The Tortoise and the Hare/ Santa and the Reindeer

I had to write a story where you take an Aesop’s Fable and change it to have Christmas characters. The story I wrote is actually pretty good. (In my opinion.) So I decided to post it here. This is it:

Santa and the reindeer got into a fight. He drove them all around the world and ate cookies. The reindeer only ate veggies. I ask you, how fair is that? So the reindeer went on strike. Santa was mad. Sadly, the reindeer still wouldn’t go to work so Santa had to deliver the presents all by himself.

It turns out, the reindeer would go to work. Just not with Santa at the reins. So, they called the Easter Bunny.

Santa still wanted to deliver toys, but how could an old man walk around the world with a sack on his back? So he proposed a competition. He would race the reindeer around the North Pole. At first the reindeer were confused.

“How can we all run around a pole? It is too small.” The reindeer asked. Santa cleared everything up. They had to race around the whole North Pole. The reindeer were all like, “Lol omg so ez.*”

And so it began. The elves filled the stands. The Easter Bunny stood out because he was as tall as a normal human. On one end you saw 8 reindeer, and on the other end, you saw a fat old man. The odds were so low of Santa winning the elves bet against their master.

The horn suddenly blew and the sound of sleigh bells tinkled through the air. The race had started. Santa took off at a record speed of 5 mph. The reindeer, however, started at a slow speed of 20 mph. Soon, Santa was left in the dust. Besides the fact that there is no dust on the North Pole.

Starting to become cocky, the reindeer walked. Santa appeared on the horizon, but they weren’t concerned. The reindeer trotted for another half hour. Next, they went to sleep.

Meanwhile, Santa was devouring his cookie stash because he was hungry. He saw the reindeer sleeping and drew a mustache on Comet. Santa, contrary to popular belief, has a kind of mischievous side. After that, he walked the rest of the way there.

The reindeer woke up and didn’t see Santa on the horizon. They started galloping. No one decided to tell Comet about his mustache. They assumed that Santa was just beyond their line of vision. They were wrong. Then Blitzen checked his phone and realized that they had been sleeping for 14 hours.

When they arrived, Santa had just finished a new Instagram post about winning the race. He hashtagged it #ReindeerNoobs. All of the reindeer disliked it. The Easter Bunny didn’t really care. He had enough stuff to do himself.

In the end, Christmas was saved and I got my yearly allowance of useless junk.

*The bad grammar was intended to be there.

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Trip to New England: Sailing Festival

While my family and I were on a vacation in Rhode Island, we went to the Herreshoff Marine Museum and America’s Cup Hall of Fame. They were having a sailing festival. Because we sail in California, this was a good opportunity for us.

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More on this picture later.

They had a lot of boats that anyone could try. When we arrived, there were two boats left. One of them was my sister’s favorite boat called the RS Tera. I sailed a boat I had never sailed before. It was the RS Neo. The wind in Narragansett Bay is stronger than where I usually sail. I didn’t capsize. (Yet)

After that, I took out the blue boat that you see above. It is called a UFO. There are two versions of the UFO. The blue sail one can’t foil (fly). Somehow, in a boat without walls, I stayed really dry. I took out the green sail UFO later. It can foil. More on that later.

After that, I took out the RS Quest.

quest hiking

It is a two-person boat. When I was sailing it, the winds were strong because it was a fast boat, so I had to constantly lean over the edge to keep it flat. I only sailed it for 20 minutes. I did the smaller sail in the front. It’s called the jib.

I was about to go because the foiling UFO was not coming back. The person he was showing it to didn’t want to go back in. The guy ended up ordering a lot of UFOs, though. He came back just in time for me to go on.

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Yes, I know this looks like any other picture of someone sailing that you could see anywhere.

It was intense. And I got wet. But it was fun. Because of the large sail in relation to the size of the boat and my weight, it went really fast. But that meant I couldn’t foil without capsizing. Here is a video. That was one of the two times I capsized. I also fell out of the boat once. It was easy because there were no walls. Even though I capsized twice, it was still fun.

The whole day was fun, too.

A couple days later, we visited some of the places where sailboats are made.

We went to Zim Sailing. They make C420sCFJs, and Optimists. They are also one of the few American distributors for RS Sailing. It was cool to see the boats being made. You could see the wood infrastructure of some of them.

zim 420

Next, we went to Fulcrum Speedworks. They make the UFO that I talked about earlier. There is a small facility that makes all the UFOs in the world. Their office is literally just the laptop computers of the people who work there because they are an innovative startup that just focuses on making boats to keep up with the demand.

Both days were fun. And all of it was in a small town in Rhode Island.

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Trip To New England: JFK Library

Trip to New England: Herreshoff Marine Museum and America’s Cup Hall of Fame

Trip To New England: JFK Library

On our second day in New England, we went to the JFK Library in Boston. At the time, my family was reading a book about the Berlin Wall. Unlike the Nixon and Reagan Libraries, it only showed the good things during his presidency. He attacked the Bay of Pigs while he was president. It is a bay in Cuba. The attack went horrible and they lost terribly. It only mentioned the attack in one sentence.

They had two movies that we watched. The movies were about his life until he got nominated to be president and the  Cuban Missile Crisis. There was one giant room that looked like this:

big flag

Because of the shape of the metal on the walls, I think I could climb it.

After that, we went to the Subway. In Boston, it is called the T.

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We could each choose a stop. I couldn’t really think of one but that worked out because everyone was really tired even without my stop. My sister, Kate, just chose a random stop at a park. My mom chose to go to Harvard.

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The statue in the background is John Harvard.

Her stop took a while because we rested, explored, and played. (I know that sounded like an ad.)

the t boston

My dad stopped at Copley Square. We went to the mall but first we went to the Fairmont Hotel. They had a dog house for the greeter dogs. Finally, we went to the mall. It was 7 stories tall. That is bigger than I thought it would be but I have to judge by malls in Orange County. They are small. The largest one I can think of is 2 stories tall.

We got back to the hotel late that night because we had to drive from Boston to Warwick, Rhode Island. Part of the reason is that we stopped at 99. The kids eat free if the Red Sox win. That works out because the Red Sox are a good team. We went to sleep at 11:00 because we only adjusted to EST at the end of our vacation. That day was fun but tiring.

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Trip to New England: Herreshoff Marine Museum and America’s Cup Hall of Fame

Trip to New England: Herreshoff Marine Museum and America’s Cup Hall of Fame

We just returned from a vacation to New England. On our first day, we took the plane to Rhode Island. We had a layover in Baltimore, but we were running out of fuel so we had to stop in Pittsburg to refuel.

When we landed, we went to our hotel room at the Springhill Suites. It was bigger than I expected it to be.

The next day, we went to the Herreshoff Marine Museum and America’s Cup Hall of Fame. They were 2 brothers who built a lot of America’s Cup winning yachts. It has a lot of old boats. They actually let you go in a couple.

sportpopping out herz

The weird thing about the boats is their keel. The keel sticks out from the bottom to keep the boat stable. With smaller boats, it is called a daggerboard or a centerboard. The centerboard cannot come out. It can be lifted up if you need to. The daggerboard can come out. The keel is in a very different shape from what there is today.

The Herreshoff’s won the America’s Cup multiple times. Their biggest boat was the Reliance. They only sailed it once to an America’s Cup victory. The boat took over 60 people to sail. It had 5 sails.

 

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1/6 scale model of Reliance

After that, we went to our grandparent’s house and then back to the hotel.

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Trip To New England: JFK Library

Carnival Splendor: Part 5 of 5

The last two days of our cruise were at sea. This post will be somewhat short but there were a couple things that were noteworthy. We went to the bridge of the ship. That is where everything is controlled.

star destroyer bridge
No! Not that one.

 

The steering wheel must be 8 inches in diameter.

On the second to last day, we saw a 70’s show. It was similar to the Epic Rock show. It had singing and dancing to songs that I had no idea existed.

On the last day, we ate breakfast in the dining room where we eat dinner. I watched Thor: Ragnarok and then went to a comedy show.

comedy show
I forget what he was saying at that time.

When some late people came in, he started speaking in a foreign language. (I think it was. I only know English so I have no idea if it is a real language.) Everyone played along. Seeing as I am extremely funny, we (unintentionally) had a conversation. After that, I watched Peter Rabbit. It was my first time watching it.

Later that night, my mom and I went to the Piano Bar on the 5th floor and we saw him play a couple songs.

That was our cruise, at least the last two days of it. The other blog posts are below:

Carnival Splendor in Puerto Vallarta: Part 4 of 5

Carnival Splendor in Mazatlan: Part 3 of 5

Carnival Splendor in Cabo San Lucas: Part 2 of 5

Carnival Splendor: Part 1 of 5

Carnival Splendor in Puerto Vallarta: Part 4 of 5

Puerto Vallarta was our 3rd and final stop. Of course, it was the best one. We took a big catamaran. It was two stories like most tourist boats.

 

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On the boat. You can’t really see much but the front of the boat is behind us.

We went to two beaches and went snorkeling at one of them. The first beach had softer sand but almost no waves. It was fun because there were inner tubes. One time I was telling my sister something and the tube flipped. It was awesome. (Also kind of annoying). After that, we had lunch. I just ate bread because I didn’t like the sandwich. We took that boat for another half hour or so to the next beach.

mom and kids after snorkel

It had normal waves which was nice. A bunch of locals were playing in the water while we were there. One time, there was a 7-foot tall wave. I just went on the top of it and rode the wave back to the shore. My mom lost her sunglasses when this fast wave came and knocked them off her head. We were at the beach for about 2 hours. When we went back on the boat, there was a concert with what was apparently the Mexican Rolling Stones.

mexrollingstones

They were magic considering they had drums when no one was at the drumset. Or maybe it was lip-syncing. After they finished, we found something out. It was all a scam. They sold out the boat by making people think the Mexican Rolling Stones were playing. The snorkeling was just an add-in. They were just the workers on the boat. Once we exited the boat, we entered the boat.

(Wait, hold on, we entered the Carnival Splendor. Not that boat). On the Carnival Splendor, I got to see The Last Jedi again. It was in the Carnival Seaside Theater. Unfortunately, I missed everything from Snoke’s throne room to Luke disappearing because of dinner. After that, I watched Black Panther and went to bed. The end… Last part coming tomorrow.

You may also like:

Carnival Splendor: Part 5 of 5

Carnival Splendor in Mazatlan: Part 3 of 5

Carnival Splendor in Cabo San Lucas: Part 2 of 5

Carnival Splendor: Part 1 of 5

Carnival Splendor in Mazatlan: Part 3 of 5

On Monday afternoon, the Splendor left Cabo San Lucas and started heading to Mazatlan. There was actually a dock so we didn’t have to take tender boats.

When we got off the ship, there was a short walk to the boat that we were taking. We were in the area where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez.

We even saw sea lions!

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Sea lions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Once we exited the boat, there were 2 buses. Obviously, we took one. They were actually pretty comfortable. There was a statue of the Virgin Mary. It was built after a hurricane struck and there had never been one since. We drove down some streets and learned about the area.

Our first stop was at the cliff divers. They dove about 20-40 feet to earn money for their families.

cliffdiver

After seeing that, we went back on the bus and drove down the boardwalk. It is 16 miles long. Mazatlan’s main industries are tourism and shrimp. One time, a hurricane hit and a couple ships full of shrimp sunk and 72 people died.

We went to eat lunch after that at a Mexican restaurant. (Can there be a Mexican place in Mexico? I don’t know if there can be an American place in America). The other cruise ship from Norwegian stopped there too. It was super crowded.

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I forget what I was eating in that picture.

Our last stop was at the cathedral. It looked like most other cathedrals that I have seen. Pretty impressive. I don’t know much about cathedrals so I can’t really comment on it besides the fact that it was cool.

Finally, we went back to the cruise ship via a short trip by the bus. Because a Norwegian cruise ship was there too, the line at the terminal was really long. After we boarded, we ate in the formal dining room.

You may also like:

Carnival Splendor: Part 5 of 5

Carnival Splendor in Puerto Vallarta: Part 4 of 5

Carnival Splendor in Cabo San Lucas: Part 2 of 5

Carnival Splendor: Part 1 of 5

 

Carnival Splendor in Cabo San Lucas: Part 2 of 5

On Monday, we arrived at our first port stop. It was in Cabo San Lucas. In the morning, we woke up and ate breakfast. At 8:30, we went to the Specatular Theater to wait for our excursion to start. When it did, we went down to level 0. That’s what it was called because it was mostly a staff level. Because Cabo San Lucas didn’t have a dock big enough for us, we had to drop anchor (Yes, Carnival ships get anchors. The sailboats that I sail don’t).

Once we arrived, we took smaller tender boats to the Carnival terminal at Cabo San Lucas. Next, we waited in a sitting area until our tour guide took us to the dolphin pool at Cabo Dolphins. We went into a cool looking building and waited in a sitting area until a guy took us to the actual pool. It was pretty fun. Kahal, the dolphin’s name, tried to clap but his fins weren’t long enough to touch. We were actually able to swim with and ride the dolphin. He did some other cool tricks. After the dolphins, we got free quesadillas.

Finally, we went on a boat ride tour of the arch. One part was just a calm tour but then we went to max speed and it was insanely awesome. We were probably going 50 mph. The boat slowed down, turned around and started going fast again. We docked and the tour was over.

Lastly, we went back to the cruise ship and did random stuff. The end.

To Be Continued…

You might also like my other post about our cruise:

Carnival Splendor: Part 1 of 5

Carnival Splendor in Mazatlan: Part 3 of 5

Carnival Splendor in Puerto Vallarta: Part 4 of 5

Carnival Splendor: Part 5 of 5

Carnival Splendor: Part 1 of 5

I went on a Carnival cruise for a week to Mexico. I will write 2 somewhat short posts and 3 longer posts. The short ones will be about days at sea and the longer ones will be about our days at port. Now: into the actual post.

mama and kids

We left our house at 11:30 and were at the terminal around 2:30. The boarding process was pretty easy. We just had to wait in line and show our passports. When we boarded, I was so confused about where everything was. We entered into the main lobby. Our family took an elevator to our rooms and walked down a long hallway to it. Our room was on deck 8. I didn’t know it at the time, but there were only a couple better spots for my needs. We were near the exit to the food. It was one story above us.

Our grandparents were on the cruise. They were 1 door down and across. We saw them after we finished unpacking. Our family went up to the Lido deck and ate some food. Our grandfather gave us a quick tour and we went to play mini golf on deck 14 (a.k.a. the Sky deck).

mini golf

We just looked around the cruise ship in more areas after.

On the 2nd day, we ate breakfast. It was good. That’s all that needs to be said. Then we discovered the library. It had a bunch of games. We played Risk. My sister, Kate, didn’t like it, so she quit. Then, we played Sorry.

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After that, we had lunch. I didn’t eat much because I wanted to go do more on the ship. Carnival had a Harry Potter trivia contest. Either I know more about Harry Potter than I thought or most people know less than I thought. I got 3rd place.

That was what happened during our first two days.

You may also like:

Carnival Splendor in Cabo San Lucas: Part 2 of 5

Carnival Splendor in Mazatlan: Part 3 of 5

Carnival Splendor in Puerto Vallarta: Part 4 of 5

Carnival Splendor: Part 5 of 5

Joshua Tree Campout

When I went to Joshua Tree National Park for a campout, it was with my Boy Scout troop. My dad and I left around noon. We ate at Sizzler along the way. We spent about an hour and a half setting up the camp.

We went rock climing. There was a safety course we had to listen to.

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It was my first time doing so much of the prep on my own. The harnesses were quite hard to get on correctly. The first course I did had me rappeling. After finishing, I was shocked how high up I was.

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I am on the big piece of rock in the middle of the picture.

Sadly, I wasn’t used to rappeling, so, I scraped myself. The second course I did was a rappell practice. I was fine on that one. Next, I had to wait in a long line to do a difficult course where you climb up and then back down. I went on the first climbing course again and did another rappell practice.

Next, I did some belaying. That means you use the rope to let them go up or down.

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This is an example of belaying.

 

After I finshed that, all I had left was the knots and the paperwork. I completed the knots later that day. I will be going to another campout in April. You can see what I did last year right here. Overall, it was a fun campout.