Disney Wonder Southern Caribbean 2020 Day 1

We woke up super early today. I was too excited to sleep really well last night. Dad of CSP picked us up and we were at the airport by 8 am for our 10:30 am flight to San Juan. We had a smooth flight to Puerto Rico and I was able to watch most of Long Shot with Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron. It was funny!

CSP was impressed with his lunch on the plane.

We arrived in San Juan and took a taxi to our hotel, the Hampton Inn in Isla Verde. The room was really nice and clean and the hotel even has a swim up bar! Fancy! We called home to let everyone know we made it safely then walked to dinner at Metropol. To get to Metropol we had to walk past a cockfighting arena! Why isn’t this illegal in PR?? If we weren’t leaving for a cruise I’d be protesting!

Dinner at Metropol was really good and authentic! CSP had a sampler plate with a TON of food. I had chicken in a garlic sauce with plantain mofungo. Then we shared a wee tres leches cake. So good!

Molly Xavier MuShu

My beautiful Molly is very sick. I just talked to our amazing vet again and here’s what’s going on. Molly has an enlarged heart, masses on her heart and liver that are most likely tumors, and fluid in her lungs. She is 13 years old, will be 14 in January. She can only see shadows out of one eye. She has arthritis. And now her organs & the tumors are pushing her windpipe against her spine, making it difficult to breathe. And apparently she wasn’t having seizures like we thought, but rather mini cardiac episodes.
Molly is my constant companion. She is always by my side. She’s the best wee dog we’ve ever had. Never caused any trouble. She LOVES everyone.
As far as treatment goes, there are some v expensive diagnostics we could have done. If found to be a tumor on her heart, and not just a benign mass, it’s recommended she goes to heaven. If it’s not a tumor she could be put on cardiac meds and we could spend another year with her, maybe. Then there are the liver tumors. That’s a separate ultrasound and treatment. We are not made of money and even if we were we don’t think we’d put her through all that. Not when we’ve had 14 incredible years with her.
This is the hardest part of being a dog parent. Our hearts are broken. THANK YOU all for your messages and texts and concern and love for us and our special girl. ❤️

I made the appointment to help Molly go to the Rainbow Bridge for tomorrow (Friday 12/13) at 2:00PM. Last night CSP worked until about 11:30 pm. He arrived home about midnight and we didn’t get to bed until about 2:30 am. Molly came to bed with us and drank some water. She ate dinner and was moving around slowly but surely. Her breathing was getting more and more labored. CSP helped her into bed where she joined me, Minnie, and Zoe. Then he picked Molly up and held her close to him while he sat on the edge of the bed. I could hear her breathing. He spoke to her softly and told her it was ok if she wanted to go on to Heaven. So she did.
Molly Xavier MuShu Redwing was the goodest, best pug ever. She was smart, yet goofy. She was so funny! She made us laugh every single day. I didn’t get to say goodbye. Even though I was in the room, I didn’t realize she was leaving us until I couldn’t hear her breathe anymore and CSP told me she was gone. I just pray that she knew how much we loved her. How much we will miss her. How much we already do.
After she passed away CSP held her while we petted her and told her how much we love her. We then wrapped her in a soft blanket and let Minnie and Zoe sniff her in the hopes they would understand (maybe?) what was going on. Faithful Companion came and picked her up today and will bring her ashes back to us tomorrow.
Today was CSP’s birthday. It was a somber day but we still tried to celebrate her life as well as CSP’s. The timing could not have been worse but we are so very thankful that Molly went to Heaven surrounded by her parents and sisters and love.
Thank you so, so much for all your kind words and messages about my buddy Molly By Golly. It really means the world to us. ♥️🐾♥️

Tomato

This is a plushy tomato toy. Last year on my birthday we stopped in at Lidl for a couple things. I stayed in the car while CSP ran in to shop. He came out with this thing that he found in the clearance bin for like $2 and proudly presented it to me. As a gift. Happy Birthday CSP exclaimed! Aw thanks, Honey! So we got home and I put the tomato on my desk. But it’s been months now and I’m not the biggest tomato fan really. So I put it with the pug toys. Keep in mind this side eye giving tomato is a good 6 inches tall, so he’s not some tiny thing I can easily find a place for on my desk. I mean, thank you, but what do I need with a giant plushy tomato?? Well fast forward to the other day when CSP was tidying up the pug toys. The pugs’ cousin Bea had been here for a week so toys were strewn everywhere. He came upon Mr. Tomato on the floor in the midst of the rest of the toys. “What’s he doing down here??? Why is he on the floor??” CSP picked him up, dusted him off and plopped him down on my printer. “I gave you this on your birthday!!!” He was low key not pleased that I’d let the tomato go to the pugs. So now he’s sitting on my printer, taking up space, eyeing me like I’m some sort of ungrateful gift traitor! Punk ass vegetable!

CSP & his CPAP

CSP has been using his CPAP machine now for about a week and a half and to say our lives have changed would be an understatement! First of all, it is now QUIET in our room at night. Before there was all the snoring and groaning and grunting and talking and leg flailing and so on and so forth! Now it’s all blissful silence! And CSP is sleeping through the night! Before his CPAP he’d wake up throughout the night and make all kinds of noise getting up to go to the restroom or to watch tv etc. The other day he slept 7 hours and woke up feeling refreshed, saying he felt better than if he’d slept 12 hours before! It’s awesome! AND- no naps! He used to almost always take a daily nap, especially if he worked an early shift. And he’d fall asleep watching tv (especially sportsball). But no more! Amazing! He’s more productive around the house now because he has so much more energy. This CPAP is a Godsend I tell you! It took YEARS of me badgering him to go to the sleep doctor and finally I just made the appointment and forced him to go. Best decision ever!!!

Injection Day!!!

Every 4 weeks I inject myself in each thigh with 150 mgs of Cosentyx to control my psoriasis. Before Cosentyx I was SO self conscious about my psoriasis. Big, red, itchy splotches covered my arms, legs, torso, scalp, everywhere! It was especially problematic in the summer when I’d be forced to wear short sleeves because of the heat. The looks I would get! But now I’m 100% clear! No more worrying about showing my arms in the summer! No more itching! Life is GOOD my friends! Now, the main reason I wanted to share this with you is to tell you that Cosentyx is SUPER expensive if you don’t have insurance or if your insurance doesn’t cover it. Like hundreds of dollars a month. My insurance covers it (right now, that can change) but my co-pay is $100 a month. But I pay $0 a month because Novartis (who makes Cosentyx) covers my co-pay!!! And they will probably do the same for you! They have a program called Covered Until You’re Covered that I was in for a year when my insurance didn’t cover Cosentyx. Novartis just sent me the drug for free! And now that my insurance does cover it, Novartis pays the co-pay. It’s amazing! So if you’re suffering from psoriasis like I was, check out Cosentyx from Novartis!!! By the way, this is not an ad or sponsored post. I get no compensation from Novartis. I’m just a very satisfied customer!!!

Disney Wonder Western Caribbean Day 9

This morning we woke up extra early to get dressed and pack our last minute things.  We do the express walk off to avoid standing in line at customs.  That means you carry your own bags off the ship and you don’t have breakfast onboard.  OMG! we had SO much stuff! I swear we didn’t get on the ship with that much stuff!!!  We got off the ship and went through customs in record time.  No lines at all!

We packed up the car and went to breakfast.  CSP found a good prospect on Yelp so we went there.  It’s called Southern Charm Cafe.  Good thing we got there when we did (about 8:15am) because once we got seated, with no wait, a huge line appeared and people were waiting all out the door and down the sidewalk!

All the waitstaff wear t-shirts with cute sayings on the backs like “Raised on Sweet Tea” and “There’s Nothing Biscuits and Gravy Can’t Fix”.  Well one of the servers’ shirts said “Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit!” IMG_0944.jpg CSP apparently had never heard that saying before (being from Minnesota and all).  He laughed about that all the way home!  Breakfast was really good.  We decided to make that place our go to spot for post cruise breakfasts from here on out!

We hit the road for home and should have been home around 5:30 pm but somewhere in v rural SC on I 95 there was a HUGE accident.  So Nigel, my phone’s navigator voice, rerouted us through this TINY town to bypass the wreck.  That added about an hour onto our trip.  We finally got home around 7 pm to some really excited pugs!

Now….to save our pennies for the next cruise!!!

Disney Wonder Western Caribbean Day 8- Part 2

Castaway Cay Day!!!  Our 17th anniversary!!!  So, back to the island!  While CSP was out riding his bike I read my book out on the mini sofa. All around the cabanas are trees and lush vegetation.  Birds were flying everywhere!  In and out of the cabana.  Hummingbirds and sweet little tiny colorful birds. They were sure not scared of us!  I was drinking a Sprite and a wee bird came and perched right on my can and helped himself to a drink!  He wasn’t even a foot away from me! Then he must have gone and told his friends because within a few minutes there were tons of birds hanging around, drinking CSP’s Coke, eating CSP’s chips (!!!) and dive bombing us!See the bird on the left side of picture? Contrasted against the towel.

CSP came back from biking and we took a couple of the low beach chairs down to sit in the water.  

Our cabana is number 15, to the right of our yellow umbrella. To the left of the umbrella you can see the bin of floats & tubes.

The weather was AMAZING!  74* and a few tiny clouds in the sky.  The water was pretty cool, but I like it cool. It wasn’t too cool for the cabana kids to be swimming and playing in it- they were having a great time!  And the fish- lots of tiny fish swimming all around our feet and we even saw a huge white fish swim by.

Next thing we knew it was time for lunch.  We walked down to Cookies Too BBQ and got a table.  The tables are all under this big structure so you’re in the shade for lunch.

CSP went and got his food first.  Kwan was there (our assistant server).  She is SO sweet! She came right over to talk to me and kept asking could she go get my food.  CSP came back and I went to the buffet to get my lunch.  On the way back to the table 3, THREE different crew members asked to take my tray to the table! Finally a man just took it from me! I led him to our table and we had a nice lunch. They have all kinds of stuff for you to choose from.  I had a spicy chicken sandwich, corn on the cob, and some potato salad.  CSP had some mahi mahi and chicken and a bunch of other stuff I can’t quite remember. Kwan brought us some coconut and banana bread to try and it was lovely.

We walked back to the cabana

(coconuts in that tree!!!) after lunch and CSP had a wee nap.  I chatted with our neighbors and read my book.  We had another little wildlife visitor in the form of a curly tailed lizard. IMG_0726.jpgSo cute!  Before we knew it Glenn, the concierge guy, came by to tell us the island taxi would be by to pick us up at 3:30.  The afternoon just FLEW by.  I got my stuff together but CSP decided he would rather walk back to the ship on his own.  He wanted to stop by the shops on the way to the ship. While I waited for the taxi I took a selfie and that’s when I realized I’d forgotten sunscreen on my face!!!  Doh!

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I looked like a tomato!!! Soon enough the golf cart came and I piled on with Laci & family.  Here are some pictures CSP took on the way back to the ship.

I got back to our room at about 4.  Soon after the phone rang.  It was Guest Services looking for CSP!  Is he there? No. When did you last see him?  I left him in the cabana.  What’s going on?  Just have him call us ma’am.

OMG!!!! CSP is causing yet ANOTHER international incident! Click here to read about his first incident!  A few moments later CSP walked through the door. I filled him in and called Guest Services.  The lady who answered said “Oh yes, we’ve been looking for him.  I’ll let the officer know.” WHAT??  Turns out that what happened was when I boarded the ship they logged in my Key To The World Card and I guess just assumed he was with me because they asked for just one KTTWC per stateroom.  But then he didn’t tap his card in when going through security when I went through because he wasn’t with me.  So I guess they thought I lost him somewhere between the security checkpoint and the ship!

All’s well that ends well!  Next up: pool time, extreme winds, & Mardi Gras!!!

Stay tuned for Part 3!

Disney Wonder Western Caribbean Day 8- Part 1

Castaway Cay Day! Our 17th Anniversary!!! It’s a big day with lots to talk about and tons of pictures to share so I’m breaking it up into parts.

Last night when we entered our room we found an envelope. IMG_0661.jpg Inside was a map of Castaway Cay, a lot of information, and 2 wristbands for our CABANA!!!!  Yep! I miraculously scored a cabana on the family beach (the best side in my opinion)! Gather round and I’ll tell you how it happened.  Our new friends Laci and Rusty sailed concierge this cruise.  Concierge gets first dibs on the cabanas and there are only 25 on the whole island! 21 on the Family Beach and 4 at Serenity Bay, the adult only beach.  Well, Laci and Rusty ended up with 2 cabanas and they only needed one.  So they offered up the 2nd cabana to our cruise group! So generous and nice!!!  I plead our case, that it’s our 17th anniversary and we reeeeeaaaalllly wanted one and they let us have their spare! Woot!!!  I mean, we still paid for it but just getting the cabana is a huge feat in itself so we are immensely grateful!

Fast forward to this morning.  The golf cart island taxi was scheduled to pick us up at 9:30 am.  Well you’re allowed to leave the ship for Castaway Cay at 8:30 am.  So CSP said SEE YA and went on without us.  He really enjoyed having the cabanas all to himself! He was the first of the cabana guests to arrive and instead of stopping to check in like he was supposed to… CSP just bypassed that altogether and walked straight to our cabana with the cabana crew members running behind him yelling “Sir!  Sir!!!” because they are all about only letting the cabana guests into that area.  OMG! CSP’s causing an international incident!  Knucklehead!

Once they determined that CSP was legit, a crew member gave him the grand tour of our cabana, #15! To get to our cabana you walk down this lush path.  Our’s was right near the restrooms which is v v convenient!

Here it is!

When you walk in there’s a closet immediately to your right that holds a safe and some towels.  Then there’s a counter top with a drink menu and a basket full of snacks. On the wall above the counter there’s the controls for music and there’s a button.  Push the button and a cabana crew member will appear to help you! Under the counter are more towels, a garbage bin, and a mini fridge that’s stocked with water, soda, a fruit bowl, and chilled towels. V v fancy!  To your left is the main living area. There’s a sofa, a couple chairs, some small tables, a bench, and a changing area.  Keep walking forward and there are 2 chaise lounges and a mini sofa with a couple more tables.  On one of the tables is a basket with sunscreen in it. Overhead is a sail cloth shade so you’re not in direct sunlight. Walk down the stairs and to the right is the shower and to the left is the hammock. Walk straight ahead and there’s the Caribbean sea and the private beach. Amazing!  Just check out our views! Your own private world!

There are sand toys on your deck ( we gave ours to the Atkinson kids next door to play with.) Oh I forgot to mention that our next door neighbors were Laci & Rusty and family! Best neighbors ever! The cabana also comes with usage of bikes and snorkeling equipment, beach chairs, an umbrella, and a huge bin full of floats and inner tubes! Everything you could possibly need for a fabulous day at the beach!

I arrived at around 10am and found CSP snoozing on the hammock.  He woke up and I slathered him with sunscreen then he was off to ride a bike around the island and up to the observation tower. Oh, how I wish in that moment I had remembered to slather my own face with the SPF 100 sunscreen I brought with me.  CSP put sunscreen on my arms & neck and I did (most) of my legs.  I missed one spot on the inside of each knee somehow.  Burn, baby, burn. While CSP was out riding his bike I read more of my book “My Not So Perfect Life” by Sophie Kinsella.  V cute beach read, perfect for this trip.

CSP came back from his bike ride and……

More later! Stay tuned for Part 2!

Disney Wonder Western Caribbean Day 6

Grand Cayman Day! We slept in a bit and missed breakfast.  We’ve been to Grand Cayman a few times and the one port adventure we wanted to do was sold out so we opted to stay on the ship again.

We got into our swimsuits and went up to Cabana’s buffet for lunch.  CSP was so excited to finally get his peel and eat shrimp and that boy put away a ton of them!IMG_0640.jpg

After an early lunch we spent all day at the pool.  It was awesome! No crowds, easy to find 2 chairs together in the shade, blue skies, not too hot, and it was nice and quiet!

 

There were a ton of cruise ships (7!) in port today and lots of private yachts too!

Finally it was time to go get showered for dinner & our movie. Tonight’s movie was Thor Ragnarok. OMG it was SO funny!  We don’t have cable or satellite tv at home so we don’t see a lot of previews for movies.  So we’ve been going into these movies with 0 expectations. And I have to say I like it better that way- they are all a total surprise!

While we were getting dressed for dinner an announcement came over the loudspeaker. Bright Star, bright star, some other code words and a cabin number.  That sure didn’t sound good. 😦

After Thor we went back to the Promenade Lounge to wait for dinner.

By now the Captain had come back on the loud speaker to explain that there was a medical emergency and our departure was delayed.  So sad.

Tonight’s dinner was at Triton’s again.  IMG_0644.jpg

Kwan surprised me with a whole bowl of the yellow sweetener for my tea. IMG_0645.jpg So sweet that she noticed that’s the sweetener I use!  A Southern girl has to have her sweet tea!

CSP was looking especially handsome tonight.  IMG_0646.jpg

On the way back to our room after dinner we spied Chip and Dale! IMG_2798.jpgThey are too cute!  We got back to our room and changed clothes because we had a date! More on that in a minute. First I want to show you our door. IMG_0647.jpg We decorate it with magnets like a lot of people do.  But we found out on this cruise we are conservative in our decorating! Some people go all out! It really does make it easier to find your room though in those long hallways of white door after white door.

We discovered a turtle on our bed when we entered! IMG_0648.jpg

Each night CSP would take the towel animal and very carefully place him on the sofa to preserve him so we could enjoy him during the day.  Sweet.

It was time for us to head up to deck 8 for our date! We walked the length of the ship on the pool deck on the way.

Finally we arrived at Laci & Rusty’s Concierge Suite! Boy was it nice!  In the space that is our entire room they had a bathroom, closet, dining area and living room with giant tv. Then off that there was a huge bedroom and ginormous bathroom with jacuzzi tub!!! Granted they were there with their 3 children so they filled up the space easily but I could sure see CSP & I enjoying a suite like that one day! We were there to play a card game CSP & I had never played before:  Cards Against Humanity. IMG_0649.jpg OMG! people! This game is insane!  The only thing I’d ever heard about it was that it is not for the easily offended. All I can tell you is that we laughed SO hard for so long!  It’s a super fun game! At one point CSP’s entire head and neck were purple from laughing so hard!  Laci and Rusty were the perfect people to introduce us to the game. They are hilarious in their own right!  Plus they had the game plus booster packs.  Enough cards that we played until 2 am!!!  Finally we pulled ourselves away and retired to our room with sore cheeks from all that laughter.  Cards Against Humanity is on my shopping list now!

Tomorrow- sea day and Palo brunch!

Disney Wonder Western Caribbean Day 5

Costa Maya Day!  Another port we’ve visited before, so we decided to enjoy the empty ship again today.  We woke up early and went to the buffet in Cabana’s for breakfast.  Costa Maya was pretty crowded with cruise ships today.

There was even a little ship wrecked on the shore. IMG_0615.jpg

After breakfast we went back to our room to get ready for the day. IMG_0617.jpg

First on our agenda was another movie- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 It was so good! Baby Groot is the cutest thing!!!

After the movie we went up on the pool deck to grab a snack since we missed lunch.  I had a chicken shawarma which was really good.  Then we went back to our room to drop off the popcorn bucket and get ready for afternoon tea.

Our cruise group had an afternoon tea in the Cadillac Lounge. IMG_0619.jpg It was so nice!  Plus the Cadillac Lounge is very cool- great theming.  We arrived and got our goodies IMG_0618.jpgand then Laci and Rusty and their kids arrived and joined us.  It was the first time we were meeting Birthday Girl Keci and their son Kade. We all had a great time during the tea.  It was such a nice break during the day.  The Wonder had coffee, hot tea, iced tea, and so many little desserts and finger sandwiches.  I’m mad I didn’t get more pictures!

Once tea was over we rushed to the other end of the ship to the Buena Vista Theatre again to see Black Panther.  We were excited to see it because it had been sold out for so long at home! On the way to the theatre we walked right past Belle. IMG_0620.jpg I went to the restroom before the movie and discovered this:  IMG_0621.jpg I had to take a picture for CSP.  He loves all the behind the scenes stuff! Speaking of restrooms, I don’t know how it is in the mens’ rooms but in the ladies’ there are fresh roses! IMG_0583.jpg

It’s a v nice touch!

After the movie we had about 40 minutes before dinner so we went back to the Promenade Lounge for cocktails. I’m realizing as I’m writing these blog posts that it seems like we’re drinking all the time.  We’re really not big drinkers, especially at home.  But on the cruise I like to have a coconut mojito when I can and CSP takes part in the big beer mug program.  You pay something like $15 and get a big beer mug, then when you refill it they only charge you for a pint of beer instead of the full 22 ounces.  It’s a great deal.

Tonight’s dinner was at Tiana’s Place.  We were very excited as this was our first time there.  Again, the theming was spot on.

In the bottom right picture above you can see Louis came out to greet everyone with his trumpet!

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They have a live band playing during most of dinner.  They were good!  It was fun having the music.  All the kids got up and danced with Tiana.  Speaking of Tiana….she went around to each table tonight and greeted everyone! IMG_0630.jpg

That woman has endless energy! To do this for 2 dinner services a night, plus all the singing and dancing!!!

Oh, and the food was really good too! Louisiana Cajun style. IMG_0632.jpgThis is CSP’s tiramisu.  He liked the little frog on the plate.

After dinner we went up to bed. It was another great day!