Lunch at Beaches Cantina

Travis and I are keeping up with our new restaurant week and decided to go to Beaches in Tiffany Springs. 

I really like the decor and it has a very laid back vibe. They played Jimmy Buffet and other beachy type music. I’m not a big Jimmy fan, but I would have loved to hear some steel drums! 

   
     How good does that sangria look?! I’m getting it next time we go there for dinner. We got iced tea instead. 

  
Travis and I drink ALOT of iced tea. If there is a drink I know, it’s iced tea. I normally don’t order it at restaurants because I’m so picky about it. The first glass we got just tasted like water.

It must have been a bad batch because the second glass got much stronger. You can even see it in the color. 

  
We got chips and salsa to start. We got the fire roasted tomato salsa. 

   
     The chips were really good! You could tell they were homemade. They had some spice on it that we couldn’t figure out. It looked like pepper but didn’t taste like it. 

   
 Our waitress said the pineapple habanero salsa is her favorite. We plan to get that one next time. It was on one of our tacos and it was really good! Sweet and spicy! 

We got three taco plates because we couldn’t decide. 

  
The chicken and pineapple with a side of rice. 

  

The jerk chicken with a side of fries. 

  
And the rum and coke steak with a side of slaw. 

  
Both mine and Travis’ favorite was the rum and coke steak, with the jerk chicken coming in second. The steak was really tender and I liked the pineapple salsa on the jerk chicken. I liked the grilled pineapple on the chicken and pineapple, but that taco seemed to have the least amount of flavor. We liked the fries and the slaw, but not a big fan of the rice. The sauce didn’t really seem to go with the rice. The slaw had a citrus flavor to it, definitely a different kind of slaw, but very good. 

I also really liked the shirts the waitresses were wearing! Perfect for the Platte County Pirates. 

  
Overall, definitely a restaurant we will be going back to! 

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Brunch at Kate’s Kitchen

This is mine and Travis’s last full summer week since I start volleyball try-outs and regular practices next week. We decided to take advantage of our week and try as many new restaurants as we could. 

We have seen Kate’s Kitchen over by Carlitos and wanted to try it out. They had really good reviews online so we decided to go to for brunch. 

I started with coffee. It was okay, tasted a little on the burnt side but the mugs are really cute! 

  
Travis and I wanted to get a cinnamon roll to compare it to Corner Cafe’s. 

  
Smaller than Corner Cafe’s but the perfect size for two. They use a cream cheese frosting which I really liked but Travis didn’t. The cinnamon roll itself was super soft! Overall, I liked the Kate’s cinnamon roll better, but nothing can beat Corner Cafe’s icing. 

   
 

I read that they are known for their pancakes, so that’s what I got! 

  
I thought the pancakes were spot on! Just the right amount of sweetness and HUGE. Also the bacon was exceptional. Very smoky flavor. I wasn’t a fan of the eggs, but I’m not really an egg person. 

The atmosphere is what really makes this place great. We had the sweetest waitress and it is family run. It’s named after the owner’s daughter Kate. You can tell there is a lot of passion put into this cafe. They are only open for breakfast and lunch and I would be curious to try their lunch menu. 

On a side note, I finally got a tattoo! 

  
Yes it hurt. A lot. Don’t believe people who say it doesn’t hurt. I got an S because all the females in my family have names that start with S. It’s an easy way to represent my ancestors without tattooing a million names on my body. 

Travis also got to use his birthday smoker yesterday! Delicious pulled pork! I went back for seconds, Travis went back for thirds, and we were both happy! 

  

Birthiversary

  
Travis’ birthday is on the 20th, mine is the 21st, and our anniversary is the 23th which makes this birthiversary week! Lots of eating out and presents! 

Travis is up first. He turned 27 this year. He got a grill from me back in June so I didn’t get him another birthday present. My parents got him a smoker since our old one broke. 

We started out at corner cafe for brunch. They give you a free dessert for your birthdays so of course, he picked a cinnamon roll to go. 

   
 
Travis wanted to go out to Independence Mall to play with the puppies and I didn’t object.    

     

We played with a mini lab! So cute, but very hyper. She chewed on everything. 

   
 

After that, we went to Jack Stack for some BBQ. I got the strawberry shandy and Travis got a boulevard. We also got onion rings and fried mushrooms as an appetizer. 

  
We spilt the roundup. It has ribs, brisket, ham, and pork, along with coleslaw, baked beans, and fries. 

   
     So much food! The ribs and baked beans where probably my favorite thing. However, I will say that Jack Stack is not my favorite KC BBQ place. The sauce just tastes average to me and I brisket (my normal favorite BBQ meat) seemed chewy. 

My sweet grandma made Travis and me a different birthday cake. Travis got marble and I got yellow with chocolate frosting. 

  
I had a less exciting 26th birthday this year filled with volleyball camps. We hosted our freshmen camp in the morning and middle school camp in the afternoon. Travis did come up to Platte City to have lunch with me though! We went to Pizza Shoppe. 

   
 For dinner, I asked Travis to grill out hamburgers for me! We also had Mac and cheese and potato salad. We also made some yummy homemade ice cream with my favorite cake, cookie cake! 

   
   Travis surprised me with beautiful flowers! He also got me an immersion blender, new shoes and Yahtzee! We played all night! 

   
   
For our anniversary, we went to Cooper’s Hawk on the Plaza. They have some of my favorite wine (house white). 

  
They have really good pork pot belly toastadas. 

  
I got the Cooper’s Hawk chicken giardiniera. 

  
We walked around the plaza after dinner because it was such a beautiful night! 

   
 Birthdays 26 and 27, and anniversary 4 were a success! Beyond thankful for my sweetie to celebrate with me! 

Lunch at Longboards

Travis and I decided to try out a new place for lunch today. We went to longboards off of North Oak. It got great reviews online, so we thought we would try it out! 

It has surfer decor, very laid back vibe! 

   
 

I got the Smoked Woody, a wrap served cold. 

   
   

Yum! It was really good! The pork was tender and all the ingredients tasted so good together. 

Travis got the daily special, the chipotle killer. It had chili, chicken, rice, chipotle sauce, jalapeƱos, pepper Jack cheese, and gauc.  And it was HUGE. 

   
 

His was also really good! It had some spice to it. Next time, I will make sure to get a grilled wrap because I really liked how good the crunch was!

I also got a side of hummus and pita. There hummus was not my favorite, it had an herby taste to it that didn’t really mesh with me. But it wasn’t awful. 

  
Overall, definitely a place we will go back to! Very fresh tasting and great atmosphere! 

South Dakota Day 8 – Mount Rushmore and Wall Drug

  
We had a different approach on the way home than we did on the way out. On the way out, we powered through, doing majority of the driving in one day. On the way home, we decided to break the drive in half. The halfway marker was Rapid City, which meant we were stopping by Mount Rushmore! 

  
We got into Rapid City around 7, so we grabbed dinner and HuHot, then headed to see the presidents! 

   
           Both Travis and I have been to Mount Rushmore before, but it’s fun to go as an adult because you take more information in. Theodore Roosevelt is my favorite president, so I enjoyed reading all the information about him. We also got there in time to see them retire the flag for the day. They invite all current and retired military to the stage. 

  
After staying the night in Rapid City, we stopped at Wall Drug on the way home. 

   
 They have amazing donuts! We got half a dozen and snacked all the way home! 

What a great trip! Travis and I love to visit national parks because Mother Nature can make things way prettier than any human can. The world has so much to offer, so why not start in our own backyards? We are hoping to get to Zion, Yosemite, and the Redwoods soon. Alaska is what we hope to make the next big trip! Happy traveling! I’m happy to be home with this little guy for a while! 

  

Waterton Lakes National Park Day 7 – Canada Day, Red Rock Canyon, and Bear Hump

Happy Canada Day!! Today was our last full day in the parks. We didn’t even know it was Canada Day until we got free admission into the park! 
After checking out of the lodge, we went to Red Rock Canyon to start the day. Beautiful red rocks carved out by water. The glaciers at Waterton are melting a lot faster than the ones in Glacier, so you can see how much lower the water is now to what it was before. 

   
     There is also a waterfall about one mile away from the canyon. It was a very flat and an easy walk. 

   
 All the trails were packed today. It seemed like many people came out to the park to celebrate Canada Day. It was a really fun atmosphere. However, the park did die down some in the evening because national parks are not allowed to shoot off fireworks. 

After spending the morning at Red Rock Canyon, we decided to do the Bear Hump hike. We heard it was the best view of the park and it didn’t not disappoint! It was .75 miles straight up. No joke, probably the biggest elevation change per mile we had the entire trip (800 feet in only .75 miles). Worth every step! 

   
       Like I said, the trails were packed today! So many whiney kids walking up and up! 

After Bear Hump, we headed to the Bison Paddock. We saw one bison up very close! He was attempting to scratch off his winter coat. We saw a few others, but way off in the distance. 

  
After the paddock, we decided to go to Maskinonge lake to enjoy a snack. 

  
We headed to Waterton town for dinner. I didn’t expect to see an actual town inside a national park, but there it is! We ate a couple meals here throughout our stay. 

   
 After dinner, we walked along the rocky beach, skipping rocks. We stayed in a camp site for our last night, so we headed back pretty early to rest up for our day of driving. 

We didn’t get the opportunity to do any big hikes at Waterton, mostly because we wanted to see a little bit of everything and big hikes take a whole day. I would love to do the Crypt Lake hike and the Carthew-Alderson hike at Waterton. 

One last post about our trip coming up – our pit stop on the way home! 

Waterton Lakes National Park Day 6 – Prince of Wales and Cameron Lake

  
On to Canada! Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park  are joined at the USA – Canada border. We got an early start to spend as much time in Waterton as possible. It was about an hour and a half to the lodge in Waterton where we were staying. 

We had to cross the US border into Canada first. They have removed all the trees along the border, so you can see a straight line exactly where the border is. People can’t cross without going through border control, but animals can! 

   
 Our first stop was to the Prince of Wales Lodge. It was designed by the same person who did the Many Glaciers Lodge. It was so adorable! It looked like a gingerbread house from far away, but up close you could tell it was much bigger. 

   
             

It actually wasn’t too expensive to stay and very worth every penny. It was quaint and exactly what you think of when you hear nature lodge. No internet or cable, but it’s not needed with these views! 

   
        

After getting checked in, we decided to spend the afternoon at Cameron Lake. We walked the Cameron Lakeside trail, totaling 2 miles. It was very level and very easy. Also a lot of traffic, great for families with kids of all ages.

  
  
We also decided to canoe on the lake. After canoeing and kayaking on this trip, I think I prefer canoeing. It seemed easier to steer the canoe. It was a little windy but still beautiful on the lake! 

  

   
   After our lake afternoon, we headed back to the lodge for dinner. Travis made us reservations at the dining room. We decided to get fancied up! 

   
  

I didn’t bring a hairdrier (not normally high on my camping list) so I had to “blow dry” my hair by sitting in front of a fan for 15 minutes constantly brushing my hair to keep it straight. I also didn’t bring any makeup or non camping shoes. Going with the natural look! 

  
After dinner, which was delicious, we went to the lounge for drinks and TV. I love watching tennis on TV, so I caught up on Wimbledon and we also got to see the end of the USA-Germany soccer game! Of course, we also enjoyed the views! 

   
   

Seriously, how cute are they?! Can that please be Travis and me one day? 

Tomorrow, Canada day!