Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Day 1 - Long Beach, CA

September 8, 2018

We leave today on our cruise! We are cruising out of Long Beach, CA aboard the Carnival Splendor.

Before I get in to Day 1 I’ll give you a little back ground on us.

I have been cruising since I was a kid but it took a lot of convincing to get Henry on his first cruise. Now we both love cruising and we think it’s the best kind of vacation because you get to travel and it’s all inclusive.

It’s been 18 long months since our last cruise but we are set to sail once again. In March of 2017 we sailed on the Imagination for 4 days and 3 nights with one port of call in Ensenada, Mexico. This time we are heading back to the Splendor (my favorite Carnival ship) for 8 days and 7 nights and heading a bit deeper in Mexico. We’ll have 3 days at sea and 3 ports of call, Cabo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. This will be our 3rd time on the Splendor and we’re booked in a spa room. This means we have unlimited access to the Cloud 9 spa facilities which include steam rooms, saunas, a Thalassotherapy Pool, a relaxation room and more.

I’ve decided to blog this trip so I purchased a little journal at Walmart and personalized it a bit. Each night I hope to write down what we did, what we ate, etc. so I don’t forget anything. 

I love my Silhouette Cameo!

Now on to Day 1.

We headed down to Long Beach Saturday morning. We’re lucky to have family who live a few miles from the Port so we were able to park at their house and just Uber to the ship. Parking at the port is $22 a day and the Uber ride was only $8.

It was a little hectic when we got to the Port. There was a LONG line to give our luggage to the Porters but I found a guy coming back from the ship with an empty cart and we slipped him some cash and he tossed our suitcases on his cart before he went back to the line.

We got in the check in line at 12:30pm. Our boarding time was 1:30pm so we got in the Too Early/Too Late line.


It took about 20 minutes to get checked in and go through security. Checking in consists of showing your ticket, ID and Passport or birth certificate. We use our birth certificates. We then put our carry on luggage through the scanner and we walked through the metal detector.

I had linked my credit card to our accounts online before we left so we were able to bypass the next line and head straight on the ship. By 5 minutes to 1:00pm we were on! 

Our room wasn’t going to be ready until 1:30pm so we headed up to the Lido deck for lunch. I had the Ol’ Fashioned BBQ. Options there include braised pork butt, smoked beef, dry-rubbed grilled chicken mac-n-cheese, molasses baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad. Everything was delicious! Henry opted for ice cream (his first of many).

Next we headed to check out our room. Our room was on deck 10.  We actually ended up in an accessible room since that was all that was left when I booked.

If you’ve ever cruised before you know that the rooms are pretty small but it doesn’t really matter because you don’t spend much time in the rooms anyway. Since our room was an accessible room our bathroom was larger than usual and had a pull down shower seat and grab bars.

We are currently Gold with Carnival (working our way to Platinum) so we received pins and free drink coupons in our room a well as 2 large bottles of water.

I had also pre-ordered 24 bottles of water for the room since you can't bring bottled water on board.  But you can bring a bottle of wine per person, go figure.

Also in the room was Saturday's Fun Times.  This is the schedule of every thing going on all day and night.

While we waited for our luggage to be delivered I decorated our door.  This is a tradition for us.  This time was a shark and fish theme.

  Our luggage was delivered around 2:30pm and I'm happy to report that all of our alcohol made it!  Yes we smuggled our liquor on in Cruise Flasks.

Captain Morgan, Vodka, Malibu and Fireball
We quickly unpacked, made a drink in our cups and walked around the ship until the Muster Drill (safety briefing) at 3:15pm.

After the Muster Drill we found the Serenity Deck (21+) and watched as we sailed away.

Then we headed inside to the Relaxation Room and hung out until dinner.  

We opted for Anytime Dining as opposed to a set dining time and ended up eating at 5:30pm.  We were assigned the Black Pearl dining room.  

The menu changes nightly but there's always bread.

When you cruise you can order as much as you want.  I started with the Strawberry Bisque and Henry had the Cured Salmon.  For my main course I had the Braised Beef Brisket and for dessert I had to get the Melting Chocolate Cake with a side of peanut butter!  

We were done with dinner by 7:15pm and then we headed to the Spa.  Since we were in a Spa room we received a free jar of Chocolate Peppermint Scrub.  

After the Spa we headed to the Deli and had sandwiches.  I had turkey on a pretzel bun. 

Our next stop was the Piano Bar, then the Red Carpet Dance Club.  We stayed until 10:45pm then headed to the Comedy show that started at 11:00pm.  After comedy it was back to the Dance Club and around 1:00am we called it a night.
The Piano Bar

Friday, August 10, 2018

Day 181 - 5th adjustment

6 months down!  1/4 of the way through treatment!

I know I skipped a few adjustments but nothing really spectacular happened since my last blog post.

Adjustment #3 I stayed in the same size wires and same spring.  I went with pink bands.  I was a little sore after just from the orthodontist taking the old rubber bands off and putting the new ones one but not too bad.

Adjustment #4 I got a thicker wire on top.  The assistant really had to work that wire in place!  It's more of a squared wire than round.  My teeth were super sore!  The bottom wire stayed the same but I got a longer, thicker spring.  This really helped make room for my stubborn tooth.  I have a big gap on the bottom now!  I choose green bands.

So much movement in one month.

Look at that gap!

That spring really bothered me.  It stuck out pretty far and constantly rubbed on my lip.  I actually had to use wax again. 

Adjustment #5 was yesterday.  Same size wire on the top since I just went up in size last month.  They re-installed a bracket on my stubborn tooth (that's what my orthodontist calls it) and hooked it into the wire.  I actually went down in wire size so it would bend easier.
You can really see the difference in the size of the top wire.

There was some left over glue on my stubborn tooth that the ortho had to grind off.  It made my tooth a little sensitive and now I'm worried for when the time comes to get them all off.    

Next month if that bottom tooth has moved into place my orthodontist will work on closing the gap on the bottom.  I went with silver rubber bands this time.    

I've noticed that my lips are so chapped lately.  Anyone have an suggestions for a really good lip balm?  

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Day 97 - 2nd adjustment

I can't believe I've been in braces for almost 100 days!  It really doesn't seem like it's been that long.

I had my 2nd adjustment today.  My orthodontist left me in the same size wire (thank goodness, I was sore all month from going to a thicker wire at my last appointment).  Due to my stubborn bottom tooth he decided to use a stronger spring to push apart the 2 teeth next to the crooked one and he removed the bracket as well.  Hopefully next month there will be more room and that stubborn tooth will turn into place.

I honestly don't see that much difference when I look at my before and after picture but I can definitely tell when I'm flossing that I have more space between my teeth.  My bite feels different now too.

Rockin' the rainbow!
Making room for that stubborn tooth.
I have to say that this past month has been the sorest so far.  I can totally tell a difference in the thicker wire.  Most days my teeth have been sore but after eating something that requires a lot of chewing my teeth will ache for a long time.  I try to stay positive and think that sore teeth means that they are moving and I'll soon have straight teeth!

One last photo...who doesn't love these Snapchat filters?!?!  It's great to see if there's food stuck in my teeth (which happens all the time now!)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Day 62 - First adjustment

I can't believe I'm over 2 months in on my braces!  I had my first adjustment today.  Before I had braces I would hear people talk about getting their braces tightened.  I had a mental picture of the orthodontist pulling the wire tighter at each visit.  Well that's not how it happens.  You may not get a new wire each month but they will take the wire out and reinstall with new ligatures (the colorful rubber bands that hold the wire on).  Basically the wire is pre-shaped to the perfect arch.  When it's installed it tries to return to its perfect shape pulling your teeth along with it.  As time goes on the wire gets thicker allowing more pressure to be put on your teeth.  

Yesterday I went up in wire thickness.  I also had a small spring installed in the front.  According to my ortho my front tooth is stubborn so the spring will make more room, faster, so the tooth can turn into place.

Tiny little spring to force the teeth apart.
I can really tell a difference with this new wire.  My teeth are SO sore this morning.  It didn't even hurt this much when I first got them on!  My appointment was at noon and by the evening I hurt.  I didn't even want to eat dinner and it hurt to brush my teeth.  

I'm always amazed how fast teeth can move even though at times it feels like they are not moving at all.  This picture is only 1 day apart.  My bottom midline was shifting to the right but after the new wire and the spring it's pretty much back to normal.

Look how much my bottom midline has moved in 1 day!

My wire now goes through the molar bands.  I was wondering how it stays on and it looks like it's just threaded through the little hole.  No rubber band to hold the wire in place.

Look at the bend in that wire!

Other than that not much to update.  I'll post some pictures below of my progress so far.  Next appointment is in 4 weeks.  Hopefully the stubborn tooth with start moving.