The Hunt Family Visits San Diego.

After growing up in Tucson, any opportunity to be near water is one I will happily take. So, when my in-laws decided to celebrate 50 fabulous years of marriage with a trip to San Diego and invited us to be a part of the getaway, there was no way we could say no. Also, road trip? Yes please. I love taking the scenic route…although I had never done so with an 18-month old in tow.

Luckily, the interstate stars were aligned and we survived the 6.5 hour trip with nary a toddler breakdown. It might have something to do with the fact that we packed 50 days worth of activities and snacks.

Part of the reason I love road trips is that you never know what you’ll stumble across. Take for instance metal dinosaurs at your average Gila Bend gas station stop.

Triceratops...more like Tricera-gas-stops!  No? Too far a stretch?

Triceratops…more like Tricera-gas-stops!
No? Too far a stretch?

Max is unsure about baby Rex.

Max is unsure about baby Rex.

Graeme, his mini-me, and Mr. Rex

Graeme, his mini-me, and Mr. Rex

Typically when I take a trip, I do it on the cheap. But thanks to the generosity of my in-laws, they booked us all at the Loews Coronado Bay hotel. Also thanks to them, I have a new standard for vacationing! Jacuzzis, on-site restaurants, strolls to the beach, magnificent views. I’m pretty hoity-toity now.

The one thing we all looked forward to the most was the San Diego Zoo. We each had a favorite animal we wanted to visit, and after six hours, half the park covered, and loans taken out to purchase zoo food, we all walked away pretty content.

Karen likes to study the visitors.

Karen likes to study the visitors.

Who can roar the loudest?

Who can roar the loudest?

After the zoo, we visited neighboring Balboa park sites, rode an old-timey carousal, and acted as if we didn’t have a care in the world. Next up – dinner! On the way back to the hotel, we decided to stop at 1887 on the Bay for sustenance.  Although Max can sit still for nearly half a day during a car ride, once we sit down to dinner, all bets are off. From what I remember of dinner, and the 2.5 seconds in which I scarfed it down, it was pretty freaking delicious. Maybe I’ll start being annoying and snapping photos of everything I eat so that I can have some sort of lasting memory.

Another vacation highlight was visiting the USS Midway Museum. It’s a pretty incredible place featuring a ton of history. From bunks, to planes, to sheer magnitude, this vessel is a must see. And I’m not even a military or history buff.

Max demonstrating the sound a car makes.

Max demonstrating the sound a car makes.

Stud muffins.

Stud muffins.

Finally, my favorite part of any coastal visit – the beach! Loews is only a 5 minute walk with direct access to Silver Strand Beach. This beach pleased my newfound hoity-toity senses. The weather hovered around 65 degrees our entire trip, so although we didn’t swim, we definitely enjoyed some restorative beach time.

Max seriously digging the ocean.

Max seriously digging the ocean.

Father/Son silhouette anyone?

Father/Son silhouette anyone?

Max's favorite part was feeling the waves head back to the ocean.

Max’s favorite part was feeling the waves head back to the ocean.

Basically, I can’t wait to return.

Tinsel Teeth

Part two of my mouth saga continues. This week I journeyed into my orthodontist’s office for the bottom set of braces. It’s best to get my bottom teeth exactly where they need to be, in order to help my top set along.

I’ve been trying to embrace this whole ordeal as some sort of delayed adolescence, so I’ve refused to to get worked up about anything or research the process endlessly like I’m prone to do.

What to expect:
– Polish and mouth grit (much like the dentist)
– UV lights (much like the nail salon, but on your teefuses)
– Bondo (yuck!)
– Brackets (glued to your teeth…wha?)
– Bands (in all colors imaginable)
– The feeling of something stuck in your teeth (for instance…braces)
– Itchy Teeth (from tooth movement and metal items adhered to your mouth)

To be honest, it’s not all that bad. I’m not keen on the idea of being Metal Mouth for the next 1.5 years, but I do look forward to being the brightest smile in the room (whether it’s from the reflection of metal remains to be seen).

I can’t complain though, this is after all, a first world problem: The bruised ego of a working professional adult who can afford dental care. Besides, if you haven’t heard, this look is all the rage in Asia.

Shuper Shweet.

Two weeks ago, for the first time in my life, I was put under for surgery.

It all started a few years back when I visited the orthodontist to address my slight crossbite and minor crowding. I thought it would be easy. I could snap in some Invisalign trays and be on my merry way.

Unfortunately, upon closer professional inspection, my orthodontist informed me that he could fix my mouth, but would have to perform surgery. *sunk*

Did I mention the visit was two weeks before my wedding? No way was surgery happening now.

What did happen was that life got in the way, as well as home renovations, and baby creation. 2.5 years later and life finally opened up a “convenient” window of opportunity to undergo surgery, because let’s face it, is there ever a convenient time to have your jaw mutilated?

Long story short, I had to undergo SARPE surgery (surgically assisted rapid palatal expansion). Because I’m an adult (boo) and my bones are solidified and no longer growing (boo) and I have to have my gums peeled back and my upper jaw severed in multiple places (multiple boos). Next, they affix a rapid palatal expander thing-a-ma-bob torture device to my teeth for several months. Every night my loving husband has the extreme pleasure of inserting a key and turning the contraption so it widens my upper jaw. And yes, there have been plenty of jokes and innuendos involving keys, holes, and difficulties between the two.

Insert this for instantaneous coolness and popularity.

Insert this for instantaneous coolness and popularity.

I was pretty excited about the whole process and finally having it done. Smiling should feel easy and natural and not something I should be self-conscious about, so at the age of 31, it was about damn time. The worst part about it all, other than the cost, was the recovery. Like I said, I’ve never been put under before and had no idea what to expect.

Before:

Notice lack of teeth in photo?

Notice lack of teeth in photo?

After:

Two days after surgery.

Two days after surgery.

My face had swollen to unknown proportions. Eating consisted of liquid items and Percocet. For the first 48 hours I regretted my decision and wondered how I could let my vanity get the best of me.

But here I sit, a little over a week later. My face is back to normal, my food intake is almost back to normal, and my speech pattern is nowhere near normal. Yet, I’m once again excited about the process. I can’t wait to grin like a mother effing chesire cat when this is all done and over with. After 31 years, what’s a few more months?

1 8 9 10