Tag: Dreams Can Come True

My First Trip to Disney World

“A magical trip that will be remembered forever” – Momma Braga

If you ask any of my friends and family to tell you something about me, the most common answer would be my love for Disney. Even before becoming a mother, I was always a fan and made sure to buy the latest Disney movie that would come out. I had quit a collection before my daughter was born and the collection keeps growing with the new additions that are released. So it was no surprise that I always dreamt of visiting Disney World.

Back in 2012, my husband wanted to take a trip for our five year wedding anniversary and my request was to visit Disney World. My husband always wanted to go and see what it was all about so he happily agreed and I was the happiest person in the world. Since it appeared at the time that children were not in our very recent future, we decided this would be the best time to experience this as a couple.

The Planning

I am a planner so it is no surprise that I had to plan our vacation and do all my research beforehand. Once our trip was booked, I took it a step further and checked out what was happening at the different parks while we were there. This way I knew which park to go to on what day. We also booked tickets to see Cirque du Soleil in advance to make sure we enjoyed everything we possibly could while we were there. I even booked our dinners at some of the restaurants to ensure that we meet some of the characters that we wanted to meet. On our list of must see was Donald Duck for my husband and Winnie-The-Pooh for me (I just love him!).

My husband and his favorite, Donald Duck.

Our Arrival & Accommodations

The day finally arrived to make my childhood dream come true. It honestly felt so surreal to be going and I was so excited that I couldn’t eat. When we arrived in Orlando Florida, I was like a kid in a candy store. My eyes wide open and full of excitement of what I was going to experience. The Disney bus came to pick us up at the airport to take us to our Disney resort hotel (this is booked when you book your tickets) which added to the magic for me. Since I picked most of the trip, my husband was responsible to pick the hotel and the room we stayed in. He picked the Disney Caribbean Resort and we had the Pirates of the Caribbean Room. We had to go all out Disney!

We truly enjoyed our accommodations as the staff were friendly, the rooms were clean and the food was great.

The Magic of Disney World

The Disney movies that I watched was so full of magic and it is one of the reasons that I love them dearly. They provided me with the aspiration that anything and everything is possible if you just believe. By being at Disney World it allowed me to feel this magic in person. Maybe it was the experience of meeting the characters who are played beautifully by the right person who stays in complete character in front of you. Maybe it was experiencing the thrill of the attractions. Maybe it was seeing the parades and hearing the classic songs from every Disney classic movie. Maybe it was seeing the nightly fireworks. Or maybe it was the opportunity to live out my childhood dream that made it magical for me.

I remember how excited I got when Princess Belle waved at me from the parade float and I turned to my husband and said, “Oh my god! Belle just waved at me!” My husband couldn’t help but giggle as he said he saw my childlike self-explode with happiness. But it didn’t prepare him on how excited I would be to meet Winnie-The-Pooh at Hollywood Studios. I waited in line with all the other children who were accompanied by their parents as Winnie was on a short break. As soon as he arrived, my heart started to beat really fast and I couldn’t believe I was going to hug an adult sized Pooh Bear! I approached Winnie and since they are not able to speak to stay in character, he used hand motions to communicate with me. A staff member assisted in translating as I was so excited that I couldn’t comprehend any of the hand motions. So Winnie-The-Pooh pointed out that I had a Winnie bear keychain on my bag and hand motioned that I had a baby Pooh Bear. Excitedly I said, “Oh yes! I love Pooh Bear!” I got a “Love You too!” motion and a great big hug. Yup! This moment made my life!

So why did these particular little moments make me feel special? It was because I was able to feel like a child again without a worry in the world. Children have such a positive imagination, aspirations and dreams without ever doubting themselves. This is what I loved feeling again as it seems that sometimes we lose these feelings as we grow up and sometimes we need to feel like a child again to remember them again.

The whole trip was just an amazing experience for the both of us as my husband secretly (not anymore a secret) enjoyed it as much as I did. However, I think the best part was to share this first experience with my husband as we celebrated our five year wedding anniversary.

Of course my daughter Nikki is loving Disney as much as I do and we will be saving to hopefully be able to take her one day to experience what her momma experienced a bit later in life. However, I always say it is better late than never! 😉

If you have gone to Disney World with your family, what have you enjoyed the most? Leave your comment below as I would love to read it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

Dreams Can Come True…Even For A Grandfather | Joe’s Grill

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walter E. Disney

I just love this quote from Mr. Disney and one that can be applied to this special feature, our Grandfather of the Month. In honour of Father’s Day I decided that this month we would feature a Dad of the Month and a Grandfather of the Month.

I am so proud to present Joe from Joe’s Grill as our Grandfather of the Month.

Joe was born and raised in Azores, Portugal. Growing up Joe use to help his father work in the fields and also worked at the fruit and vegetable market. In his spare time he would love to watch his mother cook and that is where he developed his passion for cooking at a very young age. Joe then moved to Canada when he was in his late 20s which was not in his plans. However, when his girlfriend (now loving wife) moved to Canada, he realized he couldn’t live without her and packed up his stuff to start a new life in a new country. Now that is what I call love at its finest!

In Canada, Joe worked in construction but never lost his love for cooking and would cook every chance he got. Family could always be guaranteed an amazing meal when they would visit him. When the time came to retire, Joe thought that it was time to follow his dreams and open up his own restaurant. He knew that some people would call him crazy for wanting to open up a restaurant so late in life but he said, “It’s only too late when you’re gone and here I am one year later with a restaurant and I have never been happier.” He further stated, “It’s not about how much I make but that I am finally doing what I love – cooking!”

Joe's Grill #4

So what motivated this dream to become a reality? Joe always wanted to open his own restaurant but it never seemed like the “right time” to do it. When Joe retired he had some time to think what his next step in life would be. He felt he was too young to retire but yet too old to stay in construction. So after speaking to his wife and children, they knew it was now or never. This is what inspired Joe’s Grill to go from a dream to a reality. Joe’s Grill then opened up for business on June 6th, 2015 and Joe says, “I can truly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

Joe’s Grill is located at 2291 Kipling Avenue, Unit 111 in Toronto, Ontario. Joe’s Grill offers traditional Portuguese cuisine at affordable prices. They have a variety of different food items available on their menu and some favourites are the Portuguese BBQ Chicken with their signature piri piri sauce served with potatoes and rice. Another favourite is the fillet fish and beef stew. I don’t know about you but my mouth is already watering! I think the neat part about Joe’s Grill is that the food is always made by Joe himself and he always puts his own twist on everything he makes.

Joe's Grill #3

So, why the name Joe’s Grill? Joe said, “The name was inspired by my oldest daughter. I think she wanted customers to know who I was so that is where Joe came in and grill came from me constantly talking about all the things I was going to grill.”

When people visit Joe’s Grill, they can expect a friendly and clean environment with fresh food that is cooked daily. Not to mention that the portion sizes are great too! You can also bring their delicious food to your next meeting or event. To learn more about their catering services, please feel free to give them a call at (647) 343-3595. Catering has become a big part of Joe’s Grill and he offers special menus and can even customize the menus for your special event.

Joe's Grill

Joe’s Grill has recently celebrated their first year anniversary so where does Joe want to see the business in five years? “I would love to see Joe’s Grill grow and become more of a family business. I would like to get my wife and youngest daughter involved.” As you can tell Joe is a family oriented person who just adores his family very much. You would never know that this loving father of two is also a very proud grandfather to an adorable grandson. So how does this dad and grandfather find the time to balance a new growing business and family? “That’s a good question,” says Joe with a smile. “I sometimes feel that there is not enough hours in the day to do it all but then I take a step back and build downtime into my schedule. I have learned over the years that a little relaxation goes a long way.”

Well said Joe! This is why you are our Grandfather of the Month. Not only do you always put your family above anything else, you had the courage to follow your dreams. You have shown your family and friends around you that anything is possible at any age. You are a great example of what can be accomplished if you just believe in yourself.

“For as long as I could remember my father, Joe, has always wanted to open up his own restaurant. I am so proud of him for finally following his dreams. His food is amazing and I’m so happy that other people can now enjoy it as much as my family and I have. No matter how busy he gets at the restaurant he always finds time to come visit his grandson. I was so grateful to have my dad those first few weeks as a new mom as I never had to worry about food. My dad would come over every few days to stock our fridge with enough food to feed a village. He is an amazing father and has already shown to be an amazing grandfather as there is truly nothing he can’t do,” says Chantelle, Joe’s eldest daughter.

Joe exemplifies inspiration in all that he does and continues to do. Joe is such an amazing person that he has offered an exclusive to Momma Braga fans. When you stop by to order food from Joe’s Grill and mention that you read this article, you will receive a little something extra added to your order. How amazing is that?! Thanks Joe as I know my fans and readers will love this!

Joe’s Grill is open from Monday to Friday from 11 AM to 6 PM; Saturday from 11 AM to 5 PM; and Sundays are reserved for catering orders only.

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Make sure to follow Joe’s Grill on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joes-Grill-Portuguese-Cuisine/856622674431523
Instagram: @joesgrillportuguesefood

Special thank you to Joe and his daughter, Chantelle for their time as it is much appreciated!

Don’t forget to mention Momma Braga to Joe and you will receive a little something extra with your order! 😉

Until next time…..Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga