I’m Back!!! Let’s Start with a Mini Visual Recap of Disney

Three years ago we took our boys on a surprise trip to Disney World. They loved it and from the time we came home, they have asked when we would return. Before going, I never understood how people would take their kids there multiple times. But after going as a child and then going with my own children, I finally understand. So we decided this year would be the year we would return to Disney.We headed off a day after school let out to see if Disney could still feel magical on our second visit. One of my favorite pictures is the one above of Apollo and Mickey waving. It captures all the excitement and magic in one photo. We stood there with all of those people and when Mickey appeared the energy shot up like nobody’s business. Priceless.

At night we slept like pirates in our ships and in the day we sought out adventures in the different theme parks. I was still amazed how wonderful the service is and the boys were still captivated by all to see and of course their magic bands.  Oh and before I go further, I do have pictures of Nick on this vacation but he has reached the age where he does not like for me to put him up on the blog. So I am respecting his wishes.With Disney, it can be overwhelming but we learned so much from our first trip and we knew the higher heat would challenge us. We didn’t rush. I am a planner and I had everything planned and scheduled before we left our home for Disney. But I found myself in the position where I had to let go of the control.  Initially, I resisted and then I let go and set back and enjoyed each moment with my family. I remember someone telling me before my wedding to make sure that I pause throughout the wedding to take it all in or else it would be a blur and I would miss the beauty. I took that advice for both my wedding and on our vacations with the boys this summer. Each night I reflected on all the blessings we witnessed each day. It truly makes a difference. I didn’t want it to be like me checking off items on a list, I wanted it to be an experience where we truly immersed ourselves. I wanted the experience to create life-long memories for the boys that they could reminisce on into adulthood and I believe we achieved that.

Of course, we had to do a safari at the Animal Kingdom and I took way too many photos but there is something about it that makes me go photo crazy. I spared you all the photos and just included two.
The time of day dictates how many and which animals we were to see but this one below was a bit intimidating because yes, he was that close.If you have seen the movie Avatar, then you must go see this entire world they have created at the park called Pandora – The World of Avatar. It’s unbelievable and it occupies a large area of the Animal Kingdom. You can walk around and see really incredible creations. I would love to see the making of this attaction.They had two new rides that opened only a few weeks prior to our arrival that was inspired by the movie and somehow I scored a fast pass for us to ride one – Avatar Flight of Passage. We got to fly on the back of a mountain banshee during a 3D experience that is out of this world!  Hands down, this was my favorite ride. It felt so real I had to close my eyes a few times. On our first visit, I assumed the boys would not be so interested in Epcot but boy was I wrong so we had to make sure we returned on this trip. I love seeing all of the different architecture for the different countries. Morocco once again stole my heart and the meal we ate there was my favorite from the entire trip.We had so much fun roaming around our resort and we ended up eating most of our breakfasts there as well as swimming in one of their beautiful pools on a few days. The boys liked to beat us back to our room after breakfast by taking different routes around the resort and using their magic bands to enter the room first. Truly they did not get their good sense of direction from me.Once again we took my friend Joan’s advice and made sure the photographers took pictures of us with the kids but also just of us. Now if we could only get the people out of the background like the guy looking over Leao’s shoulder!!On the last day, the boys surprised me again and asked when we will return and I told them we will see. We have so many other places we would like to take them so, for now, we will have to wait. But I have no regrets returning to such an amazing place.

I am slowly getting my office in order as we prepare for Nick to return to school on the 14th and Apollo the 29th so I will resume a new posting schedule very soon. So come back so we can catch up!


Beginning of Summer “Kickoff” Vacation – Martha’s Vineyard


Well it’s been a week and a half since we came back from our first summer vacation of the season. We rented a house in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard. As a child, I visited Martha’s Vineyard in the summers to stay with family friends. We spent so much time with them on and off the island that we called them aunt, uncle and cousins. I always remember the ferry ride and hanging out playing late with the kids. Leao and I have gone alone but decided this year, it was time to make it a tradition for our boys. So I looked into properties and found a great one that was close to town. Some of our family was able to join us on the adventure making it even more fun.


The boys enjoyed the ride over since we took our car and they liked driving on and then going upstairs to catch the views.  Apollo enjoyed watching how close the seagulls would fly beside the deck. Once we were close to shore we rushed down and got back into the car to exit the ship.  Our house wasn’t too far a ride from the port. What we found was a narrow road to our house. At first, I thought it was strange to have such a narrow two-way road but as time went on I saw how it quite nicely controlled the speed of traffic on the street and set the tone for a laid back experience. I even took walks a few times on it with my mother-in-law so we could explore the neighborhood.


We spent the first few days exploring a lot of the different towns and sights on the island. I wanted to take them to Aquinnah Cliffs and Lighthouse (when I was a kid it was called Gay Head). It is a magnificent view of the cliffs. Unfortunately the lighthouse wasn’t open for guests since their recent renovations. Leao told me that since we last were here, they actually moved the lighthouse back to avoid the erosion of the cliffs. Moving a lighthouse is pretty amazing and I am glad they were able to preserve it. So we had to look at it from afar. We walked around Oak Bluffs and peeked into the shops. Nicholas even found a little free library. For several years, he and I have been facinated with finding little libraries. We recently found one in my hometown on the Cape. So finding one while on vacation was unexpected and delightful. Next year, we will have to bring a book to donate.


Hanging out at the house was also a great deal of fun because it an open floor plan with a loft so it never felt cramped. Apollo is into coding now so he spent time with his laptop.

beach1Beach time was a must and we found parking easy and settled into a relaxing routine. I couldn’t believe how close we were able to park. I could see my car from the beach so it made it easy when it was time to pack up.  The water was cold but refreshing from the heat.  We brought snacks and I of course brought my book to just chill.

hangingout2My brother-in-law and his girlfriend joined us in the middle of the week and we had a really nice time as always.

anniversary-celebrationsOur anniversary was on June 30th so my in-laws watched the boys and we headed out for adult fun on the island.  We had fun playing the games and listening to music before heading back to the house.

I have to say that this vacation was a success. I loved our location, I loved having family with us especially for the boy’s first trip there. This was the first time, I didn’t come home feeling like I needed a vacation from my vacation. I truly came back relaxed and happy to continue our summer fun.

That said, I am working on my blogging schedule to prepare to hear more from me once again. I hope you all are taking time to relax and rejuvenate.

Have a blessed day!



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