I met my best friend Miranda (Mir or Peanut, for short) in a mutually detested math class my sophomore year of high school. Our teacher was a complete weirdo who spent most of the year sitting at his desk working on love poems and paper roses for his girlfriend, which left us tons of time to chat and realize just how much we had in common. 

Ever since that fateful first day of class, we have been inseparable. My parents moved to Ohio at the end of our junior year and Mir's mom let me move into her older brother's vacant room for the summer because we just didn't know how we could survive without each other. 

We spent that summer getting into trouble, singing Janet Jackson and DMB at the top of our lungs, turning into lobsters at the public pool, and having the time of our lives. It was life-changing for me, and  it transformed us from best friends into sisters.

We've been through a whole heck of a lot together--boy problems, friend problems, bonfires, hometown drama, concerts, baseball games, my Vegas wedding, backyard Buckeye tailgating, the birth of Kinley, random dance parties, ugly cries, Chinese food eating name it.

And even though everything has changed since we met, she's still the first one I call when I have big news or need to vent. She's my Peanut. My Mirmaid. My person (in Grey's Anatomy speak.)

We've spent the past 12 years visiting back and forth, and this time it was her turn to come here. Our original plan was to lay around and do nothing other than chat and play with SuperBaby, but we ended up packing both of the days she was here to the brim with activities. Maybe we will go back to relaxing on the patio (or linnai, as we like to call it due to our mutual love for the Golden Girls,) when Kinley is a teenager.

As always, when it comes to these adventure posts, I had a hard time narrowing down the millions of pictures I took down to just a handful, so you may want to kick off your shoes, grab a snack, and get comfortable. :)

First on our to-do list was a trip to Easton Town Center (a huge mall that is basically like its own city, for all of you non-Columbus residents,) to meet THE EASTER BUNNY. I should mention that Kinley was about 2 hours overdue for a nap by the time we grabbed her some Easter shoes from Target and lined up for our bunny photo-op, so I was pretty sure it was going to be a complete and total kicking and screaming disaster. But much to my surprise, it wasn't. It was so painless! It's official, she really is SuperBaby.

It's not a smile, but it's not a scream. That's my girl!

If you live here and haven't had your kiddo's bunny pictures taken yet, I think the Easton Bunny is still available til Saturday. They have the best deal--of course they want you to buy one of the huge picture packages, but they don't mind if you take pictures yourself with your phone and you can just buy one 5x7 for $5. Totally reasonable! They don't hassle you, either. It's the same deal at Christmas with Santa pictures. One more tip, if you go on a weekday there is never a line.

After a successful bunny trip, we just went home, played outside and picked up some delicious Italian takeout at Carsonie's for dinner.

On Saturday, we headed to Big Boy for lunch on the way

to our favorite place in town: The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium! Our zoo is literally the best one in the nation. You know Jack Hanna, the guy that always brings animals on David Letterman's show? The Columbus Zoo is his zoo. 

It was a perfect zoo day, 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky, so needless to say, it was PACKED. 

We went straight for the Australia exhibit because, for some reason,  there is generally no one in that area. The main thing in that part is a "night hike" inside of a building, which is really cool because it's a bunch of nocturnal animals and it's really dark. Mir fell in love with the kiwi bird--so adorable.

Next, we went to find some monkeys, Orangutans to be exact. They have a really cool habitat with lots of stuff to climb, but they usually like to hang out by the observation windows which is very convienient for everybody trying to see them.

Kin is obsessed with Mir. This is Peanut trying to get Kinley to look at me for a perfect monkey picture by doing their signature move, "Ding!" It's like E.T. and Elliot touching fingertips and it's adorable.

Next, we headed to the aquarium because, as much as we didn't want to complain after months of freezing, we were getting sweaty and needed some shade.

The aquarium is one of the best parts, I think. They have a touch pool and a few smaller tanks, but the one giant tank is the coolest part. There are tons of really bright and pretty and strange fish in there, and even a few small sharks. I always just want to plop down on one of the benches and take a nap in that room.

The building next door to the aquarium is the manatee habitat. It's a huge tank that holds a sea turtle, some schools of shiny fish, some stingrays, and two super cute manatees. Kinley is fascinated by these guys, and it's hard not to be. This manatee was rescued after being hit by a boat propeller...he looks a little rough, but it's pretty amazing that he's alive and swimming.

We stopped by the penguin habitat, and peeked in the window to see all of the baby penguins. It's nesting season for those guys, apparently. Only one bachelor penguin was out in the pool swimming, while the others took care of their babies in the little igloo.

We also went in the reptile house which I hadn't been in in forever. I'm sorry I didn't think to take a picture of any of the snakes (NOT.) There are lots of cool turtles and lizards in there, too, but for some reason I always forget about them and only remember the snakes, which is probably why I haven't been in there since my first trip to the zoo in 2001. Why are snakes even a thing? Creepy. 

It was getting close to closing time at this point, so we ran over to the North America area because I wanted Kinley to have a few minutes to get her wiggles out at her favorite part--the arctic playground. They've got slides and a fort, a pretend scientist's camper hideout, and igloos, icebergs and even a polar bear to climb on. She loves the igloo most of all, especially the slide! We only got to hang out for a few minutes before the grouchy zoo worker yelled at everyone to go home because the park was closing...I bet he had had one looooong day. 

Kinley couldn't resist one trip to the end of the bear trap before hopping in her stroller, where she promptly fell asleep. The zoo can really wear a little out--just one more reason to love it, right mommas? ;)

We packed up the car, turned on the AC and some country tunes, and headed for home.

If you are ever passing through Columbus, or live near enough to make the trip, I would totally recommend a visit to the zoo. There is so much to do--petting zoo, carousel, two playgrounds, train and boat rides, plus tons more. It's so huge, it takes the entire day to see everything. The new Africa exhibit is set to open soon, too, so even more to see.

We spent the rest of the evening watching Frozen (LOVED IT!) and gabbing. Life is just a million times better with your person around. 

I can't stand it when it's time for Mir to head for home. Even Kinley had tears and whimpers this time when her car pulled away...she's just that awesome. At least we got to make some fun memories and take approximately 3 billion pictures.

Back to normal life for SuperMom and SuperBaby now that Aunt Wonder Peanut has gone home...thank goodness for FaceTime!

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