Friday, January 24, 2014


My tradition orange shirt (this is the one that I bought at the good will while I was in Topeka.)

I had plenty of time waiting in the airport, but this allowed me to read, which is one of my favorite vacation things to do! I didn't really talk much on the trip to Denver, but I did sit next to a dad and a baby on the flight from Denver to Salt Lake City. The girl was so cute and I enjoyed our conversation!

I received this text with Ang when she crossed over to Kansas again to go home.

Arriving in Salt Lake City, it took over 45 minutes from the time we exited the plane to the time that our luggage arrived. It was crazy and I've never experienced anything like that! Amy was SO sweet to pick me up, but on the way to her house, we managed to take a wrong turn. The fog was really thick. I'm talking like going 35 on the freeway and still not seeing anything. I was pretty worried to drive home, but decided to take a chance and turn around if it didn't get better soon after Farmington. And it cleared up nicely.

The crazy thing is that I went from before the Idaho line to right before the first exit for Pocatello with not passing anyone and no one passing me! It was the most boring drive I've ever taken!!! But, home sweet home to my husband and kids! Thanks for letting me visit Kansas Brandon! It was so sweet of you!!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Wednesday was an early start of the day. This is a day that I somewhat dreaded, because I hate leaving such good friends. Loaded up and were on the road by 7:15 am. The plan for today? Temple, Liberty Jail, and if time, Independence Missouri.

The freeway was good for the rush hour. The Warths honk their horn every time they cross a state line. Hello Missouri!

On the way to the temple, Ang mentioned that everyone gets pulled over when they go to the temple. And guess what happened? We got pulled over in a school zone! What saved us was that we had Kansas plates plus Ang has not changed her driver's license (it still says Idaho)! Okay. And maybe that she has a Boise State sticker on her vehicle. It worked out okay and we still made the session with a couple of minutes to spare.

The temple was amazing and great to go with Ang! I was surprised that it is actually pretty good, including clothing rental. The Kansas City Missouri temple! Everything in the building has the olive leaf and tree, representing the peace that will happen between the saints and the persecution they experienced and do experience in this area.

After the temple, we headed to Liberty Jail, which is just a couple minutes away from the temple. It was super cool and we were the first visitors of the day (we came around 11.) Crazy, huh?

What a neat experience to see the actual part of the jail where Joseph Smith stayed for several months. The sister that took us on the tour did such an amazing job. She thought that we were so young, and laughed when Ang said she had 4 children. She just about died when I told her I had a 13 year old. It still doesn't feel real to me either dear Sister!

It was such a spiritual experience and something that was icing on the cake for my amazing vacation to Kansas and Missouri! Quick drive through lunch at Chic-Fil-A and back to the airport where we had to inhale smoke for 5 minutes. I held it all together for our hug marathon and goodbyes (this is pretty impressive for me! Just ask Will!)

Yes, this is Ang's serious face!!!

Love this woman!

I can't wait to see you again dear friend! Remember who you are!!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Back to school and business on Tuesday! It was my last full day in Kansas. I made sure that I was all packed up and ready to go. Contrary to Sunday and Monday, it was a mere couple degrees outside. Talk about brrr!!! Kansas cold seems a little worse than Idaho cold. I'll give you that point Ang!  Our first stop in the morning was the Kansas Historical Museum. 

They were doing a quilt exhibit for Kansas where everyone gets to vote on their favorite. One of the coolest quilts was of Potwin, which used to be a separate city of Topeka and was annexed in. It is where Minnie lives in a Historical District, so the houses are AMAZING and have tons of character!

This was a bible and a trunk of one of the first residents of Kansas. It was really cool thing to look at.

What kind of Kansas bird are you?
For me? A Meadowlark.

Ang is a Honeybee.

Did you know that the women were in charge of setting up and taking down the tepees? The poles are 20 feet long!!! They took down and set up all of the time, so they were quick in that. (We had a hard time getting the top of the tepee in the picture. Much bigger in person than it looks on camera.)

One of my favorite parts was to look at this poster and see Fort Hall and Salt Lake City on the map!

Covered wagon

Awesome train that they had to open up the building to put in and drive in on tracks. There were several cars inside the building that you could go in as well.

Bundled up and trying not to die in the cold and wind. Did I mention that Kansas has wind???

After picking up Remington, we headed to the Capitol Building downtown. They recently spent over $325 million dollars to renovate this 5 floor capital building. Quite a staggering figure, but it looks amazing.


After - notice the new roof and covering on the dome

Inside of the dome - this is totally breathtaking! Pictures just do not do it justice!

We checked out the building, which has a lot of history, including a flag of when the state was added - the 34th state to the union. Another crazy fact is that Kansas was the last state to be added before the civil war. There is a lot of history regarding the civil war, especially in Lawrence, which is home to the University of Kansas, the Jayhawks shown below.

There is also Kansas State which is in Topeka shown here.

You can't go anywhere without seeing both of these logos on tshirts, hoodies, etc. Kansans are PROUD!!!

We purchased this cute "bubalo" (buffalo) for Robbie! The kids couldn't get enough of that stuffie!

Next step was Hazel Hill chocolates. It was really good. I tried a cake ball (they call them something different) and bought some turtles that were SO, SO good. Probably the best chocolates I have ever tasted (sorry Mom!). If you go to Topeka Kansas, make sure that you put this on your to do list!

Our next stop (as if we needed more sugar) was Mad Eliza's.

The cupcakes were pretty good, but still not as good as the Cocoa Bean in Idaho Falls (Rexburg and Provo too.)

After dinner, the Warth family ran over to Minnie's house to her surprise 50th birthday party (which ended up not being a surprise.) We saw a ton of deer just running through the neighborhood. I've never seen anything like that either! I think that Rob was wishing we were not in the city and that he had a gun with him! She is so gracious and a great hostess, as she showed us her amazing house! Just in case you are wondering, this is what 50 candles looks like on a cake. Minnie did awesome!!! 

Shannon, me, Minnie, Ang

And with a couple of kids added!

That night, I was happy to grab a quick picture of this amazing family. They really made me feel at home, loved, and blessed. I am so thankful for wonderful friends that are family! Thank you Rob, Ang, Sierra, Robbie, Bridger, and Remington for making my week in Kansas so memorable and wonderful! You are an amazing family! Love ya!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. day, so NO SCHOOL!!! I wanted to do something that my husband doesn't totally love (because I'm planning on coming back to Topeka again!) It was another beautiful day, so we headed out to visit the zoo! I know, in January! Apparently, it's open year round. The zoo, I should mention, is "World Famous!" (If you've read The Walk Series, you'll understand what I mean.)

I didn't really take pictures of the animals because they all look the same to me at each zoo. Ang has trained her kids to take pictures at certain spots in the zoo and it was just too much fun that they have them memorized.

Our first stop was orangutans and the gorillas. We were fascinated by Tiffany, a gorilla who loves children's books, magazine, and who lost her husband. She really hasn't been the same since. It happened to be lunch time, so we watched her eat. She's picky like me... Here is what she ate and the order of how she ate it.
Tomato, carrot, sweet potato. She tossed out the onion, then ate broccoli, green bell pepper, cucumber, before picking up the onion again and eating it as she peeled the layers off one at a time. We stood there for a good 7-10 minutes! So fun!!!

Picture central

I'm a lion tamer!!!

I still can't help it with the storm shelters that are everywhere ... including the mall!

Gotta love flamingos just walking around the bird exhibit.

My arm span length compared to a gorilla. How'd I do???

Giraffes - Can I tell you about the best business markup I've ever seen in my life? It's here with the giraffes at the "World Famous" Topeka Zoo. They have feeding times for the giraffes. You can feed the giraffes for $1. Not bad right? It's like a once in a lifetime type of thing that you can do and even capture on camera. Here's the catch. It's for one piece of a lettuce head. Next catch? The giraffe eats it so quickly, that you have to get another piece of lettuce to capture this once in a lifetime moment. $2 for one piece of lettuce. To help the zoo! In addition to your admission! Still shaking my head that we paid $10 for 1 second of joy!!!






After our visit to the "World Famous" Topeka Zoo, we headed to the park just directly across the street. Getting a picture with the word Topeka here in front of a cute railroad station store.

Then, true to form, Ang remembered our great Ragnar moment of our bucket list items. One on my list? To ride a camel. And here I did it! Too bad it's not alive? I will say that I got stuck and it was quite interesting getting out between the camel's 2 humps.

Dinner was buffalo burgers and this was probably my favorite meal the entire visit! (It was all good Warths, but this lean meat was just SO good!) Sierra did a great family home evening and talked about Nephi building the boat. So for dessert? Banana splits with Blue Bell Ice Cream (probably "World Famous" as well). I've heard about this from the Bohneys as well and both kinds were absolutely delicious (guilty face)! 

Thank you for another great day Warth family! You really know how to treat your guests!!!