Monday, December 30, 2013

Caribbean Cruise Day 5

On our fifth day of the cruise we went to the country of Belize. Due to shallow water and coral reefs, we had to be tendered to the  country of Belize. While we were on the tender boat a man who worked their told us to tell Dion to give us a good deal on a renal van and to say that Big Bird sent us. Doubtful we met Dion and after bartering Dad and our deacon talked him down from $50 a person to $25 for adults and $15 for the kids. Due to our bartering we got Erol for a driver who wasn't completely there. On our way to the Mayan ruins at Alto Hi we passed a sign that said 16 miles to the Mayan ruins at Alto Hi. Erol informed us psychologically it was more like 60. He also said that President Nixon was the most loved President and that "Joe Osteen is his man because he makes the Bible all cozy". This is wrong because the Bible should make you uncomfortable at times such as when Jesus was nailed to the cross and died for all of us. When we finial got to the ruins, Erol decided to be our tour guide and climbed  on top of the burial grounds to get a leaf from an allspice tree for us to smell. While we continued our tour people came up to us and told us not to listen to Erol. After completing our tour, we were driven back to the tender boat where we met a man who used to be a missionary to Belize and was revisiting the churches he had started. Once we got back to the cruise boat we changed unto some formal clothes and prepared for diner.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Caribbean Cruise Day 4

On day four of our cruise we went to Roatan, Honduras. Here we walked around the shopping area and then Dad rented a car to explore the island. We drove around the island and found that beside the expat and tourist spots; Honduras was a beautiful but poor country. During our drive we were turning around in an expat's driveway when a man stepped out of the woods waving a gun and yelling Dad hit the gas and we hurried back to the boat. We ate on the boat and then left to go swimming in the Caribbean Sea. While Laura Ashley and Dad went swimming, Andrew and I went hunting for seashells. I was most excited about a conch shell that still had a crab in it. I was unable to get the crab to show his face, but I was able to get a few pictures. Before I knew it  we had boarded the boat and set sail to  Belize.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Caribbean Cruise Day 3

Departing the cruise ship.
 Our first stop was Cozumel; Mexico, here we rented a taxi to take us around the island. First, our driver took us to a family owned chocolate shop which still used an Mayan recipe. Second, we drove around the city and then to a  less populated area of the island. Then we ate at an Mexican restaurant, walked around the beach on the Caribbean Sea. While walking on the beach a man approached us asking if we wanted to hold Alberto his iguana. Me being the animal lover that I am gladly took his offer.When Dad went to get my picture we were told that pictures were five dollars. After our time on the beach we went back to the boat. While at a gas station near the boat the car wouldn't start so we 
Cozumel means Island of the Swallows.
walked back to the boat and enjoyed a good dinner of Fettuccini Alfredo and Crème Brûlée.

Caribbean Cruise Day 2

Church sermon
On day two at sea my family and I along with our friends attended a church service put on by one of the crew members from Alabama, U.S.A.  After singing a few songs he shared his mission statement which was "I'm just a nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody." I hope that everyone who is reading this knows the Somebody which is Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. What I liked about the preacher was that he had a love for the Lord and wasn't afraid to share it. After the sermon we ate breakfast and played Canasta. When we were done, we met up with some of the other members in our group and ate lunch. Once lunch was over my family and I learned how to play a game called Joker.
After mastering Joker, we went to our rooms to get
ready for formal night. When we finished eating an excellent meal, we left to watch a show called "Baby do you want to Dance?" Before we knew it day two aboard the Caribbean Princess had went over board.

Learning Joker

The Atrium

Andrew, Laura Ashley and I on the deck.

Caribbean Cruise

The Caribbean Princess
Last month my family and I went on a cruise with some friends. The cruise took us to Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; and Belize City, Belize.
Boarding the boat

Saturday morning after feeding all the pets and making sure that they were all okay, Dad drove us to a hotel near the Port of Houston where we met up with some of the people we were traveling with. At the hotel Dad found out that there was a four hour delay. Due to the delay, we went to Target and then to where our deacon and his wife                  were staying. After visiting with them for a few hours, they went with us to see if we would be able to board the cruise ship. Despite having to wait a long time in traffic we were able to board the boat with-out  any problems. 

We found our rooms but our bags hadn't arrived yet so we met up with our friends and ate dinner. Then we explored the ship. I found out that the boat had eight restaurants, a poolside movie screen, a theater, two spas,a exercise room,a casino, a sports deck, Kid's and Teen's Centers, a Library, a café, an Art Gallery, shops, and lots more. It was getting late so we went back to our rooms and unpacked our bags.

The boy's room
The boy's bathroom

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Recently, my mother and I made my one of my favorite foods; pretzels. My mom found the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker but we made a few modifications which are below the recipe.

1½ cups warm water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
4½ cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
10 cups water
2/3 cups baking soda
1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon water, whisked together (for egg wash)
Coarse salt, for sprinkling


1. Combine the water, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, until the mixture begins to foam.
2. Add the flour and butter. Use the dough hook attachment to mix on low speed until all of the ingredients are combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Remove the dough from the mixer and place in a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and brush with the vegetable oil; set aside.
5. Combine the water and baking soda in a large, wide pot (a Dutch oven works perfect for this). Bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
6. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
7. Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 2 or 3 at a time (or however many will fit comfortably given the size of your pot – don’t crowd them), for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large, flat spatula. Place the boiled pretzels back on the baking sheet, brush the top of each pretzel with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt.
8. Bake until dark golden brown in color, about 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

If you choose to do a egg wash,make sure you brush the pretzels very light.
Otherwise the bottom of the pretzel will be soggy and have greenish glaze.