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We Were Together, I Forget The Rest -Whitman

In the actual blink of an eye, one year of marriage has flown by! 

It was such an incredible year, and on our actual anniversary we recreated our Hawaiian honeymoon by going to Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at the Polynesian Resort. 
I have heard a lot of mixed reviews about this experience, however, I will say, we totally enjoyed it. The food was delicious and the entertainment was really fun. I would totally recommend this experience, especially to those who maybe don't foresee themselves flying to Hawaii anytime soon. 

all you can eat pork, ribs, chicken, veggies, rice, tropical bread, and salad

toasted coconut pineapple cake

Our actual anniversary is July 21, and during the day, we took a trip to one of our favorite beaches, Honeymooon Island. The minute we arrived it started thunder storming, so we were forced to find some lunch while it poured. 

We wanted to keep with the Hawaiian theme, and ended up at The Honu Restaurant for some delicious, traditional-island style food. 
Huli Huli Chicken burger with jalapeno citrus aioli 

Lika's Polynesian Pie- Char sui ground pork, peas & carrots, purple mashed, melted cheese & side salad
Finally, the rain stopped, and we were able to go back to the beach for a bit. Although we did not see a dolphin like the last time we were at this beach, the water was still exceptionally clear and a nice warm temperature. 
We had a great time celebrating our first wedding anniversary, and I cannot wait to see where we will be for our second! Love you, Michael. 
Check out more wedding photos here
We actually spent a lot of additional time at the Polynesian Resort after our anniversary because Mike's family came into town and stayed there also. We had Ohana breakfast with some familiar faces, as well as poolside lime dole whip! 

stitch waffles!

One of my favorite meals during their visit was our dinner at Artists Point with Snow White and some of her friends.

I was not so sure about the appetizer options, however, both the main and dessert options were delicious! Look out for those poison apples though... 
appetizers; mushroom bisque, shrimp cocktail, and hunter's terraine cracker platter

my favorite- Miner's Treasures!

chocolate poison apple
Gooseberry Pie!

 Dinner was great and a fun time to celebrate our anniversary with Mike's family. 
outside Artists Point at Fort Wilderness 

Also being celebrated recently is my mom! After 7 years in Orlando, it's time for her to once again make a big move up to Cincinnati to spend time with her mother and family there. It was nice to have some extra hands this time when packing up the house.

Before she was off to Cincinnati, we had one last Universal Studios family day.
We stayed at the Universal Studios Cabana Bay Resort the night before, where we swam, bowled, and even had s'mores on the campfire. 

note the view of Volcano Bay Water Park from the pool area

The next morning was a very early one, to get into the park, where we finally got to ride the new ride, Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

 Let me tell you, this ride had me geeked. It is full of surprises and really well done. #WorthTheWait 

The other Universal 'last' my mom wanted to do before saying goodbye were some of the water rides. Thinking we were prepared with ponchos and plastic bags, we boarded Bluto's Bilge-Rats Barges. Ride was fun, but we all ended up soaked through our ponchos, however, these are the memories we cherish for a lifetime, aren't they?
This summer has been full of memory making with both the nieces and my mom. It's been really nice to have some additional time together. My mom had mentioned a few 'lasts' in Orlando she wanted to do before leaving, including visiting some of the Disney Resorts down here since she had never been. I created a Disney World Resorts scavenger hunt for us to explore together. We had a blast trying new treats and visiting new places. 
"find favorite ears in World of Disney"

boat ride from Disney Springs to French Quarter 

"take a photo on Rue D'Baga Street"

count the alligators  

have beignets at Sassagoula's

They had pumpkin spice beignets and they were sooo good!!

"take a photo with the castle from the monorail"

"write your name in the sand at Poly Beach"

hi tiny castle!

"get a flower lei at Polynesian Resort"

have dole whip

Eventually, the unavoidable came, and it was time for my mom to officially move out of the sunshine state. It just so happened my great aunt was celebrating her 90th birthday the week my mom was moving, so luckily, the entire family was able to come up and celebrate before sending my mom off. 

We of course started the festivities off with some classic Cincinnati Skyline Chili followed up by some UDF ice cream. 

I also got to spend some time with my favorite, my grandma, playing dominos and learning how to hone in on my card making skills.

 One of the other highlights of this weekend in Cincinnati was finally getting to meet my nephew! While it was a little challenging having to share him with lots of other eager aunts and cousins, it was simply magical for us all to be together. 

The surprise party for my great aunt was a smashing success, and it was so great to be together. 

 It was really hard to say 'see you later' to my mom as she starts off on this new adventure, but who knows what the future holds for all of us. In the meantime, we love you, mama and are so proud of you!

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