Mom’s Birthday at the Zoo

For my mom’s birthday, she decided she wanted to go to the zoo! The last time Travis and I were at the zoo was for the Zoo Run, so we were excited to go back and check out the new orangutan exhibit. But, first is first – polar bear!

She was really playful in the morning! She was swimming up to the glass and pushing off into a back stroke. My mom is the one on the far left with the baseball hat, you know, the adult pushing the little kids out of the way. Next, to the orangutans! 


The first orangatuan was very shy, he hid under that burlap sack. The other one was enjoying some breakfast! Next we looked at some birds. 

My dad fits right in at the zoo 😉


After walking around the front of the zoo, we took the train to Africa. 


One of the highlights of the day was seeing the new baby gorilla! The baby was born at the end of May. Super cute!


Then, we walked around the rest of Africa (with just a little rain to bless). 


We took the boat back to the front of Africa. I had never been on the boat ride at the KC Zoo. It was really fun! We got a good look at some of the animals, and it was very relaxing. 

We then watched the sea lion show. It was really impressive! They are far better trained than Uno. 



 Next stop is my favorite, the penguins! I could watch them all day! 


After that, my parents insisted on riding the carousel. They were the only adults without kids, but you have to admit, they were pretty cute. 

We walked around the other parts of the zoo, checking out all the animals. The red pandas were very active, so we watched them for a while. 


Then we got a really special treat. We ran into my friend Austin, who works for the zoo. He was filming a video for the zoo about the health of the orangatuans. So we got an up close and personal view of the orangatuans getting their teeth brushed. 

It was really neat! They would come up to the door and smile like this, and then they would get a peanut or a sunflower seed when they did good. They were super cute! 

My mom wanted to go to Olive Garden for dinner. 

My grandma made a really yummy German chocolate cake! Great frosting!

Happy birthday mom! Hope it was great! 



Thai Tuesday

One of my favorite things about summer is going out on lunch dates. Lunch is normally so much cheaper during the week than going out for dinner on the weekends. It’s impossible to go out to lunch during the school year. One of my favorite lunch places is Tasty Thai on Prairie View road. They have a great Tuesday deal: buy one pad Thai get one for $1. They let you do the deal with either the lunch or the dinner portion. 

We start with poo thong (pronounced tong ya sicko 😉). It’s Thai version of crab Rangoon. 

With the lunch meal, you also get Thai chicken noodle soup. The broth is really flavorful. 

Travis and I both got pad Thai with tofu and chicken. And yes, this is the lunch portion! So much food, I have lunch for tomorrow too 😃

The lunch meals also come with an egg roll or a pot sticker. Travis and I went with pot stickers. When we come here for dinner and don’t get that with the lunch meal, we will sometimes order pot stickers instead of poo thong.  They have a chicken filling and are reallllly good! 

My forever lunch date 💕

We decided to go a walk on the line creek trail after lunch. It’s starting to feel like summer outside, so it was pretty warm. We kept it to about 2 miles. 





Travis and I also finished season 6 of Parks and Rec (and season 7 isn’t on Netflix). Help a sister out, let me know if you have it! On to an evening of volleyball league. 

Bachelorette Party Fun

Saturday, we hosted Caitlin’s bacholerette party! It was so much fun! We started out with a wine tasting at Amigoni Urban Winery. It’s a beautiful location and the wine we sampled was all really good! I prefer white wine over red. Here were the white wines we sampled. My favorite was the top! 

The room was beautiful! 


And the company was even better. 


After the winery, we took a few hours to get checked into the hotel room, decorate, get set up, and get dressed for the night. We went to Coopers Hawk for dinner and had some of the best white sangria. 

After that, we headed back to the hotel for gifts and games! 

Our final event was to go to Off Key Karaoke Bar. It was so much fun! We rented a private room and sang our hearts out! I would highly recommend it. 


We hung around Westport for a while longer and then headed to the hotel. 

Once we woke up, we decided to go to brunch at Port Fonda in Westport. 


We decided on Port Fonda because they are known for their bloody Mary’s and Caitlin’s favorite drink is a Bloody Mary! They had a Bloody Mary bar so you could create your own. 


I’m not a big Bloody Mary fan (I don’t like tomato juice) but Caitlin’s wasn’t too bad. There special for the day was the chimichanga. It had chicken, rice, and beans with a fried egg on top. We all got it!

It was so good! I’ve never had a chimichanga for breakfast before and I can’t wait to go back and take Travis! The sauce was amazing! 

Happy bachelorette party Caitlin! Love you and hope you had a great night! 

Hospital Hill 2015

The Wylie’s and the Payne’s survived another hospital hill 5k! As you can tell, this year we decided to dress like the flash. Last year, it was captain America. 

As fun as it is to get outside and be active with your family, this year was a hard hospital hill. Travis and I did little [no] training, and the new 5k course has the “hill” within the first half mile. Not fun running up a big hill only to realize you still have 2.5 miles to go! It probably didn’t help that Travis and I definitely celebrated national donut day today…

Here’s some of the race pictures: 



 This is the true champion racer in the family! Brazil even won a few races back in her day. 

I think the biggest accomplishment of the day might have been my race hair. I was pretty proud of it! 

Time to get some sleep to prepare for Caitlin’s bacholerette party tomorrow! 

The Great Outdoors – Minneapolis Day 2

We spent the morning walking around Calhoun Lake with my uncle. It was beautiful! I could spend all day walking around a beautiful settings like this one! It’s funny how Minnesota has a shorter summer than Missouri, but so much nicer outdoor areas! I guess Minnesotans really know how to take advantage of it! 




Once we got in the car, my uncle gave us the driving tour all around Minneapolis. After that, we went to Minnehaha Falls.    


  So pretty! I could spend an extra week in Minneapolis just at the parks. 

We had a few hours to kill, so we decided to head back to the mall of America. Travis and I did some bowling. I won the first game and he won the second, all is fair! 


For dinner, my family and I decided to go to Don Pablo’s to celebrate my mom’s early birthday. Travis and I had been to one in DC, but no one else in the family had been before. 


They had the best sopaipillas! 

What a great long weekend in Minneapolis! Tomorrow we have a LONG drive and volleyball league matches. Wish me luck! 

Hanging out in Minneapolis Day 1

My family decided to make a long weekend out of being in Minneapolis for my cousin’s wedding. We spent most of the day at the mall. Travis and I decided to wall the entire mall. We only went into stores we don’t have at home. I got a new pair of hiking boots and some Lindt chocolate! The Lego store, the American Girl Doll store, the Peeps store, L.L. Bean, and the brain games store (Marbles) we all big hits. 


 The mall is so massive! I didn’t take very many pictures thoughout the day. We also enjoyed walking around the amusement park. We also got to hang out more with my cousin Eric and his family. 

After the mall, we went to Maynard’s for dinner. It’s a beautiful restaurant right on the lake! I got the nachos and Travis got the fish and chips. We both also got Excelsoir Blond Ale. However, the winning dish was my mom’s coconut crusted chicken salad, yum! 



This was a great local restaurant to visit while in Minneapolis. The atmosphere was spot on, exactly what I want out of a vacation meal. 

Brooke’s Beauitful Wedding

My cousin, Brooke, got married in Minneapolis this weekend at the Nicollet Island Pavilion. It was a gorgeous venue! It’s right on the Mississippi River. It’s really great for indoor/outdoor events. Here’s a compilation of photos from the wedding. 




Brooke and Jason did a really cute rose ceremony



Uncle Bill and the FOB speech


Instead of cake, they had a frozen yogurt bar


My adorable cousin and me, enjoying our frozen yogurt


Sparkler send off


Mom and dad almost won for being the longest married couple


Congrats Brooke and Jason!