We had a great holiday weekend! It was very busy and filled with lots of adventures, family, friends, love, laughter and great food. Our weekend started off with the greatest news ever! Joey passed his lineman's test. This is something that he has been working towards for 4 years. We are so proud of him and so grateful for all the hard work, sweat, sacrifices, and dedication he has put forth for our family!
The next day he surprised us by taking a half day and Friday off. We were beyond excited! Then he surprised us by planning a last minute mini vacation to Jacksonville. I was even more surprised when we pulled up to the hotel and I discovered we were staying at the Omni and they upgraded us to a king size bed!
Our view of the city was awesome! Ava loved looking out the window and over the balcony at all the things going on in the busy city below.
That night we met up with a good friend of ours and had some amazing Thai food for dinner.
The next morning we got up and headed to Bold Bean Coffee Cafe to have some delicious cold brew coffee. Joey bought me some of this coffee last time he was in Jacksonville for me to brew my own cold brew and it is so delicious. I had to go back for more!
After our coffee stop we went to the Cool Moose Cafe to grab a bite to eat before heading to the Zoo. There Costa Rica plate was so delicious that I bought the ingredients to make it for dinner tonight.
Ava enjoyed some silver dollar pancakes while Joey had a meatlovers omelet. Our bellies were full and we were ready for the Zoo.
We made it to the Zoo. I think one of the greatest things about being a parent is you get to experience being a kid all over again. Joey and I really went to the Zoo so we could see all the animals. Ava enjoyed it but I think she is still a little too young to really understand what all is going on. She loved looking at the snakes, the tiger and the giraffes.
After the zoo we headed back home to get ready for Nana and Pop's house to celebrate Joey's success and the 4th of July. Ava helped Pop cook his ribs which were so delicious that I didn't even get a chance to take a picture before they were all devoured!
We also helped Nana make some of her homemade ice cream!
We had such a great time visiting with them, celebrating Joey, our great country and enjoying some great food!
The next day we headed to Orlando for the Strazi's 4th of July Bar-b-que. We got to see Nona and Papa, and all the Aunts and Uncles. Ava went swimming in the pool while the food was being prepared.
Papa and Uncle Andrew worked hard all through the night to cook all of the meat. It was all so delicious and moist!
My Mom made her famous German Chocolate Cake. Everything about this cake is made from scratch. She only makes this once a year for my Dad's birthday. This truly is a masterpiece and was unbelievably delicious!
We had such a wonderful time in Orlando visiting with everyone and enjoying some delicious food! (I am starting to see a common theme here with our family pictures these days. Ava and Daddy being silly while Momma says, "Ok everyone say cheese!" haha.)
For the 4th of July we decided to stay home, make some homemade ice cream in our new ice cream maker, eat left overs and relax. Ava looks so proud of her ice cream!
And that's a wrap! Our hearts and bellies are full! We hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July! Thank you to all the men and women who have sacrificed for our country so that we can live in the land of the free.