Marco Island 2017

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Marco Island is an annual vacation spot we do every year. As a family we have been to Marco 13 times, I’ve been going since my first birthday! If you haven’t heard of Marco Island it is located in southwest Florida, and located near Naples. This year we went to go see sun sets, went paddle boarding, and fished A LOT.

Almost every day it rained and I heard the week before we got there, there was 18 inches of rain. So that means there was a lot of mosquitoes. Everywhere you went there would be bugs, and you would get bitten and it would itch, it was disgusting! When it wasn’t raining we would go to the beach to see a sunset. The sun would make the sky turn different colors such as purple, orange, and pink; it was beautiful. During the day on the beach we went paddle boarding. It was my first time and it was amazing, I recommend going paddle boarding. Where I went the water was clear and I was able to see fish and cool shells, I saw a sting ray, a crab, and a couple of sand dollars.

For the past three years we have done a fishing competition to see who can catch the most fish, and every time I have won. The rental house we stay at has a dock, and we fish out of it into a canal, which eventually leads into the Gulf of Mexico. We usually catch snapper, sheepshead, and catfish. This year we rented a pontoon boat and we went to this small island not far from Marco. When we arrived at the island, I baited my hook with shrimp and started to fish. I caught eight fish, seven whiting and one catfish, which helped me gain points in the fishing competition. I am certain I caught the same exact fish three different times because it was the same size, I caught him in the same spot, and it already had holes in his lip. When we were driving back to the Marina I was given the chance to drive the boat. The one thing I learned was “Red Right Returning.” This means the red buoys should be on the right side of the boat when returning from the ocean. The next day we went on this charter boat to go off shore fishing. We have done off shore fishing before and we catch about 50 fish and keep about 25 fish, and then eat fish for dinner. This year was totally different. At our first stop we were trying to catch snapper and gag grouper. We fished there for about an hour and a half. I caught two fish…… I caught a small snapper which we weren’t allowed to keep because it was too small and I also caught a bait fish. The coolest part of the boat ride was seeing a nine foot tiger shark swimming behind the boat. The captain said that is why we were not catching snapper. The next fishing spot we fished at was even farther out into the Gulf. I caught one fish there, it was a small snapper again and it is called a grunt snapper because it likes to make noises like a pig. We used the grunt as bait to try and catch a big fish. The grunt didn’t catch anything big, but someone else caught something big. The captain said it was either a nurse shark or a goliath grouper that weighed about 100 pounds. Eventually the line snapped and we didn’t know for sure what it was. In total my family caught about 15 fish and we were only allowed to keep four snappers. At the end of the trip I won the fishing competition with 12 fish and my brother came second with nine fish.

So this year’s trip to Marco Island was really fun and I am glad I tried out new things such as, Paddle Boarding and learning how to drive a boat. I know I will be returning next year and I hope to make a lot more memories.

Skiing over Winter Break

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Over winter break I went up north. First we stopped in Chicago to see family. We played in some snow piles and that’s the first time I have ever seen real snow (even though it wasn’t a lot). We met up with some family the next couple days. But then we went to Wisconsin. We stayed at the Grand Geneva Resort. In Wisconsin there was more snow than there was in Chicago. 

The day after we arrived we went skiing on a hill that was close to the hotel. I have skied before and I was excited. I had lots of layers on and wasn’t cold when I was outside. When we arrived we took lessons for about 30 minutes. After I went on my first hill and it was really fun. I liked the wind blowing in my face and the speed down the hill. I wasn’t the best at the chair lift but I have gotten better over time. I rode the green trails for a while. Green trails are the easiest. But the next couple days I tried a black diamond, which is the second hardest hills. I completed the black diamond and I kept riding it until got bored. Hopefully I can go skiing again sometime because I had a great time. 

 

Chicago Family Trip 2016

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Our first family trip of summer in 2016 is in Illinois. We stated in a suburb of Chicago which was Arlington Heights. We saw family from all over the state from my mom’s side. When we had a small family reunion some of the family went fishing. But we didn’t catch anything. It was nice to see everyone again.

In Arlington Heights we went to two different pools. They both had diving boards which we don’t have in Florida.  One had a high dive which was scary when you looked off the edge but it was fun jumping off. But this pool had more people then the other pool. The pool closest to where we’re saying had two regular diving boards and a water slide which end 5ft above the water. The water was 12ft deep and I jumped of the diving the board and touched the ground.

We also visited a little of down town and we went to a new museum and it was the history of TV and I would say it would be go to check it out once but I wouldn’t go back until a long time. We also visited Maggie Daily Park which is a large park pin the city and I would recommend going one day.

We went to three different beaches all on Lake Michigan, which is my favorite lake. My favorite beach we went to was Gillson Beach, I liked the most because it had large swimming areas, a decent amount of people, and no rocks. The other breaches we went to were Glencoe beach and Illinois beach state park. The state had rough waves good for surfing or skim boarding but not for swimming.

I had fun seeing some family again and getting out of the house. As a family we are driving back to Florida from Illinois and collecting all the Pokemon. #TeamBlue

Trip to Disneyland

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As you probably know is that I go to Disney World a lot because my dad works there. But recently I went to Disneyland California. The reason we went was because my dad was on a business trip for the races. He helps with all the Run Disney race entertainment. I went to both of the parks which are Disneyland Park and California Adventure. The two different theme parks are very different. In Disneyland you can walk to everything. Downtown Disney was right under our hotel and we could walk to the parks from there. At Disney World have to take a bus, drive, or a monorail to get to everything.

At the Disneyland Park we went to most of the rides. We went all the main ones. We went on Hyper Space Mountain, which is space mountain but Star Wars themed. Star Tours, Buzz Light Year, and Pirates of the Caribbean. All of those we have at World and they are kind similar. Also The Haunted Mansion was closed because they were taking down all the Christmas lights. The Small World Ride also had a lot of lights in it and we got to see them. In Its a Small World they made all Christmas themed and mashed up jingle bells with the theme song from Its a Small World. There were different rides we went on too like a Nemo Submarine thing where you go into. Submarine and you go under water and join Nemo and friends. It was really cool it is really different from World. Finally at this park I went on Indiana Jones which was a little shaken but still fun. It reminds me of the mummy at Universal.

The other park was I think better because they had Cars Land. Cars used to be my favorite movie as a kid and it almost an exact replica of the movie. They had a ride there which was about you preparing for a race against another car. You get to see all the characters and at the end you race another car with people in it. Out of the 2 times I went I won both times. Some characters actually drive around Cars Land. They also had food where the Cozy Cones were little food stands and they were selling in one of those cones, bacon ma & cheese in a cone. It was ok the mac & cheese was good but the cone wasn’t all good. We also got souvenir cups like a little gas tank. We also got a BB-8 cup.

They also have Tower and Terror but unlike like World it doesn’t go forward. It was still fun though. We also got a chance to go on the water ride there which is a mountain shaped like a bear. The water ride was fun but I barely got wet which is a good thing and a bad thing counting that we were going up to the room right after. They have a roller coaster which is really fun. It has one loop, it screams music into your ear, and really smooth. I also heard that right before you go on the loop look up and while your upside down you can see a hidden Mickey. The ride is called California Scream’n.

For breakfast most of the mornings we went to a fast service kind of restaurant that served Mickey Waffles which are the best. The best rides at the parks were California Scream, Hyper Space Mountain, and Cars. I had a really fun time at LA and I want to come back when Haunted Mansion is open and the new Star Wars part is open.

Christmas 2015

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On Christmas Eve we went to church like we do every year on Christmas Eve. Some parts were boring, but it made my family happy. After church we went to my cousins house and we opened some presents and ate dinner. I got a new sports bag, a gift card, cloths, and a Orlando city soccer bag. Later that night we went home and got rest for Christmas.

CHRISTMAS!!! I woke up at 5:30 and woke up my brother then my parents. Like every Christmas we open the stockings first. I got a lot of cleaning products like deodorant, shampoo, and that sort of stuff. Then we went for gifts. I got a new soccer ball which is the one I wanted. I got another bag which has my school’s logo. The reason I got that for Christmas was because my step-dog ate the other one. I also got a couple video games such as Call of Duty Black Ops 3 and Star Wars battlefront. My family also got are own BB8 which is the new droid from the new Star Wars movie. And finally for the final bigger gifts. We are going to see Macklemore in concert, and this is     my first ever concert. I also got a new iPhone for Christmas. It is the new iPhone 5s. I now have a better phone then both of my parents. Finally the biggest gift of all is that we are going to Disney Land in California. My dad is going on a business and he is taking all of us with him. We are also staying in the Grand Californian right next to both of the parks.

After we settled down we got ready to go to my Nana and Papa’s house. For dinner we had turkey and ham and some other stuff. After we ate we opened presents. I got a MSU beach towel. I got a spinning lantern, cloths , a new chair for my desk and a soccer goal.

I had an amazing Christmas and I can’t wait till the next one. I also wonder what will happen in 2016. I don’t really have a new year resolution. I just want a good new year.

IMG_3620 Brendan-BB8

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Camp

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Animal camp is a Disney camp where you learn about animals and how to protect them. I’ve gone ever since kindergarten. This is my last year going and it has been really fun going.

Monday-Today at camp we were going under the sea. But first, we had to be dropped and find out what groups I am in and get ready. When you walk in you have lockers with your name on it. In your locker you have a camp shirt, button with your name on it, and a water bottle. The first things we did was group up and split apart in grade groups. We then learned about rules and other stuff but mainly in the morning we learned about what type of fish were at Epcot in the aquarium. There were trout, some jacks, grunts, rays, and sharks. We also drew a net where you could’ve used any technology even if it doesn’t exist. Then we had lunch we had chicken fingers, tater tots, and carrots. After the main trip was to go to Epcot to go snorkeling with the fish tat we learned about. So we had back stage passes with some workers and we put on a swim suit and started heading up stairs to go swim. It wasn’t regular snorkeling because we didn’t have a tube for air we had a tank for air and a mouth piece. It was really cool I saw sharks a lot of fish and rays. The Rays were swimming right under me. At the beginning, I was scared and then I got used to it. I even saw a big sea turtle! After we were done we went back and had a snack and watched YouTube videos.

Tuesday-Today I had an really fun time but I don’t think as fun as yesterday snorkeling. We went to Epcot and went to go on test track. It wasn’t a very long line because we were in fast pass but we still had to wait a little. I really like test track and I had a really fun time. After we went back and got lunch. For lunch we had tacos. I had three with meat lettuce, and tomato. After lunch we went straight to a animal pen with black rhinos. Her name was Onix. She was not in a very good mood today but we still saw her and we came close. What she can do is called a water squirt where she can pee from 5-8ft. on you. But luckily today she was nice. Then, we put her outside and went in her cage and set up food and what is called enrichment. Black Rhinos like to eat vegetables and leaves. Onix also likes spices because rhinos have good smell. Then finally we got to watch her eat. When we went back to our classroom we had snack we had grapes and yogurt but I only ate the grapes. After snack we backed up and went home.

WednesdayWednesday was really cool. We learned from gorilla keepers more about gorillas like, gorillas have silver backs when they are male and mature. They also showed us what they eat. They eat lettuce, nuts, oatmeal and more. Then we had lunch and for lunch was pizza, watermelon, and salad. Today we were going to safari but it was closed for some reason. So we went on Expedition Everest instead.  After Everest we went to a trail with the gorillas and watched them eat. There were two baby’s, one male and three females. They were eating blue oatmeal in pans. After, we went to the Lion King show. I liked it but it was shorter than I thought it would be. My favorite part was the monkey on the trampolines. For snack we had snow cones and pretzels. The flavors were not so great but I ate it anyways.

Thursday-Today’s adventure was to Kali River Rapids. Kali is a water ride where you have a chance to get drenched or get wet but not very wet. Today I got wet but not very wet. What was cool was that I saw the wave crash and go above my friends. We also traveled to the safari. I saw elephants, rhinos, and more. We also went on the trail again to see birds get fed. It wasn’t the most exciting but it was kinda cool. For lunch we had corn dog bites that were good. They also had tater tots. For the final thing today was that we did a scavenger hunt at Rafikie’s animal watch. Today was fun but I think tomorrow will be better.

Friday-Today we went to go see the goats and sheep. We got to pet the goats and brush them. Then we saw them inside their barn and we saw a goat do agility tests. The training had a balance beam, sticks to run through and a jumping station. We, also went on Dinosaur. It was fun. I used to be scared but not anymore. We then rushed to the bird show. The bird show is about exotic birds and they do tricks. My favorite was when someone puts a dollar up and then the bird grabs it. Then gives it back to the person. For lunch we had pasta and green beans. We also learned how to observe an animal with a chart. We saw a baby gorilla for a checkup on it old broken arm that it had and made sure it wasn’t infected. For snack we had pudding and today was the last day of camp and my last year because I’m in the oldest age group. So I can never come to this camp again and I have been here since kindergarten. I had fun and I might do seaworld camp next year.

Brendan's last year at Disney Animal Kingdom camp.

Brendan’s last year at Disney Animal Kingdom camp.

Summer Vacation Adventure

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This summer our really big vacation to Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Tennessee. My mom, my brother and I went on a plane. My dad drove up so we don’t have to bring luggage every where and renting a car and dropping it off in a different state is expensive. I don’t like Southwest Airlines because there are no assigned seats. My mom was stressing that we will not find three seats together, but we did.

When we landed we traveled around the city of Chicago and we visited the Bean and Buckingham Fountain. I always like visiting the Bean and it was my first time visiting the Buckingham Fountain. For dinner we had Hackneys. This is where we met up with my dad and we all split a onion loaf. I had a burger and I ate a couple bites of a patty melt. That was my first time eating a patty melt it was really good.

After lunch we drove over to my aunts in the suburbs of Chicago, Arlington Heights. We saw their dog and my new cousin. My new cousin, Robin, is a girl and the first one on my mom’s side of the family. For dinner we had pizza. We had deep dish and flat bread pizza. I really liked it.

When we left Chicago, we went to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  Here we stayed at this old house with these weird rooms and only one bathroom. When we went to Wisconsin my family and I came with my cousins, the Duncans, and my uncle Katie, Jimmy, baby Robin and their dog, Penny.  The house was an upstairs and down stairs but the upstairs wouldn’t connect to the downstairs. My aunt and uncle with the dog slept downstairs and the rest of us went upstairs. Upstairs there was only one bathroom for eight people. Some rooms were weird like there was a door camouflaging and a room behind the front door and another one above the kitchen. My cousins and I learned how to play blackjack. The next day we were spending the day on the lake. We have a private dock where we fished and swam.  On the boat we went tubing. It was really wavy and chopped so there were a lot of bumps.  But it was awesome!

Here’s a video my mom made of all the tubing fun!

After we packed we hung out at my aunt’s house again and then packed up the next day we went to Michigan to play on the dunes. We rented a sled to ride down the dunes but it was really hot and when you go down you have to walk up in the really hot sand. When I was climbing up the dune it felt like my feet was on fire. I did not like it at all. Then we left and got ice-cream. I got an Oreo ice-cream. We drove to Indiana and stayed at a hotel there.

The next day it was my birthday. On my birthday we drove down to Tennessee to stay at a log cabin for a few days. It was cool because it had a movie theater and we were on a mountain. The town around it was kind of weird because it had like three go kart places right next to each other. There was also weird named places. At the cabin we were staying with some of my uncles friends. One day we went zip lining which was kind of fun. But after was whitewater rafting. That was really cool. No one from our boat fell off but someone else we know did fall off a different boat. When we came back we decided to go to a roller coaster on a mountain/hill. It was a coaster that you can control your own speed and it was dark so lights lighted up. It was scary at night but fun. After we drove back to the cabin and watched a movie. On the last day we went on a hike in the mountains. At the end was waterfall that you can step into the stream. It was really tiring up hill but easier down hill. Later that night most of our group went hillbilly golfing. It is mini golfing but down hill. I didn’t go because I was tried and I didn’t think it would that fun because it is just golfing. The day after is when we had to leave and pack up. We headed out and we stopped at the Cherokee Indian Reservation and went tubing. It wasn’t fast tubing but it was like lazy river tubing. Almost at the end was a rope swing which led to a deep part which was awesome. After we were finished we started driving home and we made it safely the next day.