Tasty Tuesday–El Mazatlan

We were in Bowling Green, KY, for my birthday, and Ryan insisted that we go out to celebrate (a day late, but that’s a long, car problems involving story!). I decided that I wanted to find a Mexican place, and after a great recommendation from my mother-in-law, we went to El Mazatlan. It looked very unassuming from the outside:

IMG_0287

But the interior decor was amazing! I was impressed from the second we walked in the door!

And the food! I am not kidding when I say this may have been the best Mexican food I’ve ever had…and I’ve tried a lot. We were only supposed to split an appetizer (the choriqueso dip, which was amazing), but Ryan insisted we also share an order of fajitas Jalisco, too (I’m so glad he doesn’t like shrimp, because they were cooked perfectly, and I got to eat them all!). And a margarita, because, well, margaritas!

Next time we eat there (and there will be a next time!!!), we have to order the Pina fajitas, which is pretty much the basic fajita fixings stuffed in a fresh pineapple. I must try that…so fun!

Aviation Heritage Park

The first night of our visit to Bowling Green, KY, we stopped by the Aviation Heritage Park. It has a small collection of planes…four on display, with what appears to be a fifth being worked on. It’s always exciting to see planes up close, and read the stories of them and their pilots, especially when they include a NASA supersonic trainer and a Blue Angel!

IMG_0026

IMG_0019

WKU Volleyball Camp

Bunny had the opportunity to spend three days this week at an all-day volleyball camp at Western Kentucky University. We didn’t stay and watch her too much, but it was clear she loved getting the chance to work with some of the girls and coaches from the team, and make some new friends!

A Flag Cake for a Flag Day Birthday

I just realized that I never shared a picture of my birthday cake here!

IMG_0164

In addition to the beautiful cake, there were also “trick” candles…and you know what they look like? Sparklers! Perfect for my Flag Day birthday!

Markel Family Summer Vacation–Wrap-Up

By now you’ve probably realized that our family finally took our first real vacation this summer.

This all started in the late spring, when I was telling Ryan that I really needed to see the ocean. I had never seen it before, and it was really bothering me. So, he challenged me to pick a place, and we’d go.

I looked at several locations (including some on the Gulf of Mexico, until I was informed that didn’t really count as the ocean), and almost settled on Savannah, Georgia, before it occurred to me that I’d always wanted to go to Charleston, and…it’s on the ocean!

Why Charleston? In addition to the ocean, I wanted a place with a lot of history, which Charleston has in abundance, from the Revolutionary War period on, and a place with beautiful architecture, which, again, Charleston has no shortage of, from her churches, to Rainbow Row, to The Battery. Once I realized Charleston fit the bill, I began planning our trip, which was both fun and intimidating.

Honestly, I spent most of the summer figuring we wouldn’t actually go through with it. I thought we’d either come to our senses about spending the money, or our minivan would rebel, and need repairs costing time and thousands of dollars or something, so I didn’t really get excited about the trip until about a week before we left. It was only then that I allowed myself to indulge in my “We’re going to see the ocean!” dance! I was also a little apprehensive about leaving home, since I never do that, but I got over it.

The trip planning really came together, and the timing worked out for us to fit in a few non-Charleston stops along the way. Here’s a summary of our days on the road:

The trip wasn’t perfect. As a matter of fact, almost every bad thing I had imagined ending up happening, from a bed bug sighting in our hotel room the first night to car trouble along the way, not once, but twice. No one got sick in the car or eaten by a shark, though, so that was something! Anyway, in the end, I realized that it didn’t have to be perfect, because the troubles are part of the memories, and will eventually became a part of our family legends, along with all of the amazing parts of the trip, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

The Barr Building

I don’t know if it’s obvious, but I really like architecture, even if I don’t always know the proper words to describe what I’m looking at. Our walk around Fountain Square in downtown Bowling Green was a real treat for me, because there were so many gorgeous buildings to admire. As is usually the case, one building, in particular, really caught me eye…the Barr Building

IMG_4669

It’s really quite a small little building, and rather dwarfed by its neighbors on either side. But the level of detail on it is stunning:

The Barr Building was built in the 1890s in the Italianate style, and features an iron clad facade. Both stores and offices have occupied this building over the years, and the current tenant, Barbara Stewart Interiors, has called this space home since the 1970s.

Fountain Square

The heart of downtown Bowling Green, Kentucky, is at Fountain Square, the center of which is a beautiful park. I loved seeing all the old architecture when we walked around after the distillery tour we went on.

Corsair Distillery

One of the things I wanted to do while we were in Kentucky was visit a distillery, since it seems like such a Kentucky thing to do. We were all shocked to learn that there’s an operating distillery right in the heart of downtown Bowling Green!

IMG_4645

The decor when you first enter the Corsair building is very cool, and you definitely get a feel for what they do!

The behind-the-scenes of how different kinds of whiskey are made is interesting, and quite different from the brewery tours we’ve been on, which is what I was going for. We also learned a bit about the history of the company…I was surprised to learn that they actually got their start bottling gin!

At the end of the tour, you can do a tasting…I tried some very good things (especially the rye whiskey), and one that was really gross (absinthe).

IMG_4640

IMG_4641

I enjoyed having an opportunity to learn and try something new!