominately bicultural. Going back to the late 1800s, that specific region in San Diego was known as East End, and later had the name changed to Logan Heights once Mexican-Americans settled in the 1910s due to the Mexican Revolution. They referred to their home as Barrio Logan.

There were nearly 20,000 Mexican Americans making it the second largest Chicano community on the west coast.

 During World War II, Barrio Logan became industrialized which kicked out many of its residents. With toxic junkyards and the establishment of Interstate 5, the Barrio was being cut in half. These changes had many being forced to locate to other areas and the people accepted without question the changes made to their community. At the time of 1963, Chicano activists around the nation were fighting for their rights and this inspired the people of Barrio Logan to do the same for their loved community.

Their first demand to the government was to be given land in their Barrio to build a recreational park. In response, they were granted a tiny piece of land, which was nothing what they envisioned for their dream park. Shortly afterwards, the people patiently asked for some more land, specifically, the one that was under the Interstate 5 bridge. Instead of hearing a response back, bulldozers arrived on the land below the bridge to start construction on a Highway Patrol Station. Mario Solis, student of San Diego City College, heard the news and immediately took action. He gathered his family members and friends to protest the construction by surrounding the land with a human chain.

As the Chicano flag was raised, the people fought for the land they would use for their park. The number of people protesting the construction of the station increased as people from all over San Diego came to support the park. The protesters began planting trees and plants to commence the building of their park. Twelve days later, as the people of Barrio Logan withstood the police, they were granted the land.

The anniversary of this colorful park is still celebrated every year on April 20.

My Visit to this Park

The entire park is alive with color. The incredible artwork displayed on the columns that hold up the bridge depicts the historical struggles the Chicanos have faced. The talented artists portrayed the story in their own way that gives life to the history.

My favorite piece of work is the Historical Mural. It contains all of the famous activists and faces in the Mexican culture. It summarizes what the Chicanos/Mexicans journey to get to where they are today.

They also have 2 playgrounds. I obviously took advantage of the chance to play on this amazing playground.

I can’t wait to go back again and look more into detail the beautiful murals.

The Great Wall

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On a burning hot humid day in Beijing, China a group of forty two stood in the sweltering sun anxiously waiting to be cleared to go through the gates. Just as the tour guide told our Rabbi that it was time to start the journey, we all ran through the gates excited to see what we have all been waiting for;  The Great Wall of China.  We were all disappointed. All we saw was a long road with a bunch of locals trying to sell us goods.  Our first reaction was, “where is this historical site?!” The tour guide explained to us that we had to walk up this tall mountain in order to actually get up to The Great Wall.

One of my peers asked me to take out the speakers as we blasted music and motivated everyone to hike up the mountain in order to see this, so far, disappointing landmark.  As we continued to sing and laugh we didn’t realize how much ground we’d covered. We finally decided to raise our heavy heads drenched in sweat to see the beautiful historical site.  We finally made it; we were at The Great Wall of China.

As soon as we finally arrived at our destination the cameras came rocketing out.  The tour guide was trying to tell us all the facts and the history behind the wall but everyone was to overwhelmed with excitement and joy that we refused to do anything else but capture the moment on our devices. When everyone was done with their pictures we all then wanted to understand what is so great about this “Great Wall”.  One of the kids that was paying attention started describing to the rest of the group that the wall was made to keep out the invaders of the seventh century, the Mongolians.  The wall stands a whopping 25 feet high, 13,170 miles long and was as thick as 30 feet.  Although the The Great Wall of China still stands today it doesn’t have a purpose, but it continues to be one of the greatest wonders of the world because of its importance in history and its incredible size.

As my friends and I walked the wall, we then started to fully comprehend how extraordinary and fascinating this landmark was.  It was one of the most unbelievable experiences I have ever encountered in my entire life.  I strongly recommend visiting this unbelievable place.  One cannot fully understand how outstanding the Great Wall truly is until they experience it for himself.  

Belated Greetings from Peru

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I was just in Pisac, Peru for a gathering of Quakers from all over the world. It was definitely an interesting experience, as I met people from a variety of theological, spiritual, and cultural backgrounds (as Quakerism is a broad, global movement) and engaged with different traditions and ways of relating to the Divine. That said, it was also just a really beautiful place to be.

This selfie barely captures where I was. Behind me were hills, with pre-Inquisition terraces and structures still scattered throughout the surrounding mountains. It is apparently the rainy season, but every day in Pisac (an hour drive from Cusco) while I was there was packed with sun and was consistently in the mid to high 70s. All the sweaters I packed were left in my bag.

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Here’s a view of the Sacred Valley at this time of the year. Yes, I got to see this everyday for almost two weeks. It was… amazing, to say the least.

The high altitude took a day or two to get used to, and I had a mild headache push me to bed early the first night, but with the help of coca leaves and lots and lots of water, I transitioned fairly smoothly in the mountain air.

Sacred-Valley

This region was at the heart of the Incan society, as the nearby Cusco was once the Incan capital. There are plenty of tours of the ancient structures that reveal the genius of the Incans, showing off their advanced architecture and agricultural technology. The terraced farms are breathtaking.

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I’ll be posting more about Peru soon, but I thought I’d provide readers with a glimpse into the Incan paradise I got to enjoy the past few weeks.

Peace and joy!

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