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Jennifer Yerkes

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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I’m a goofy vegetarian that enjoys hanging out at home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband and two dog and many nieces, nephews and cousins! Occasionally gets out for art galleries, films, fine dining, world travel. Follow me: https://www.facebook.com/Tryintothrowyourarmsaroundtheworld http://tryintothrowyourarms.weebly.com/index.html

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Gaylord Opryland Hotel Nashville (Tennessee)

2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville, Tennessee

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  • Teens (13+)

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Visited: January 2008 | Submitted: Aug 27, 2012 | I traveled with teens (13+)

Giant artificial bubble!

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I spent a week here in, what became known to our group as the "biodome". It starts out as a beautiful large place but the longer you are there I think the artificial air affects your brain! The place is huge and confusing. We stayed on one end but had to work at a convention on the other end. It took us a good 10-15 minutes to get there. The convention center is amazing, it is huge! It was nice to be able to stay so close to where we'd be working. The place is filled with fake trees that kind of have that nice plastic smell. The roof is glass making you think you are outside, which is pretty but it made us a bit crazy and we needed to step outside which was an ordeal since every entrace was filled with smokers so we had to walk down a bit to get real fresh air. Food was terrible, not sure if it was from my company's planning or the place itself but you would think something so big would be prepared for many types of diets. I'm vegetarian and at each lunch I'd ask for something without meat and they would refer me to someone on the table that really had meat. They'd say try the potato salad (it had ham inside), try the green beans (it had bacon all over it), try the salad (more bacon tossed in the lettuce). The restaurants were crowed and not worth the wait. Everyplace had a 2 hour wait. The best thing was the Jack Daniels saloon where we found a very entertaining local band that was there almost every night. It was fun but very crowded. Lots of shopping and casual dining options. I think this place might be ok for a few days, but after that you start to feel oddly trapped like you're living inside a bubble (or the biosphere as we called it!),

Tips for Families

*Go outside and get some fresh air! *Catch the light shows in the lobby.

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Milwaukee Public Market

219 N Milwaukee St, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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  • Teens (13+)
Visited: June 2012 | Submitted: Aug 27, 2012 | I traveled with teens (13+)

Good food!

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It's great that a place like this has finally come to Milwaukee. When it first opened I thought it was a little over-rated (very crowded, not that much there) but I think it's improved quite a bit. I like to walk through and see all the great local products and pick some things up from several different places that I like that I'd otherwise have to drive all around the city for. There's pizza, bakery, chocolates, Mexican, Middle Eastern, seafood, soups, sushi, Hawaiian, wine, flowers, spices, salads...! So much good stuff. Grab food, everyone can get something different, and head upstairs to eat. There's plenty of seating upstairs and tvs showing food tv. In the summer there's a small outdoor farmer's market which is nice. Plenty of parking in this area too, with it being off the freeway it's super easy to get to.

Tips for Families

*Big variety of casual food! *Go upstairs and grab a seat!

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Captain Zodiac

Kealakehe Pkwy, Kailua-Kona/Keauhou, Hawaii

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Visited: October 2007 | Submitted: Aug 27, 2012 | I traveled with teens (13+)

FUN!!!

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I'm not a snorkeling pro by far and I was a little nervous when I approached this motorized raft that was about to take me to Cap'n Cook's Monument. I guess it's an old navy seal type watercraft, still didn't make me feel better... I ended up sitting in the very back due to the Captain's (ok, not really a Captain, more like a young college type dude) warning that if you are nervous avoid the front because it's bouncy. About a minute (or less!) into the ride my nervousness faded and changed into sheer laughter. We took off super fast (says that boat can go about 70 mph) and I soon forgot I was only holding onto a small handle with my foot tucked under a rope to prevent me from falling out. It was an incredible rush! So much fun.. when we did a quick turn my ponytail ended up in the ocean we were up out of the water that far. It was crazy fun. On the way back I moved up a bit for more bounce and that was fun too, just a little rockier... Once we got to the monument we learned about the history and I was immediately spooked by the idea of snorkeling where a bloodbath had occured many many long years ago. The history was great and again after jumping in and looking at the beautiful water my fear disappeared. The coral and rocks on the ocean floor were amazing. You could see the side of the island how it's volcanic shape goes from a rocky angle to the land over to a stark contrast of "the deep end" (which I completely avoided)! The coolest thing we saw here was a moray eel come out of some coral. It was an amzaing green slithering creature. Many cute little fish lived around there too. With this being kind of shallow in some areas I did manage to skin my knee and cut my toe but I'm kind of clumsy. Overall, this was a definite highlight to our trip. I would highly recommend this, but it is a bit on the adventurous side since the boat ride is a little extreme! We did slow down on the boat ride to see schools of dolphins that were stopping to put on a show for us (literally they were entertaining us with their jumping and seemed to respond to our clapping). It was amazing!

Tips for Families

*Relax and enjoy the ride!

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Apples of Eden

5612 Broad St, Greendale, Wisconsin

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  • Big kids (6-8)
  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)
Visited: February 2008 | Submitted: Aug 27, 2012 | I traveled with big kids (6-8), tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Giant Caramel Apples!

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This is the ultimate stop for my chocolate cravings. Stop in for a puppy truffle (I know it's odd and my husband gets kind of offended when I bike off the cute little puppy truffle's head) or little ice cream cone or pie! They have all these intricate pretty little chocolate shapes filled with a yummy truffle/mousse type filling. They are amazing but almost too pretty to eat. By far the best thing here are those big apples... my favorite is the dream (white, dark, and milk chocolate over caramel) but the apple of the month is sometimes fun. Prices are a bit high, but get the punch card and someday you can enjoy a free apple after buying enough to fill the card. Also parking can be a pain since this is in the hub bub of the Taste of Home strip mall.

Tips for Families

*Get an apple, they are big enough to share!

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Tower of the Americas

600 Hemisfair Plaza Way, San Antonio, Texas

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  • Teens (13+)
Visited: February 2008 | Submitted: Aug 27, 2012 | I traveled with teens (13+)

Interesting...

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This place is odd, hard to explain. It's a big tower.... after spending many days in San Antonio as we were walking down the street someone in my group said "do you think it's scary up there" and I immediately answered "let's find out" and started running towards it like it was mocking me, daring me to go up there. Luckily, the others in my group followed along. Getting there we found they charged admission to basically go up an elevator, but they had other things like a movie, ride and a restaurant but we weren't up for that (plus they were going to close soon). It was reasonable, not outrageous but honestly I had a few drinks and don't remember that paying part. The elevator ride was cool, it's a glass elevator that lets you look out onto the city. Once you're at the top you can walk around the circle and read about all the flags that flew over Texas (there's 6 of 'em!). You can even walk "outside" which is a half wall w/wire type bars to keep you from falling out but the wind makes you feel like you're out there. It was pretty scary, but then again I'm actually terrifed of heights and I'm sure I would not have done this if it wasn't for the margaritas I had previously... It's not the most exciting place but it's pretty funny. There's a gift shop downstairs of course so you can buy all the Tower of America souveniers to show your friends.

Tips for Families

*Don't be scared!

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Walker Art Center

1750 Hennepin, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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  • Big kids (6-8)
  • Tweens (9-12)
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Visited: February 2008 | Submitted: Aug 27, 2012 | I traveled with big kids (6-8), tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Fun place!

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You just gotta love a place with a big spoon holding a cherry! When I think of the cities this is honestly what comes to mind. Love it, such a fun place to walk around on a nice summer day to enjoy the sculpture, gardens and random art. You have to go here and get a photo by the big cherry! Very beautiful grounds to explore and run around in! Also, go inside and check out the bathrooms... very interesting wallpaper!

Tips for Families

*Get a photo by the cherry on a spoon!

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Milwaukee Public Museum

800 W Wells St, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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  • Big kids (6-8)
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Visited: April 2008 | Submitted: Aug 27, 2012 | I traveled with big kids (6-8), tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Great WI history!

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The Milwaukee Public Museum is a great way to spend the day. It's cool to go see the big bison, dinosaurs and other artifacts. The streets of Old Milwaukee is so cute. I never get tired of looking in those windows seeing what's inside each cultural home. We're also moving up and getting some excellent traveling exhibits, such as Bodyworlds. They also have great behind the scenes tours, so watch for that. You can see them clean bones and all the other preparation for exhibits. It is kind of old and outdated but reminds you of school, just way more fun. Take a walk down the Streets of Old Milwaukee and peek into the windows of the homes of the cultures that represent the city. Check out the dinosaurs and buffalos. Look for a few buttons to press for interaction!

Tips for Families

*Walk the Streets of Old Milwaukee *See the dinosaurs *Watch for buttons to press!

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Discovery World Museum

2210 W Clybourn St, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
  • Tweens (9-12)
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Visited: July 2012 | Submitted: Aug 27, 2012 | I traveled with little kids (3-5), big kids (6-8), tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Fun place!

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I recently took another trip here - my first being last year before it was finished.... both visits I was amazed by the building and location. It is very pretty w/beautiful view of the lake and the city. My friend and I arrived on a Saturday a little after the 9am opening. There were many friendly people there to greet us but once we got to the technology section upstairs most of the things were not turned on or working. A frustrated employee wandered around wondering where everyone it but it was odd. We did some fun things like scan our eyes, see our viens, lay on a bed of nails, crash a car (ok that was me and my crazy driving), be in a green screen on tv, open and close the calatrava's wings and stadium's roof. It would be cute for kids but my friend thinks this section might be run by the government just wanting to get you (with the eye/face scan stuff). The other side has an amazing aquarium and shipwreck that was fun. We tried going upstairs and outside to go on the balcony and we were greeting by cranky catering people setting up an event but they still let us up and out. This is also the home of the Dennis Sullivan tall ship, which is amazing to walk around and see. I took the long cruise around the lake and it's pretty - but a bit too long (the ship moves so slow in the 3 hr trip that your view doesn't change much!). Overall, a good way to spend a morning. Cool place to check out. I'd go back again. Lots of fun activities for kids of all ages.

Tips for Families

*Check out the classes and calendar of events for more kid friendly entertainment!

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Sprecher Brewery

701 W Glendale Ave, Glendale, Wisconsin

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  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)
Visited: June 2008 | Submitted: Aug 27, 2012 | I traveled with tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Kid friendly brewery tour!... they make soda!

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Good and quick tour. Gift shop is nice with cheap beer and sodas. Sometimes we stop in if we're in the area just to get some drinks. On the tour we also found out they are making this XXX root beer made in whiskey barrels and are selling jugs of that as well. I enjoyed the tour itself but booking it wasn't fun. The website said for Saturday tours call the Monday before. So I did, Monday at noon. The person answering the phone put me on hold for a long time and then grumpily picked up and asked what I needed. I wanted the 3pm tour and it was already booked so I took the 2pm tour. When we went on our Saturday 2pm tour I heard the check in guy telling people there were plenty openings on the 3pm tour! What? Also, the tour was way too crowded. I heard the check in guy say he allowed 90 people when there should only be 50. This I didn't think was a big deal until it came to sample time. We hardly got to sit and drink. The lines were so long at the bar that most of the time was standing in line because of the big crowd. Overall, it's one of the better tours. I just thought it was odd to only give you 1 small glass and have to keep going up to the bar for refills. They did walk around with other odd flavors to try but with my luck I had a full glass at that time and didn't get to try any of the odd ones (like pizza beer). I did end up trying a lot of flavors of soda & beer (you are only allowed 4 beers but soda is unlimited) though, it was just a bit too crowded for me. Good cheap entertainment just plan ahead with reservations. Tour is $4 and in the beer garden afterwards they sell sausages, cheese curds and pizza.

Tips for Families

*Try to go on a weekday when it's not as busy.

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Spice Market Buffet

3667 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, Nevada

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  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)
Visited: July 2008 | Submitted: Aug 27, 2012 | I traveled with tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

If you must do a buffet, do this one!

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I was caught up with Vegas fever and had to visit a buffet.... a local recommended this as being the best. I would agree, it was pretty good for a buffet (I'm not a typical buffet person, being vegetarian it's usually not worth it for me). Definately one of the best I've been to and certainly the biggest I've ever seen! First I was told to get the coupon from those little books, they run a buy one get one free, so that helps with the cost. Line to get in is so long, but moves pretty fast. The place is comprised to stations of so many nationalities, it was overwhelming! Mexican, Indian, Chinese, American, Italian, Dessert, etc. Food was hit or miss... flaffel and hummus was terrible as was most of the Mexican station. Italian was so-so. Indian and American was pretty good and dessert had lots of yummy things including ice cream. If you have to do a buffet, do this one!

Tips for Families

*Find the coupon! *Pace yourself!

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