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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.

 



New York, New York – on the West Coast

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We all know and love the giant East Coast city of New York, NYC. So much so, that Vegas has a hotel themed after the big apple. New York, New York is a hotel on the end of the famous strip in Las Vegas, Nevada.

NY NY

Like all of the hotels on the strip, the theme doesn’t just stop at the name. New York, New York recreates the famous city sky line of tall buildings for the exterior of hotel, with the Statue of Liberty front and center. You’ll notice a roller coaster (think Cooney Island) is in the mix of the concrete jungle. Yes, the coaster is real and guests can ride for a small fee.

New York New York

One never has to leave their New York, New York hotel with so much to do inside! Live entertainment including “Zumanity” from Cirque Du Soleil. The sweet smell of chocolate filled the air when you walked into the Hershey’s store. And you can not go hungry with food chooses that range from a pizzeria, to a fancy Steak House and everything in-between (including an all American small diner).

Of course in Vegas, the tourists are attractive to the casino, and New York, New York is no different. If testing your luck at a slot machine or maybe roulette table is more your speed, they have that available too. Staying at New York, New York in Las Vegas, Nevada brought some East Coast hustle and bustle to our West Coast vacation.

Bird Land

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Although I have traveled to several places in China, I personally have never been to the tropical island of Hainan, where I experienced many new adventures and excursions in December of 2014. Surrounded by the South China Sea, Hainan is located 469 km southwest of Hong Kong. Even though it was December, the temperature was hovering around 70 degrees and along the streets, there were many palm trees and bright flowers creating a tropical paradise. On this splendid day, my grandparents and I went to a local bird park located between Haikou and Sanya.

bird park

Entering the park, I was enthralled by the canopy of trees and various bushes around me.

bird 2

As I strolled under the green umbrella, passing the glassy pond and vivid water lilies, I ran into a bird play pen, where locals were feeding the birds with specks of food. Out of my curious mind, I went inside the play-pen where workers placed food into my hand and about 20 to 30 species of birds came swarming in unison onto my hand, devouring every crumb and bit that was on my skin! Initially, I felt awkward that subtle sharpness was pricking at my skin.

feeding birds

But after a while, I got acclimated to the birds feeding off my hand and arm. To my amazement, I discovered that no two birds of the same species were alike, in that every bird had their own unique pattern of colors and feather texture. As I continued my walk through the verdant acres of the bird park, I ran into an open area with a wide stage and wooden benches where a bird show was imminent. The bird show instructors used hand gestures and small voice calls to order the birds to perform tricks or do a task.

tricycle

In the above picture, the macaw is riding a tricycle to reach the other end of the stage under the direction of supervisors. Did you know that birds can solve math problems? The audience yelled out a simple math equation in Mandarin and a bird would use their mouths to bring over the correct sum to you. For example for 2 + 8 = 10, the audience would shout out 2 + 8 and the bird would bring back the 10 card.

Overall, Hainan Island was a memorable place that I would recommend for anyone who loves traveling and nature!

Being a Hamster for a Couple of Minutes.

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It’s been on the bucket list forever, and last summer I was finally able to cross it off. These hamster balls can be found at county fairs, state fairs, farmer’s markets, etc. Some simply laugh at those inside and think it is only for little kids. Well, my family and I are living proof that that assumption is completely wrong…

20140612_183458

Keep in mind, that it was summer, it was hot in there! Note: for those that may be claustrophobic, this is not recommended.

20140612_183503

It is very difficult to stand up. But it’s fun trying! So what they do is basically put you in a plastic ball that they inflate. It looks like this:

20140612_183527

And then they push you into the gigantic pool where others are trying to get up and move your ball and have you fall.

I’m glad I got to do this, and it was only $8 a person (at least where I was at).

There were adults (I’m talking 29 year olds in here stumbling and balancing) their way to trying to stand up. It’s really entertaining to watch.

Believe it or not, this was a workout. You definitely sweat in there! The next day I wasn’t sure if I was sore because of all the moving around in the ball or because of how hard I was laughing!

Pinball Hall of Fame

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Because there is such a place! Outside of Las Vegas, NV is a warehouse type building, not eye catching from the outside, but walk inside and you are step by in time before PlayStation, Xbox 360, and the Wii.

Whack a Mole

Have you ever stepped inside an arcade? You might see Dance Dance Revolution and a basketball hoop that will move once you swipe an access card. However, years ago, arcades were filled with pinball machines. This is a world where games were played in a physical ball and physical machine. No HD graphics, no computer systems. Just a spring, a ball, and maybe some flickers on the side. The goal: to get the ball to bounce throughout the machine hitting specific walls and stumps to gain points.

Outside PinballPinball inside

Outside Las Vegas, NV, on our way to the airport we were able to pop in and get a glimpse of pinball games over time. Including one of my life long favorites: Whack-A-Mole. Where you hit the “mole” that always looked more like an alligator when it sneaks out of its hole. The Pinball Hall of Fame is filled wall to wall, corner to corner, with old school games of this nature. Gamers of all agers were putting quarters (yes actual quarters, not credit cards!) into machines and testing their skills.

Travel Rule #2: Traveling with Family can be fun (no seriously)

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costa rica

(How I wish I was there right now…)

Hi all!

My family travels a lot. My dad is from Peru and my mom is from Canada (how they met or where I come in is still a mystery). We have family in almost every continent except for Asia and Australia, so traveling is kind of a necessity over the holidays. We have this tradition of having a warm Christmas, and a cold Christmas. For a cold Christmas, we either stay in Chicago or go to the boonies of Canada (limited wifi…) to visit my Grandpa for Christmas. A warm Christmas comes next year, and this is the time when we travel. Last year, we went to Costa Rica and sat by the beach while it was -15F outside. I came back to school with a tan (okay sunburn)…My family has become much closer this way. Sure, there are times where we want to rip each other’s eyeballs out in the middle of the airport because someone ate the last poptart, but we always make up.  There are so many stories I could tell you, but that would make this post too long.

Another aspect of family is your friends. I go to school 8 hours away from home. It’s hard being without my family, so my friends have taken place. We’ve all become so close, and we’re always going on adventures. Take Friday night for example. A group of us decided to go to a bigger town about an hour from where we live so we could go extreme trampolining. The place was closed, so we just drove around the town. At a red light, I scream “Chinese Fire Drill!” For those of you who don’t know, a Chinese fire drill is when you are sitting in a car and then you have to jump out and get in a new seat.  Well, my roommate lost her phone that night in the middle of the intersection. We didn’t find out until we were back on campus, around 11:30 at night. So we drove back… and had fun the entire way. Did I mention that they are also slightly illegal and I don’t condone it?

So in short (or long), traveling with family can be fun. Whether it’s your biological, adopted, or friends that strike resemblances to your mother, if you travel with them, you will find adventure and fun in everything.

Go forth my wanderlust friends!

-Anna

 

 

 

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