Kona Cafe, Ritz Carlton Spa, Sanaa & More – Mother’s Day Weekend 2016

It was a beautiful weekend in Central Florida and it just so happened to land perfectly on Mother’s Day Weekend. We had a few things planned for Emily but we also wanted to provide some downtime for her to just relax.  The weekend, like most of Emily’s celebrations, was a Mother’s Day Fest, involving multiple days of pampering the Queen.

Disney's Polynesian Resort

The festivities started on Saturday morning with breakfast at one of Emily’s absolute favorite spots, Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.  Emily loves Kona Cafe because they have her absolute favorite breakfast on the planet, the Macadamia Nut Pancakes.  If you have not tried them you are missing out on some of the most magical tasting pancakes that you will ever eat.  The breakfast hit the spot and the atmosphere at the Polynesian could not be better.  We had a bit of time before our next stop so we agreed to take advantage of the incredible weather and walk around the resort.

Disney's Polynesian Resort

If you have been to the Polynesian you might be aware of this beautiful walking path that leads from the Polynesian to the Grand Floridian, passing by the beautiful Wedding Pavilion.  Part of the walk is along a sandy beach area, providing you the opportunity to take off your shoes and feel the sand in your toes (if you so choose).  We took the opportunity to capture a few Mother’s Day weekend photos of Emily and the boys as we sauntered along the trail.  The sights and the smells were a magical way to kick off the weekend.

Ritz Carlton Spa Orlando

After we had filled ourselves with the Hawaiian spirit, it was time to take Emily to her next stop, the Ritz Carlton Spa for her afternoon massage treatments. Emily had done this one time before and really enjoyed it, so we agreed to pamper the only lady of the house and the one who keeps us in clean clothes and dinners!  The spa package included multi treatments, perfectly interrupted with a break for some lunch sitting out by the pool.  I asked her if she wanted me to leave the kids with her but was surprised when she asked that I take them back to the house with me.  She said, and I quote, “So long, suckas!” as we drove away, heading back to the house for some guys time and chores.  (Emily here: That quote is true, and that picture is SO AWKWARD.  I was trying to take a selfie while not looking like I was taking a selfie, with all the snooty patrons having lunch in their NORMAL clothes while I lounged in my spa robe, which the spa people told me was totally the norm and then I was the only one doing it.)

Vanbarry's Public House Orlando

Emily brought her clothes to change into for the evening because we arranged a babysitter so that we could go out and enjoy a fun dinner (and Emily could continue her relaxed mindset).  Because the weather was absolutely perfect, we agreed that we wanted to eat somewhere that had outdoor seating.  We normally select somewhere at Disney Springs, but due to the fact that we would be heading there the following weekend, we chose Vanberry’s Public House on Orange Ave. I randomly found the recommendation online and it was a restaurant we have driven by a number of times, but hadn’t yet tried out.  We decided to expand our horizons, and we were really glad that we did.  The meal was delicious as we shared a burger with bacon spread as well as a flatbread.  I would definitely recommend Vanberry’s Public House if you are looking for delicious casual food with a nice outdoor setting.  After a relaxing (and exhausting) day, we decided to take the road less traveled to get back to our house and called it a day.

Chocolate Chip Breakfast Scones

Sunday was officially Mother’s Day so I arose early to prepare the delicious Chocolate Chip Scone recipe that Emily made a few months back that she absolutely loved.  I made a double batch of scones so we could share them with Grandma Curly.  Well it turns out that these look easier to make than they actually are… or I am just not cut out to bake, you decide.  I finished up the first batch, set them out to cool and started batch number two after providing Emily breakfast in bed.  Following batch number two I grabbed the pressure washer out of the garage and spent next hour cleaning up the kitchen destruction that had just occurred.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Sanaa

We spent the rest of the morning cleaning the house which was exactly what Emily wanted to do on her Mother’s Day!  It was all worth it because we got to go to a late lunch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge at Sanaa, one of our favorite places to eat on Disney property.  We had the 3:00 seating which happened to be the last seating at lunch and it was surprisingly relaxing.  Emily’s parents joined us for lunch, which was extra special this year because Kee had completed her chemo in February, surgery in March, and was starting her final phase of treatments of radiation in June. There was definitely much to be thankful for on this Mother’s Day!  We had an amazing server who really took care of the ladies of the table.  We stuffed ourselves with the Sanaa bread service and all of the dips.  We enjoyed our delicious entrees and finished off with a little dessert.

After eating we explored the resort and took in the beautiful weather while we looked at all of the amazing animals at both Kidani Village as well as the Jambo House.  If you haven’t explored Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort I would highly recommending taking an afternoon just to walk around the grounds and explore.  Truly one of the best, most unique resorts across Walt Disney World.

Barbara Bush Motorcade

We headed back to the house, which happened to be on the same night as the opening ceremonies of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.  As we were driving home, we saw a motorcade behind us that was blasting its sirens, indicating that cars should pull off to the side of the road, which we did.  Emily with her amazing stealthy camera skills, was able to capture video with her phone of the motorcade.  This clearly was an important figure being escorted, and we were excited to review the footage to see if we could determine who, in fact, was so important that they didn’t need to wait for the traffic to clear.

Because we knew the FLOTUS was in town, as well as many other dignitaries, we decided to take the long way home through the airport to see if we could spot Air Force 1 (or I guess it would be Air Force 2) parked at the airport.  We spotted a few cool fighter plane looking things (sorry for my crude description for all of you military experts out there) which we assumed were going to be part of the opening ceremonies flyover of the Invictus Games.

We arrived home and invited Emily’s parents over to enjoy a drink on the back porch to enjoy what was left of the amazing weather that Mother’s Day presented.  This also gave Emily the opportunity to forensically dissect her iPhone video footage, where she determined that former President G.W. Bush and Laura Bush were in the motorcade that zoomed past us.  Pretty fun ending to a great weekend celebrating Emily and Kee!

Mother’s Day Weekend 2016 Photo Slideshow

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