a happy turkey weekend

**Pictures, pictures, pictures!!**

ok, so I know I have more honeymoon pics to post and stories to tell, but since I finally got a new computer, I’m going to jump into a Thanksgiving post to catch us all up 🙂  Since Katie (also a nurse) had to work Thanksgiving this year, we divided up Thanksgiving dinners with families between Wednesday and Thursday.  This year was also new in that we are officially married into new families now.  Luckily, this holiday worked out pretty smoothly.  We decided to do a Graves family dinner on Wednesday (which included Katie and Chuck), and then mom, Dwayne, Emily, Greg and I drove to Georgia Wednesday evening to join the Boggs family Thanksgiving for the weekend.  Mom whipped up a quick meal of honey ham, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls, and cheesecake for dinner. It was DELICIOUS!  And we all actually sat around the dining room table and ate together.  (for those of you who don’t know, our dining room table has not been sat at as one big family since I was probably 14 years old.) We always did holidays at my Nana’s house.  And then last year was our first set of holidays without my dear Nana, so we didn’t really know how to do Thanksgiving and Christmas, and so we joined up with the Boggs and Abbey families (mine and Katie’s in-laws).  So, it was nice this year to finally have a Graves family holiday again.

Wednesday evening after Thanksgiving dinner #1, we headed off to Greensboro, GA to Greg’s parents house.  They live on Lake Oconee and have a beautiful home!  There were so many people at their Thanksgiving gathering.  Grandparents, aunts, uncles, 6 cousins, and of course our family.

 Emily and me
 Mama and Dwayne 🙂
 happy Thanksgiving, hubs!
check out this turkey!!!
  
there was so much turkey, but we gobbled it up!  😉
our first Thanksgiving

After we let our food settle for a bit, we decided to drive over to the Ritz Carlton and go ICE SKATING! It was sooo much fun!!!  Considering our group consisted of about 20 people, 15 of which decided to skate, we basically took over the ice rink.  We were having races, practicing our spins, doing a little dancing, even did a little game of limbo….we definitely had the most fun of anyone out on the ice.  I’ve always thought that the Graves family was silly and crazy most the time.  With 3 girls in the house and a mom that is honestly one of our best friends, it’s always a good time.  Well, it was fun realizing that the Boggs family is just as silly and crazy. When they all get together, it’s like no one else in the room exists.  Everyone is just having a good time!  The pictures pretty much speak for themselves…  🙂
 have I told you before how fun my mom is?  Yep, she and my mother-in-law were out there on the ice just like the rest of us!
 the gang out on the ice
 we made a train….of course
 even aunt Kim got out on the ice for a quick spin!
 Kim and her boys

Then, if all that wasn’t enough, Mr. Boggs, Greg, Tyler, Jackson, Emily and myself headed out to Best Buy for some black Friday shopping.  Doors opened at midnight, and we got there around 10pm.  We froze our toes and fingers to death, but we stuck it out, and I finally got a new computer!!!  They were troopers!

Honeymoon time-final days

Our last full day in Atlantis we mainly visited the pools and slides, we watched a shark feeding, rode the slides a few more time, took another looong nap by the pool, and then wandered over to the beach for a while. 

 
 
 

 Luckily, the weather had been great all week!  I think it rained for few hours one morning earlier in the week, but we slept in and didn’t notice.  Only on our last full day did we have to deal with an afternoon shower.  And I feel like we got the best experience out of it.  We were just chilling on the beach and noticed some dark clouds rolling in from the ocean.  We sat and watched the storm roll in for almost an hour as it got closer and closer, and lightning stuck out over the ocean.  It was actually really cool!  I don’t know what the official weather term is for this, but a little tornado even developed over the water!  Eventually, it got close enough that we made a run for cover before the bottom dropped!  But even then we just hung out in the casino for a bit and then headed back to the room to relax before dinner.

 
 

 For our last honeymoon dinner we walked back to the marina and ate at a restaurant called Carmine’s.  All of their meals are family style.  Thank goodness the guy sitting next to us at the bar (who’s wife actually used to be the manager of Carmine’s in NYC) told us this because we were prepared to order our own meals.  That would have been a huge (costly) mistake!  This was our 1 plate between the two of us.  It was HUGE, and we ate leftovers from it the next day for lunch, and still threw some of it away!

 

This guy was the shuttle bus driver that takes you back and forth between the Haborside condo’s (where we stayed) and the main Atlantis resort.  He was crazy!  Ok, ya know the monkey Rafiki in The Lion King?  You know how he acts at the end of the movie, kinda crazy, when he meets grown up Simba?  THAT WAS THIS GUY!  Literally, every time we rode the bus with him he sang these Jamaican/Bohemian songs the whole time.  He was so hyper no matter what time of day it was, and it cracked us up.  We had to get a picture with him.

On our departure day we just had time to get up, get checked out, wander around the marina a bit, then head out to the airport.  There was a giant boat in the marina that Greg was intrigued by.  This thing was HUGE!  Enough so that he made me take several pictures next to it.

 
 

 At the airport, Greg bought a hand-rolled cigar from this guy.  And of course we had to keep ourselves entertained in the airport since we actually got there very early!  Then it was time to say goodbye to Nassau, Bahamas.  We had such a great trip!  I wouldn’t change a thing about it.  I would love to take a trip back one day, and I hope we do!

Honeymoon time- Day 4

Our fourth day we mostly just wandered around the Atlantis property, going back to eat at one of our favorite places from earlier in the week, revisiting some of the aquariums, and just exploring the area.  No agendas, just taking it easy.  Greg took some time taking pictures of some architectural details of the resort.

 
 
 
 

 We went back to the lagoon restaurant, and I got the fettuccine alfredo, AGAIN. I so wish I could eat this stuff every week.  How strange is it that an island is the Bahama’s is where I have found the best chicken alfredo ever??  The restaurant was really cool too.  It sat in the middle of the lagoon, had an aquarium below it, and some cool murals painted on the dome ceiling.

 
 The biggest aquarium is right in the center of the Royal Tower, next to the casino.  This is where the manta rays live!
 
 
 
 
 
 We walked to the dolphin cay to watch them do some shows.
 
 
 
For dinner that night we decided to take a taxi into town and eat at a local place called The Poop Deck.  Greg has eaten here many times with his family on vacation, and it’s one of his favorite places to eat in Nassau.  After dinner, we walked through the marina and stopped for ice cream!